Sunday, December 21, 2014

God is not dead in Gotham

Cheer up, you’re worse than you think,” Rev. Timothy Keller says with a smile. He’s explaining that humans are more weak, more fallen, more warped than they “ever dare admit or even believe.” Then comes the good news: At the same time people are “more loved in Christ and more accepted than they could ever imagine or hope.” Many Millennial Christians in NYC attend his Presbyterian church--and respond to his message. “Every other religion has a founder that says: ‘I’ll show you the way to God. Only Christianity of all the major world religions has a founder that says: ‘I’m God, come to find you.’

My little book group that met at Panera’s a few years ago used his book,

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism   -     By: Timothy Keller

And it is outstanding.  Maybe I’ll reread it.

Part 1: The Leap of Doubt There Can't Be Just One True Religion How Could a Good God Allow Suffering? Christianity is a Straitjacket The Church is Responsible for So Much Injustice How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell? Science Has Disproved Christianity You Can't Take the Bible Literally Part 2: The Reasons for Faith The Clues of God The Knowledge of God The Problem of Sin Religion and the Gospel The (True) Story of the Cross The Reality of the Resurrection The Dance of God

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Standing in the need of prayer

Our church library had a give-away this week. I picked up one I'd reviewed for the newsletter years ago, "Praying for the world's 365 most influential people." Some were Christians, but most were celebrities, athletes, politicians, movers and shakers caught up in their own power and influence, and since the copyright is 1999, many are dead or forgotten or now powerless.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler

After the Women's Club book sale at Lakeside Chautauqua a few weeks ago, I tucked the bag of books under the wicker on the porch. Friday while waiting for our guests, I poked around in the bag and found Anne Tyler's Noah's Compass. I didn't remember buying it, but there it was. Although I was in the middle of two other novels, this one held my interest and I finished it quickly.

“At 61, Liam has lost his job “teaching fifth grade in a second-rate private boys’ school,” an embarrassment he accepts with the informed stoicism of someone who completed all but his dissertation for a doctorate in philosophy. Now he can settle into retirement in a smaller, cheaper apartment on the outskirts of Baltimore, the city Tyler owns as a novelist, so faithfully does she return to its setting. But before Liam has spent even one night in what he expects will be his “final dwelling place,” a would-be burglar comes through the back door Liam failed to lock.

The next thing Liam knows, he’s in a hospital bed, his head bandaged, with no idea of how he came to be there. The burglar may not have made off with any of Liam’s material possessions, but he hit him hard enough to obliterate a few hours’ worth of his memory, and it is this loss — rather than that of a teaching position he didn’t much like — that serves as a catalyst for all that follows. Neither his ex-wife nor his three daughters, who consider Liam so obtuse they call him Mr. Magoo, understand his growing fixation on retrieving what he can’t remember, especially as it was, presumably, traumatic. But as Liam understands it, “his true self had gone away from him and had a crucial experience without him and failed to come back afterward.”” NYT review

Joann gives it 5 stars: “I love the way Tyler takes everyday happenings and makes the reader realize that nothing is really insignificant, that everything has meaning or value. While reading the book, you hardly realize the layers of character development that she has woven into the story. Her observations of the human condition are always so on-target, but she never makes judgments about what she sees.”

Monday, August 18, 2014

Complete guide to walking

I had my gate pass with me this morning, so I turned and walked outside the 2nd street gate at Oak Ave., and browsed around the neatly kept neighborhood.  I walked past a man sitting on a park bench, with his right arm in a sling, typing on his laptop computer.  “I bet you’re right handed,” I said as I walked by.  “You’ve got that right,” he said, going back to his one finger typing.

I looked at the lake for awhile then turned south on Park Avenue;.very nice new homes (about 10 years old) on that street.  Then I passed a “little free library.”  Take a book, return a book.  I’d seen them on the internet but had never actually stopped to look and borrow.  It had about 12 books behind a glass door, well protected from the elements.


This one is from Pinterest—I didn’t have my camera with me. But it was very simple.

I selected, The complete guide to walking for health, weight loss and fitness.  With bursitis and asthma, my walking days are probably numbered, but I thought I’d take a look.  Can’t resist a library. There were actually some pretty nice books—I saw C.S. Lewis and John Grisham, and a few others.  Lakeside has two volunteer libraries, one at the Methodist Church and one at the Women’s Club, plus there is one in Marblehead. We also have a nice bookstore with both new and used books. And of course, yard sales, like the one where I bought the 1934 Reader’s Digest.

complete guide to walking

"Mark Fenton strides right past all the fad-and-gimmick fitness books with practical, no-nonsense advice to help people of all ages, sizes and shapes start and stick with exercise."--Miriam E. Nelson, PhD., Director of the Center for Physical Fitness, Tufts University School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and author of Strong Women, Strong Bones

"Mark Fenton is the master at helping people get the most from walking. His new book provides a highly motivating, step-by-step plan to take you as far as you want to go--from beginner to race-walk marathoner. Even I gained a wealth of new insights about the science and practical application of walking for better fitness." --Kathy Smith, author of Kathy Smith's Lift Weights to Lose Weight

"Having competed in walking races all around the world, it took having a baby and adding a couple of notches to my belt for me to realize the full value of Mark Fenton's structured approach to developing and maintaining a healthy daily walking program." --Carl Schueler, four-time Olympic race-walker (Amazon reviews)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Young Women of Faith Bible


Recently I received a copy of Zonderkidz’ Bible, “Young Women of Faith Bible” to review (c 2001, 2013 For this task, I consulted the three grandmothers in our UALC Bible study group. I’m a little out of touch with the niche market of middle school and high school. They loved it! They all thought any young girl or woman would really enjoy the pink illustrations—hearts, butterflies, flowers--the excellent, informative side bars, the use of a journal for personal thoughts, and explanations. It features weekly Bible studies, memory verses and challenges, and “if I were there” questions, as well as the Biblical notes and journal suggestions. And it has what I would have enjoyed at the target age, a topical index and Biblical maps in color. If you already use Zondervan’s “Women of Faith Study Bible,” this Bible coordinates with it. The general editor is Susie Shellenberger, a Christian speaker who has written fifty-two books, and lives in Bethany, Oklahoma with her two mini Schnauzers Obie and Amos. Susie is a former youth pastor, high school teacher, and editor. She loves a lot of color with her Scripture.