Monthly Archives: August 2015
While it may not be true in all circumstances, I’ve noticed something about difficulties. Sometimes the greater the difficulty the easier it is to deal with it. Let me illustrate with something that works for me.
Let’s say you have a flat tire. For most of us this is a relatively minor difficulty. In fact it’s just small enough that we can attend to it. Pop open the trunk, pull out the jack and spare, jack up the car, take off the old tire, put on the new, let the car down and we’re off.
Now this is not something I wanted to do. I wanted to get in my car and go somewhere. Now my schedule is thrown off and I have to make up for lost time. But my point is the difficulty was within my ability to resolve it. Continue reading
One of C.S. Lewis’s most popular non-Narnia novels is a perceptive little treatise on the weaknesses of human nature entitled The Screwtape Letters. Written in the form of letters, The Screwtape Letters is an insightful correspondence between a senior devil, Screwtape, and his incompetent nephew, Wormwood. All of the letters are from Screwtape to Wormwood, and the subject of the correspondence is a human being, newly converted to Christianity, whom Screwtape refers to as “the patient.” Throughout the correspondence, Screwtape tries to help Wormwood tempt the patient away from Heaven and into Hell. Continue reading
Ruth Penelope Lawson was born in Clent, Worcestershire, on March 20, 1890. In 1912 she entered the Covenant of the Community of St. Mary the Virgin at Wantage, becoming Sister Penelope CSMV (Community of St. Mary the Virgin). Sister Penelope and C. S. Lewis first met when Lewis went to Wantage to address the junior sisters of the community. They became good friends and wrote to one another often.
On August 9, 1939, C. S. Lewis responded to a letter and gift sent by Sister Penelope a few days before. She had sent him a copy of her book, God Persists: a Short Survey of World History in the Light of Christian Faith (1939) and passed along some kind words for Lewis’s own work. For the gift Lewis was grateful. But the note posed a problem. He writes, Continue reading
It was one of the more awkward conversations I’ve had. The guy was training me on a new job. After being together for a few days he said,
“I see you don’t smoke.”
“No, I don’t.”
Do you drink?”
“No, can’t say that I do.”
“I haven’t heard you swear. Don’t you even swear?”
“Well, I try not to.”
Then he said, “You think you’re pretty good, don’t you?” Continue reading
It can be difficult knowing how best to respond to the question, “Are you busy?” Answer “No” and you may find yourself helping far more than you are able. Say “Yes” and you can quickly earn a reputation of not being very kind.
There always seems to be a pushmi-pullyu living between what one has to do and what one might like to do. We want to be helpful, but we also have our own business to attend to. While it’s nice to be generous, give everything away and pretty soon you are depending on the generosity of others. Continue reading
Mark Twain once observed that “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Kindness doesn’t take a lot of effort either. Pausing to let the other speak, holding a door open one second more, slowing down to let the other guy pull out. None of these simple acts will dramatically change your day but they could make a world of difference in the life of another.
After living with the Lewis family for two years as a war refugee, June Flewett left to train as an actress in London. The Lewises were brokenhearted. Warnie wrote in his diary “She is not yet eighteen, but I have met no one of any age further advanced in the Christian way of life.” Kind words indeed!
But C. S. Lewis sent young June off with a book in which he inscribed the following, Continue reading
Few things bring more pleasure than hearing someone talking about someone else “behind their back” and it’s all good. Such a conversation is a pure delight. No one is trying to impress, score points, or influence. They genuinely like the other person and they want you to like him or her as well.
In 1939, young girls began arriving at the Kilns; the home of C. S. Lewis and his family. Refugees were fleeing London and other big cities that could become targets of German air raids. Throughout the war years, girls — and only girls, per order of Mrs. Moore — were sent to live with Mrs. Moore and the Lewis brothers. Continue reading
Some things look better on others. A hat that big, a dress that short, a tie that loud. We would look silly in it, but not them. They actually look good. Some things look better on others.
We seem to feel that way about obedience. Obedience seems to fit other people perfectly. Obedient children are “acting perfectly.” Employees who simply do what they’re told are doing what they were hired to do. When everyone is doing what they are supposed to do, it seems God is in the heavens and all is right with the world. Continue reading
People may seek counseling for some sort of internal issue. They appear to get along with others but they may be addicted to something or harbor negative thoughts about themselves.
Other people seek counseling for relational issues. They tried a number of approaches to “get along” with someone but that someone is unreasonable.
I’ve learned to proceed cautiously. Continue reading
Genesis 2:18 has traditionally been understood as a passage regarding marriage. “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’” Contextually this makes sense. Following this statement God makes woman.
But I would like to come at the passage from a slightly different perspective by pointing out that God does not say it is not good that man should not be married. But that he shouldn’t be alone. Not everyone gets married, but no one should be alone. Continue reading