Monday, November 30, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Posted by Judy Callarman, Scrabble Has-Been at 9:00 PM
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Here are some great Christian books that I've read:
- The Bible
- Bread for the Journey--Henri Nouwen, or anything by Nouwen
- Fearless: Imagine Your Life without Fear, or anything by Max Lucado
- Life of the Beloved--Henri Nouwen
- Mere Christianity--C.S. Lewis, or anything by Lewis
- Rumors of Another World--Philip Yancy, or anything by Yancy
- Same Kind of Different as Me--Ron Hall
- The Irresistible Revolution--Shane Claiborne
- My Utmost for His Highest—Oswald Chambers
- Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt and Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana--Anne Rice, and NOT just anything by Rice! I have Called Out of Darkness by Rice, the story of how she came to the decision to follow Christ, to read soon.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
You can't read and drive at the same time. Well, you could, I suppose, but you might run into a bridge or something worse. I like to listen to audio books as I drive--makes the driving more interesting. I confess that I am an intense bookworm, even the audio kind. Reading is the best entertainment of the world, and listening to books is an excellent substitute.
That’s usually true. However, a recent one I heard was Emma, an unabridged (every last word) Victorian novel by Jane Austen. This book was almost interminable, as the characters conversed on and on about every possible subject, not many of much consequence, mostly relationships. One day as I was agonizing with Emma and her friend Harriet, I thought, This would make a good play, but as a book, it is hard to take. But I was determined, so I gritted my teeth and stayed with it to the long-suffering, happily-ever-after end.
Then I rented the movie, and it was delightful. I was right about it making a good play. Gwyneth Paltrow was perfect in the role of Emma. It was considerably abridged. I even cried at the end.
After that one, I checked out the audio book of Pride and Prejudice, another novel by Jane Austen. Why did I do that? I still don’t know. But after one fifty-mile trip with it, I couldn’t take it any more, and I returned it to the library. I will rent the movie.
I generally love huge, long novels. Last year, when I was going on a three-hundred-mile trip, I bought the unabridged audio version of Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. It had over twenty CDs, and I was completely engrossed in that story. I adored Gone with the Wind and Les Miserables and the Mark of the Lion series of three long novels. James Michener’s 900-page The Source and John Irving’s gigantic A Prayer for Owen Meany held me enchanted.
But Emma. Please….no!
The picture was borrowed from Life magazine: http://images.google.com/hosted/life/
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Rosie* is a ball of raw emotion. She reacts too quickly in anger when her supervisor at work asks her questions that, to most people, would not be seen as threatening. The extreme feelings she has about current situations in her life overwhelm her. She thinks about what someone did or said until it becomes different and hurtful, in her mind. She cries easily and says things she doesn’t mean; she has diarrhea.
Stress is a health-wrecker--frustration, worrying, fretting, being obsessive. And besides that, it makes life chaotic and hellish. Here are some telling statistics, according to this linked article on Web MD:
Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
Seventy-five to 90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, or arthritis in addition to depression and anxiety.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace. Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually.
The lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than 50%, often due to chronic, untreated stress reactions.
I hope Rosie will be able to find peace. Many people search for it today and don’t find it. Where can you find it? The answer is simple, and maybe that’s why some distrust it, but it is true. Deep, lasting, inner-core quietness is found by trusting in God and looking to him for that peace. A sense of calm fulfillment is possible--IS possible--and this is an absolute truth.
In the Old Testament, Isaiah says if we trust in God, his peace will fill us:
You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3, NIV)
In the New Testament, Jesus beckons to the stressed, the tired, the overwhelmed:
28If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. 29Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. 30This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light. (Matthew 11, CEV)
The Message translation says it another way:
28-30"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
That's my prayer for peace.
That's my prayer for peace.
*This is not really her name; she’s a composite of several stressed-out people I know.