Day-at-a-glance wisdom

Several years ago I found some books by Christy Barritt. The first series I read was called Squeaky Clean Mysteries. They are the perfect mix of suspense and hilarity. Barritt has written a handful of other series; her most recent is the Lantern Beach series. These books follow Seattle detective Cady Matthews who is forced off the grid. There is a price on her head from her undercover work. She killed a drug lord. His followers are out for revenge so she has to disappear.

She disappears to a small town in North Carolina where she takes on Cassidy Livingston for a name and owning an ice cream truck for an occupation. Cassidy has a complicated and sad past, one that doesn’t get less so with a new identity or residence. One of the few ties she has to life in Seattle and life before going undercover is a day-at-a-glance calendar from her deceased best friend. When Cassidy needs to bear up her resolve, she takes note of the day’s conventional wisdom and clings to it.

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Grammar for the People: punctuation I

Grammar for the People2We have determined that it only takes two seconds to capitalize letters at the start of each typed sentence. Adding punctuation to the end of each sentence also only takes two seconds to do. Here are the options you have to perfectly punctuate your writing and reform your lazy ways.

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The Saint’s Happiness

Jacob and I started reading The Saint’s Happiness by Richard Sibbes when we got home from our honeymoon. I was afraid it would be a Puritan tome in archaic English. I was dead wrong. The Saint’s Happiness was a quick read, the English wasn’t so old, and the content was pure gold. I even read it again after we finished.

Considering the book’s title in isolation makes it sound much like a self-help book, a guide to the happiness you desire. You could take it as such, I suppose, but Sibbes knows that God is our only help and the only one who makes the way for happiness. Any happiness is only found in knowing God and being near him.

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Grammar for the People: capital letters

Grammar for the People2In the last six weeks, I finished my summer school teaching gig, got married, and moved to Texas. I’ve thought a lot about my former students during this transition, and at the strangest times I think of new and better ways to teach various first-grade skills. This, combined with the great societal need for a renewed understanding of how to use grammar, was the inspiration behind a new series.

Grammar for the People aims to straighten out some of our modern misunderstandings about grammar and help those who want to write correctly, even when no one else bothers to.

It is important to use grammar correctly because it is the set of rules that guides the understanding and interpretation of written language. We are past the “age of technology” excuse for our lazy writing. Technology is now the norm and without anyone heeding the rules of written language, subjectivity is beginning a furious reign.

We need the objectivity of the rules of language to know how to read and understand what words mean in the way they are used within their sentences and paragraphs. This is especially true regarding reading the Bible and guarding the truth. So here goes Grammar for the People: capital letters.

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Lay your hand upon me

The weeks leading up to spring break are harried for teachers. Third-quarter grades are due, parent conferences need to happen, regular teaching must go on, and everyone is desperate for the break’s arrival. 

harriedWhen the days seem short and the weeks long, it is easy to feel that nothing will be done on time and that everything is out of control. Well, everything is out of my control, but I know the one who is in control. So as I counted down the weeks to the break, I turned my thoughts to consider God’s sovereignty. God’s sovereignty (or his supreme power and rule) is not limited to the ability to make something happen or keep something from happening. While that is certainly part of it, it is only a part of it. We are known and kept by God Most High more intimately than that.

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A firm foundation

It was a cold and rainy day—the kind where rain boots are the only sufficient footwear and a Starbucks cup is an indispensable accessory. So with my rain boots on my feet and a latte in my hand, I headed to my car. It was one of the rare days I decided to listen to the radio while driving. My iPod is usually plugged in but this day was different. It was Christmas break, freezing cold in Florida, and raining in January. It was a classic winter day; so far from the norm that it was fitting to listen to the radio for a change.

While I was backing out of my spot, I paused and strained my ear toward the absurd clip of a message littered with vocalized pauses that I was hearing on Christian radio.

James MacDonald—pastor, author, and radio speaker—was in the middle of telling his audience to look at God’s resume to prove his character. He suggested taking a minute to “interview God” to see how he was worthy of the task set before him.

My ears started to bleed. I punched the radio button to stop it and I reversed and sped away, as though driving away could put physical distance between myself and the ridiculous scrap I just heard.

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Rescue

As you read the Bible, you see that the lives of the saints who have gone before were shaped or marked by some sort of affliction and suffering. Job is possibly the most prominent name associated with suffering, but he is certainly not the only one who suffered. Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, David, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Daniel, Paul, Peter and plenty others are on that list.

King David, who is equally as well known, though for different reasons, also lived a life full of challenges and affliction. Some came from being a soldier; some came from being a king; some came just from being human. The psalms that David penned are both a cry for help and comfort and a record of God’s faithfulness and love as he experienced them. These two themes are tightly woven into Psalm 119, making it clear where David sought his comfort and strength.  In Psalm 119:50, 51, David says, “Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.”

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