Tag Archives: God

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April Poetry Dare | Day 18: “What Hard Travail” by Wendell Berry

April is National Poetry Month, to celebrate, Tweetspeak is offering a Poetry Dare, in which participants are asked to read a poem a day for the month of April. Post daily to your blog or favorite social media platform what poem you read. You can find poems at websites like Poetry Foundation, or in books like One Hundred and One Famous Poems.

Today I read:

“What Hard Travail” by Wendell Berry

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Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This seventh and final book of the Harry Potter series is both the best and the worst. It is the worst because you have come to love the characters in the story and now that relationship ends. It is the best for a few reasons. First, it is the most mature of Rowling’s writing, which may be because she is writing for the maturest audience–seventeen year olds–but may also be because she has just gotten better over the course of seven books.

Second, you learn a little something about humans and life. In the end, Harry discovers that Severus had always been on his side–something Dumbledore tried to assure him, but Harry doubted. We learn that we can’t always assume we understand why people do the things they do. Every interpretation of Snape’s actions by Harry was wrong. They both hated each other because they both misread each other. Snape’s dislike of Harry and Harry’s dislike of Snape both fed the other’s misperceptions and their own.

Finally, you learn a little something about humans and God. Dumbledore, I have argued, was a type of God the Father in this story. He reveals to Harry only what Harry needs to know, and leaves much for Harry to discover. Throughout most of the story, Harry is angry and upset with Dumbledore for what he hasn’t told him. Dumbledore, however, turns out to have been very wise in limiting Harry’s knowledge. How often do we find ourselves upset or impatient with God because He isn’t telling us everything we think we need to know. Often, though, in the end, we find that trusting in God gets us exactly where we need to be. This and the above are all things we can learn–among many others–from Harry and his friends.

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Review: Something Beautiful for God

Something Beautiful for GodSomething Beautiful for God by Malcolm Muggeridge

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great book. Malcolm Muggeridge is a great writer. He writes very well, and his insights gained through his relationship with Mother Teresa are exceptional. What was most interesting about this book was that I felt as though I had both gotten to Mother Teresa better and also Malcolm Muggeridge better.

At one point, I even imagined my daughter going to Calcutta!

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Review: The Search For God And Guinness: A Biography Of The Beer That Changed The World

The Search For God And Guinness: A Biography Of The Beer That Changed The WorldThe Search For God And Guinness: A Biography Of The Beer That Changed The World by Stephen Mansfield

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book on the flight over to Ireland for my vacation in March. It is a very easy read, engaging and fun.

Mansfield tells a lot of interesting stories about the Guinness family and their devotion to God. He tells about the brewers, the bankers, and the preachers–and he is careful to show that they weren’t one group of Guinnesses that loved God while the others loved beer or money; all three branches served God in one way or another and at one time or another.

Reading the book reminded me why I love Guinness and gave me more reasons to love it. It also gave me a context for the city of Dublin–which city I would be in when my flight landed–that made my vacation all the more interesting.

I think I would have enjoyed it just as much all the same, but it was neat to follow the reading of this book with a trip through Ireland. Mansfield also added to the interest of the book by comparing the Guinness family and its practices to our own business culture today, with some nice takeaways.

That being said, the Guinness family is a family worth loving and admiring, as the book makes very clear.

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C.S. Lewis: Nation-Building

That is the key to history. Terrific energy is expended–civilisations are built up–excellent institutions devised; but each time something goes wrong. Some fatal flaw always brings the selfish and cruel people to the top and it all slides back into misery and ruin. In fact, the machine conks. It seems to start up all right and runs a few yards, and then it breaks down. They are trying to run it on the wrong juice. That is what Satan has done to us humans.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Is this the problem with America? Did we expend terrific energy to build up a civilization on the wrong juice? For Lewis, the right to juice is to build a civilization dependent on God. Any civilization built on the wrong juice will fail–the selfish and cruel people will be at the top and it will slide into misery and ruin. Is that our problem?

God’s Green Earth

“The eart has intrinsic value–that is to say, it is valued by God, who is the source of all value. God values the earth because he made it and owns it. It is not enough merely to say that the earth is valuable to us. Accordingly, we need to be careful to locate an ecological dimension of mission not primarily in the need-supplying value of the earth to us, but in the glory-giving value of the earth to God.”

Christopher J.H. Wright, “Mission and God’s Earth”