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Books? Don’t Miss THE Classic!

14 Nov

A friend likes to send me (Dawn) text messages humor. A recent one was:  “Scientists R trying 2 figure out how long a person can live w/o a brain. Please tell them UR age.” (Hey!)

And here’s another:  “I’ve used up all my sick days. Do U think I can call N dead?”

I love texting. I use it all the time with my friends and family … especially my granddaughter, Megan. She’s always texting me funny things … like a picture of a crocodile for her school “Egypt project.” [She’s an animal lover, and she made up an Egyptian city called “Crocodopilis.”]  That led to a silly conversation: “See ya later, Alligator”… “After while, Crocodile.” Then I called her “GeckoGirl” and she responded with “Gramdragon.” Weird conversation, but fun.

Pam Farrel and I wrote about texting with a positive outlook in our book, LOL with God.

Yet according to a Nielsen survey, reported in Newsweek, “Americans between the ages of 13 and 17 send and receive an average of 3,339 texts per month. Teenage girls send and receive more than 4,000.” (1) Wow! That’s texting on overload! And I’ve noticed that texting is starting younger and younger!

There is nothing wrong with texting as long as we discipline our time with it ~ the same as with Facebook, Twitter, and all social media technologies.  But aside from the time management issue, one of the related problems to texting is narrowed perspective, and that should concern teachers and parents. Many people simply aren’t reading anything of “substance” anymore.

Niall Ferguson, author of the article “Texting Makes Us Stupid,” examined this problem when he wrote, “The good news is that today’s teenagers are avid readers and prolific writers. The bad news is that what they are reading and writing are text messages.” (2)

There’s an element of truth there, but I believe it’s not the text messaging, per se, that makes us “stupid.” It’s the failure to seek out and read meaningful works of literature … or even a good newspaper! And it’s the failure of parents to insist on and plan creatively for positive interaction with good literature.

Some months ago, Pam asked on Facebook what books (from the classics) women remembered reading in high school and college.

It was fun looking at those old titles, and remembering what it felt like to discover the works of famous classic authors. I thought it might be interesting to look at some lists of “must read” books from days gone by. Here are just a FEW of the classics Continue reading

Stay Sharp for Your Battles

20 Jul

Bill Carlson, our friend on Facebook, is such a comedian. He loves all women in Jesus, but he does love to tell an occasional clean blonde joke. He recently shared this one on Facebook:

Two blondes were sipping their Starbucks when a truck went past loaded up with rolls of sod.

“I’m going to do that when I win the lottery,” announced Blonde #1.

“Do what?” asked Blonde #2.

“Send my lawn out to be mowed.”

“Pastor Tim” at tells another story about a woman and a lawn mower:

“I was trying to mow the lawn before my husband got home from work,” a woman said, “but our electric lawn mower refused to cooperate. It would run fine for a few seconds, then cut off, run again, cut off. Finally, I gave up and waited for my husband.

“He had a good laugh when he diagnosed the problem. Instead of plugging in the mower using a three-prong adapter, I had hooked up the cord through the Christmas-tree light blinker.” (1)

Old Lawn MowerI (Dawn) love to watch my husband try to crank up our old lawn mower. He pulls the starter cord over and over and over again. He stops and wipes his brow. He repeats this process several times. Finally, the mower starts purring (or growling, actually). One good thing about that mower is that it still cuts grass like a champ.

Not at all like my Grandpa’s old push mower. That mower must have had the world’s dullest blades! Not only did it glide over the overgrowth of weeds in the yard without cutting them, that lawn mower hardly snipped the tips of the grass.

A lawn mower with dull blades is just about useless.

Not unlike a Christian with a weak “sword.”

The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17b). As part of the armor of the believer, it is Sword of the Spirit _ Biblepotentially powerful in spiritual warfare. But many Christians ~ by lack of use or not caring to “sharpen” this powerful tool in their hands ~ aren’t very effective in cutting down the “overgrowth” of sin.

We are in a real battle today for souls. We are in a war against those things in the world and culture that want to destroy us. And we can’t fight the powers of darkness with a dull sword.

Remember, it is the Sword of the Spirit. He gives the sword its cutting edge; and the Word cuts deep and discerns the intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). The Spirit will teach us how to use the scriptures, too.

It is our sword when we learn to use it.  It’s not enough to simply read the Word, although that’s a good start. We need to study it, meditate on it, memorize it, and use it. We need to stay “sharp” … a ready tool for God to use. We need to learn discernment ~ how to apply the Word’s wisdom (perspective) to everyday circumstances. We need to know how to “wield” it to lead others to Christ.

So we must pick up our swords with purpose every day, because God is calling us to stand for Him. Knowledge and wise use of the Word of God is power! STAY SHARP for your battles!


The ‘Stuff’ of Eternity

30 Apr

A woman’s husband died. He had $20,000 to his name.

After paying all the funeral expenses, she told her closest friend that there was no money left.

The friend asked, “How can that be? You told me he had $20,000 a few days before he died. How could you be broke?”

Grandma's Checkbook

Grandma's Checkbook

The widow replied, “Well, the funeral cost me $6,500. And of course, I had to make the obligatory donation to the church, pay the organist and all. That was $500, and I spent another $500 for the wake, the food and drinks, you know.

“The rest went for the memorial stone.”

The friend asked, “$12,500 for the memorial stone? Wow! How big was it?”

The widow replied with a smile:

                              “Three carats.” *

When I (Dawn) was a senior year in high school, I was a character actress with the “Hurrah Players”.

My favorite play was the wacky Kaufman and Hart comedy,  “You Can’t Take It with You,” a play about the choices we make in life. I played the part of the eccentric-but-happy former Russian Grand Duchess, Olga Katrina. About the only line I can remember is, “That manager. He doesn’t like me. He’s a Communist.”

But wise Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff had more memorable lines;  “Maybe it’ll stop you trying to be so desperate about making more money than you can ever use?,” he said. “You can’t take it with you, Mr. Kirby. So what good is it? As near as I can see, the only thing you can take with you is the love of your friends.”

Grandpa had it right. You can’t take money with you. You also can’t take your house or your prized possessions or your fancy wardrobe or your hobbies or …. you name it. As I’ve heard many times since I became a Christ-follower, “There are only two things that go into eternity… the Word of God and people.”

If we’re not careful about our focus, Continue reading

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