Writing the best version of yourself

Writing the Best Version of Yourself

"Is there a way in which all of us are fictional characters, parented by life and written by ourselves?" asks James Wood in his book How Fiction Works. I read Wood's book several years ago now but remain fascinated by that thought -- particularly the notion that we in some sense write our own lives.There are external forces that shape us; we are "parented by life," as Wood says. But we should never lose sight of the internal forces at work; our lives are also "written by ourselves." It's … [Read more...]

The business of prayer

The Business of Prayer

It's easy to delay prayer as we brace for the daily grind, and easier still to forget about it as we wade through the tumult of the day. But what if we thought of prayer as our first and most important job?In his book The Ladder of Divine Ascent, John Climacus refers to prayer as the work of angels. Christians are invited to join in this labor as part of our walk with Christ.I think there's merit to linking words like work and labor to the subject of prayer. The word liturgy in fact … [Read more...]

Celebrating faithful mothers

Celebrating Mothers

The most obvious thing to do with mothers is to celebrate them.I watch my Megan day in and out striving to raise, nurture, encourage, protect, correct, and prepare our kids. It's a humbling thing to behold. When I say that I couldn't do it, I say the obvious. When I say that she does, I speak of the miraculous.God has a special concern for mothers, something apparent in both the Bible and the memory of the church, which tell the story of so many noteworthy mothers. Just start with the … [Read more...]

How to wreck your life

How to wreck your life

If you’re looking to get off on the wrong foot this week, start with ingratitude. It’s easy, really. Everything we have is a gift from God. The trick to ingratitude is to be unthankful for it. The job, the spouse, the bills, the house, the kids, the coworkers, the car—all you have to do is grumble and complain about them.If you’re new to this little trick, don’t overdo it. Start with little gripes about small disturbances. But if you’re well practiced, you might as well jump into one of the m … [Read more...]

Are you making progress?

Are you making progress?

What does the perfect Christian life look like? When asked the question by a friend, Gregory of Nyssa said it looked like perpetual progress toward God, a thought stemming from Christ's statement that Christians are to be perfect like God is perfect.This is tricky business. Perfection is easy if we're talking about the length of a yard or the number ten, things that have attainable, comprehensible limits. But what if there is no spatial or conceptual boundary? Exactly how long is virtue, … [Read more...]


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