Friday, January 29, 2021

Close Friends


On a cool September night, two close friends strolled along Addison's Walk next to the River Cherwell.  Their conversation was "spirited" as usual and took them well into the next day.   They frequently didn't agree, but their common interests and deep friendship ensured that their conversations were almost always civil.  Both men were authors, and both were students (and teachers) of ancient myths.  On this evening, Jack proclaimed that "myths are lies".  Tollers replied, "Myths are not lies.  The myths we tell reflect a fragment of the true light."   A couple of weeks later, Jack wrote to another friend: "The story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us the same way as the others, but with the tremendous difference that it actually happened."   Jack gives credit to Tollers for leading him to see the truth of Christ.   The year was 1931, and the two men are more well known as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

C.S. Lewis is the author of the Chronicles of Narnia and some of the most popular Christian Books of all time. I thank God that J.R.R. Tolkien cultivated a friendship that allowed him to share his truth, and I pray that I will have the courage to do the same with others.

Most of the information for this post came from this article.  Also, a non-profit group is trying to buy Tolkien's home where he wrote "Lord of the Rings" so that it can be established as a literary center.  Click here for more.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

My Prayer

Dear God, I am so thankful for the people that you put in my life to protect me, encourage me, teach me and strengthen me.  Generations before me have battled with each other, and with themselves, in an attempt to understand and determine their place in this world.  These battles, both public and private, are the seeds that were planted allowing me to develop into the person I am.  I know that there are those who don't know you.  There are others that feel that they have nothing to give.  Help them to know that each quiet act of dignity is what feeds their soul.  And their souls will never die.  When my children look back on my time on this Earth, what will they say?  What will my legacy be?  I hope they will say that I was willing to share the blessings that I received - that I gave my best to You. 

This is my prayer which was inspired by the song, American Anthem (not The National Anthem), which I listened to for the first time this week.  Listen and watch here, and if you prefer to listen to the original performance by Nora Jones with lyrics, click here.   By the way, I love my country, too, but Gene Scheer did a pretty good job with that one already.

Friday, January 15, 2021


Pete was at school one day and whatever the teacher was talking about had lost his attention - either because he already knew the subject matter, or he just didn't care to know the subject matter.  He started doodling a small caricature on the lower corner of the page his math book was open to.  He turned to the next page and drew a second image just slightly different from the first, and so on, and so on.  He noticed by flipping the pages quickly with his thumb that his character came to life.   He was rather proud of himself.  His teacher, not so much.  When the teacher reported the offense to his parents, Pete expected the worst.  But instead, his parents gave him a pad of post-it notes that you could buy for a nickel and encouraged him to use those instead of his math book.  Pete Docter probably went through quite a few post-it notes when creating his latest Pixar film, "Soul".  Pete had already demonstrated considerable success with his earlier movies, "Monsters Inc", "Up" and "Inside Out". "Soul" explores the vast idea of "what are we here for?" and has received high critical acclaim.   While the movie doesn't answer the question for the viewer, it does provide a great platform to encourage personal thought and discussion with those you care most about.  I was interested to see Pete give credit to his parents and his wife for leading him towards the foundation for his own answer to the question.   "I know some people say Jesus is a great teacher, or whatever. I think there’s something fundamental to the Christian faith that speaks to the core of who we are … That’s what Jesus brings: A personal relationship with God that is really unique. It’s the only sort of religion that I know of that offers that.”  I pray that some other people watching this movie come to the same conclusion.  For more about Pete Docter check out this video or this article where I first learned about him.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Gut Punch

Just as the celebrations for ringing out 2020 were ending, we get punched in the gut by violence, chaos, and death at the Capitol this week.  2020 will be remembered for the year we dealt with COVID-19.   While it's hard to place blame for what started the virus, the attack on the Capitol is nothing but pure evil -  pure evil by those that were there breaking the law and pure evil by anyone in leadership that encouraged or condoned the activity.  I pray that all of us will be able to listen to and attempt to understand the positions of others that are different from our own without anger, attack or vitriol.  There is no question that people will not always think the same.  That will never change.  But I hope each of us becomes a little better at dealing with it.