Encouragement

When Feeble Senses Blind

Our backyard is full of trees that seem to burst with life and greenery in the summertime. There is a little cove in the back right corner where the branches seem to envelop two teal lawn chairs and when you sit up there, watching the sun fade behind the house, it’s pure magic. The squirrels and birds dance around in the mornings, often fighting over the many bird feeders provided for their pleasure. It’s a display of breathtaking ordinary beauty, and it’s dying now.

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Encouragement

Keeper of the Books: Why Mundane Work Matters

When you walk into my room, the five shelf book case on the wall across from my doorway is the first thing you’ll see. It used to be organized by color. The blue section was the largest of course, because I feel that blue books are just a wee bit more magical than any other color. (Aren’t all things better in blue?) Over time though, as books have been pulled down and shared with young readers, or I’ve flipped through pages in search of that one quote I loved, the organized beauty has dissipated and left behind are slanted stacks of bookmarked volumes, loose papers of notes, and a coffee mug or two that has gotten left behind during one of my “word search” endeavors. It isn’t a pretty sight. I don’t plan on making it out to be some sort of messy beautiful. Because it isn’t.

It’s just messy. Someone should clean it up.

But while it shouldn’t stay in the condition it is now, there’s something to be said for the disarray.

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Encouragement

Dear Authors, Some Books Take You Home

The breeze blew softly as I sat on the porch and turned the page of captivating novel. Page after page detailed a land I had never set foot on, never seen, never even considered. I saw the rivers come into view, felt the cool wind, and smelled the plants that were entirely foreign to me, save the descriptions I read in this book. Bit by bit, I became familiar with a place I had never laid eyes on, all within roughly four hundred pages of a story. Books have the power to take us on adventures, they capture us entirely and carry us away.

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Encouragement

Are You Glad to Be a Christian?

I suppose Mrs. Allan is too old to dance and sing and of course it wouldn’t be dignified for a minister’s wife. But I can just feel she’s glad to be a Christian and that she’d be one even if she could get to heaven without it.

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables has been my favorite novel, second only to Stepping Heavenward, since I was a little girl. I’ve read it countless times. This spring, I downloaded it on Audible and have been listening to it over the last few weeks. I was standing at the sink one afternoon, scrubbing some dishes after lunch, when Anne met Mrs. Allan, the new minister’s wife. Then Anne described her to Marilla in a way that really captivated me.

But I can just feel she’s glad to be a Christian and that she’d be one even if she could get to heaven without it.

She was glad. Not because of what she got out of being a Christian, just because she was one. She was His. The thought prompted the question that would logically follow.

Am I glad to be a Christian?

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Encouragement

Resolved: He Will Hold Me Fast

Oh, how I love New Years Eve. I always have, and as I’ve gotten older, I have begun to understand why. I like fresh starts, I like getting organized, I like new beginnings, and new days with “no mistakes in them…yet.” (Cool people will picture their favorite Canadian red-head right about now.) What better time for all of those than the beginning of a brand new year?

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Encouragement

Longfellow Revisited: A Gospel Poem for Christmas

Douglas Bond, author of several historical fiction novels, recently hosted a contest where one had to write a stanza that matched the syntax and style of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, and captured the essence of how the Gospel proves that “wrong shall fail and right prevail.”

The following is a poem that was born during this contest, when I began to ponder the depths of the Gospel, and how Christmas is far more than the birth of Jesus, it is the coming of lasting hope, the promise of peace, and the gift of redemption. Many thanks to Bond and Longfellow, for their work, and for turning my eyes back to the Savior this Christmas.

The final stanza is from Longfellow’s original work. Merry Christmas, dear friends.

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Encouragement

Perfection… In Every Act: Reflections from Another Year of Life

“You may not understand why He leads you now in this way and now in that, but you may, nay, you must believe that perfection is stamped on His every act.”

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

I remember one year ago, waking up on my eighteenth birthday. I crept downstairs in the dark early hours, made a cup of coffee, wrapped myself in my Charlie Brown blanket, and sat on the couch where I could sit and stare at the Christmas tree. I took my glasses off, because my favorite way to look at Christmas lights is when my vision is unaided, and my near sightedness takes control, blurring the colors into a magnificent display of light and wonder. Then I just sat. And stared. And dreamed.

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Encouragement

When We’re Old Enough, Again

My Dear Lucy,

I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound, you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can take it down then from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand, a word you say, but I shall still be

                                   Your affectionate Godfather,

C. S. Lewis

Do you remember being six years old, and dreaming of the day when you would be old enough?
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