Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Sunday, April 23, 2023
Christ-like love begins with the vulnerability of forgiveness and may bring suffering because of sin in other people, but that is not the end of our story. Forgiving and loving like Jesus did ends with redemption and resurrection. It is worth the cost of loving.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
1 Peter 2:23
Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Saturday, April 1, 2023
This post is a departure from my "desk calendar" memes, designed to provide an encouraging word each morning to caregivers and others who like a Scripture a day with occasional accompanying thoughts...
I'm thinking this evening about the movies we watch, the books we read, and the electronic games we play.
This week, I heard about a well-written, well-researched book that was an enjoyable read. I checked it out as an audio book and immediately found the author is indeed skilled in making her readers see what she describes; the foreword included a graphic description of a dead body. In the beginning chapters, a violent assault was described in such detail that I felt nauseated. I stopped listening about five minutes in and then thought, "Oh maybe this is just a temporary method of grabbing our attention..." I fast-forwarded at random and found details of yet another assault, of more people dying, and of a man being shot. I was not helped that the narrator of the audio version of this book had a chirpy, young voice, and as she read in first person, sounded unfailingly cheerful at the beginning of each new chapter regardless of the horrors the main character had seen or endured. In my perception, the poor heroine of this story would have been so disabled by PTSD that she would not have been able to speak at all.
The reviews of this book at Amazon are mostly 4 and 5 stars.
The book was well-written and well-researched, but does that excuse the relentless description of disturbing scenes and events? I would have to read the book more carefully than I am willing to do to find out.
I do know that our appetites for entertainment have become gradually benumbed by violence on an escalating scale so that we have grown more tolerant of that which is ugly and frightening. If questioned about a book such as the one I've described here, we might say that we want our literature to be realistic, but media that provides a matter-of-fact description of evil events without a balancing account of God's mercy through those events is not realistic. A desire for realism is no excuse for focusing on what is ugly in the world. If we focus on what is really real, we will have our eyes turned toward Jesus and our hearts set on eternity.
I'm not going to read this book carefully and so I'm not qualified to leave a review, but I can make a recommendation: if you want a good book, I recommend anything by Jan Karon. She handles accounts of sorrow, joy, life, and death backlit by the love and provision of our Lord and Savior.
What we see and hear bears fruit in how we view our world. Every day we have multiple choices to feed either fears or faith. The enemy wants us bound by fear, and so he is liable to be behind things that are disturbing and frightening. We need to be careful what we take into our minds and hearts, and intentional in putting our eyes on the Lord.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:9 NIV