Monday, January 26, 2009

The Loft

Several people have asked what my apartment looks like. I humbly present... The Loft. Come visit!





Saturday, January 24, 2009

Oswald, A.W. and George

Three great excerpts from three great writer-thinkers:

Our Lord [...] was never suspicious, never bitter, never in despair about any man, because He put God first in trust; He trusted absolutely in what God's grace could do for any man. If I put my trust in human beings first, I will end in despairing of everyone; I will become bitter, because I have insisted on man being what no man can ever be--absolutely right. Never trust anything but the grace of God in yourself or in anyone else.
--Oswald Chambers

What is generally overlooked is that truth as set forth in the Christian Scriptures is a moral thing; it is not addressed to the intellect only, but to the will also. It addresses itself to the total man, and its obligations cannot be discharged by grasping it mentally. Truth engages the citadel of the human heart and is not satisfied until it has conquered everything there. The will must come forth and surrender its sword. It must stand at attention to receive orders, and those orders it must joyfully obey. Short of this any knowledge of Christian truth is inadequate and unavailing.
--A.W. Tozer

There is a great difference between "I wish I were" and "I would like to be." To be content is not to be satisfied. No one ought to be satisfied with the imperfect. It is God's will that we should contentedly bear what He gives us. But at the same time, we can look forward with hope to the redemption of the body.
--George MacDonald's character "Polwarth" in The Curate's Awakening

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight

It's a privilege to participate in blog tours of newly-released books from WaterBrook/Multnomah. When this book was introduced, I leapt at the chance to review it, for two reasons:
1. I have some bad habits that I despise, and I want to be free. (And if you think I'm going to bare my soul with the specifics here, you've got another thing coming.)

2. If there's one thing I love in this fallen world, it's the clever, humorous usage of the English language. The book's title is precisely that--as are the chapter titles (e.g. "What if the Hokey Pokey Really IS What It's All About?").

What I missed in the hurried sign-up process was the subtitle: "52 Amazing Ways to Master the Art of Personal Change." But I figured it out quickly when the book arrived and I began reading: this book was not going to change my bad habits, it was going to tell me how to change them.

Rats! That takes work. And time. And painful honesty with myself. And failure before success. And more work. And lots and lots more time.
OK, I'll admit one (and only one!) of the bad habits I'm aching to change: procrastination.
Yet, here it is, January 4... and the book review was supposed to be posted by January 2. I would laugh at the irony, except I'm too sick of this habit to laugh.

The thing is, I don't procrastinate everything. And I didn't used to be that way...it started in college. And I bet I could change if I really tried. Besides, it's never gotten me in too much trouble, so how bad of a habit can it be?

OK... Rationalizing my mistakes. That's another bad habit I have, I admit. (But seriously, this is the last admission you people are dragging out of me.)

But since it's already obvious, I may as well come to terms with my awful habit of rambling when I write, and using excessive punctuation and sentence fragments. And then there's my addiction to limericks...

I am only on #20 of the 52 Ways to Master the Art of Personal Change (did I mention the habit of reading too slowly?), but I'm ready to recommend it if you, like I, are ready to change. Just get ready to roll your eyes at the author's corny humor along the way. The 52 suggestions Karen Scalf Linamen offers vary from so-simple-I-can't-believe-you're-getting-paid-to-write-that, to agonizingly difficult. I've done a couple and they work. Oh, they don't miraculously make you brush your teeth after every meal like you've always meant to...or stop judging others by appearances...or start praying for God's will and meaning it... but they do get you re-evaluating your habits and beginning the process of change.

Thank you, Mrs. Linamen, for writing the book I need. I just wish you would do the work of changing my habits.

Sigh. Yes, laziness is another bad habit I have...

Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight can be purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1400074002