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Showing posts from March, 2005

March Reading List

Here are some of the books I've consumed over the last month (in random order)

Sin & Syntax by Constance Hale. My wife thinks I'm strange for reading books on grammar and syntax before bed, instead of watching "Blind Justice" This is an excellent book. It is fun to read and full of practical ideas to make your writing sparkle.

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. If you are into that "Zen" thing, then Goldberg's writing guide may provide a brief flash of enlightenment. Her chapters are mostly recapitulations on her main theme: To be a writer, one needs to write. I used some of her exercises in my sermon writing and found pleasant results.

You Don't Know Me by David Klass. I picked this up at Borders while my family and I waited in line at a Mary Pope Osborne book signing. The book captivated me, and I had to finish it that night at home. I love how Klass' sentence structure and word choices change from bouyant to terse, depending on the …

"Into Your Hands I Commit My Spirit" -- Luke 23:46

Even though we now celebrate the season of resurrection, I thought I would share my reflections from last week's Trumbull Interfaith Committee's Good Friday Service. I was assigned Jesus' final word from the cross: Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.

It is the very end, the end of the ordeal, the end of the suffering. Jesus dies alone on the cross, tortured, exhausted, abandoned by his friends, forsaken by God, gasping for a last breath and gathering strength for one final cry. (1) Jesus dies with the words of Psalm 31 on his lips. However, he only quotes half the verse. In a loud voice Jesus says, “Into your hands I commit my spirit,” but he doesn’t say the second half of the verse: “Redeem me O Lord, God of truth.” The writer of Psalm 31 prays for deliverance from enemies, saying, “You, Lord, are God of the covenant. I trust you. Come, keep your promises, and rescue me.” Does Jesus have this in mind as speaks his final words?

We like to disinfect death. Go to a fun…

God's Total Body Workout -- Hands & Knees

Mount Katahdin is the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Seeing it might make you reconsider the old saying that all mountains in the East are just foothills in comparison to those in the West. Mount Katahdin is the most difficult non-technical climb in the East, and many of the trails have a tendency to go straight up. The most spectacular route involves taking the mile-long Knife Edge, which combines 2,000 foot drops on either side of the trail. It's definitely not a trail to get caught on in bad weather.

Our boy scout group chose a beautiful day to backpack to the summit of Katahdin. At the foot of the mountain flowers were beginning to bloom and a warm gentle breeze filled us with confidence as we went to tackle the Knife Edge. The trail that meandered through the pine forest eventually gave way to gravelly climbs on steeper slopes. However, once we got past the tree line, it seemed as if the mountain’s fury was not going to let us pass. We put on our raincoats and con…

God's Total Body Workout -- The Tongue

In his book The Way of the Heart, The late Henri Nouwen writes about our word-rich society.

Wherever we go we are surrounded by words: word softly whispered, loudly proclaimed or angrily screamed; words spoken, recited, or sung; words on records, in books, on walls, or in the sky; words to be heard, read, seen, or glanced at; words which flicker off and on, move slowly, dance, jump, or wiggle. Words, words, words! They form the floor, the walls, and the ceiling of our existence (45).Our whole society depends upon words to convey thoughts, ideas and feelings. In our culture we are brought up thinking words are just harmless sounds. We teach our children to chant: Sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me. However, in the minds of the ancient Bible writers, words have power. Words create, heal and save. Words inspire. Words curse and judge. Our words have the power to show love, or hate and indifference.

What does The Bible’s Total Body Workout say about our tongues…
God's put a new song in my heart.

God's Total Body Workout -- The Feet

Here are some of my favorite bumper stickers:
· Your kid may be an honors student, but you’re still an idiot.
· I brake for no apparent reason.
· Forget about World Peace. Visualize using your turn signal.
· He who laughs last, thinks slowest.
· Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.
· Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
· I love cats...they taste just like chicken.
· The more people I meet, the more I like my dog.
· Sometimes I wake up grumpy; other times I let him sleep.
· Work is for people who don’t know how to fish.
· Hard work pays off in the future. But laziness pays off right now.
· It’s lonely at the top, but you eat better.
· Always remember you’re unique, just like everyone else.
· There are 3 kinds of people: those who can count & those who can’t.
· Why is “abbreviation” such a long word?
· Ever stop to think and forget to start again?

Some bumper stickers are funny, some are informative, some make you think, others make you mad. In any case they can be a reflec…
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