Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My Favorite Movies Inspired by Books

- Persuasion (the 1971 version)
While yes, at times this screams of the 70s, I love Ann Fairbanks depiction of Anne Elliot. She's just the way I imagine Anne actually would be.

- Emma
There are two versions that I like. There's the 1996 version with Gwenyth Paltrow, and there's the TV mini-series with Romola Garai. Both are excellent renditions. Both have their pros and cons.

- Pride and Prejudice
Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth - enough said

- Bleak House
While Gillian Anderson isn't the main lead in this production, this is worth watching just to see her amazing performance.

- Wives and Daughters
Justine Waddell pulls off a brilliant performance in the role of Molly Gibson.

- North and South
The parson's daughter meets the cotton mill owner. Watch the sparks fly and the love between them develop. Think of this as Lizzy and Darcy meet the Industrial Revolution. As a bonus, the music is hauntingly beautiful.

- Little Women
Louisa May Alcott's book comes to life with this charming adaptation.

- Anne of Green Gables
Relive Anne's hopes and dreams and struggles with this classic rendition.


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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Still, My Soul Be Still

Still my soul be still
And do not fear
Though winds of change may rage tomorrow
God is at your side
No longer dread
The fires of unexpected sorrow

God You are my God
And I will trust in You and not be shaken
Lord of peace renew
A steadfast spirit within me
To rest in You alone

Still my soul be still
Do not be moved
By lesser lights and fleeting shadows
Hold onto His ways
With shield of faith
Against temptations flaming arrows

Still my soul be still
Do not forsake
The Truth you learned in the beginning
Wait upon the Lord
And hope will rise
As stars appear when day is dimming


Still, My Soul be Still, words and music by Keith & Kristyn Getty & Stuart Townend

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Free in Christ

"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1, ESV)

Free from the law. Free from trying to earn God's favor. Free from chasing an impossible standard. Free from the guilt of failure.

I know no good thing is in me. And yet I can still boldly approach the throne of God, for by His grace I am free. I am free -- not to follow after my own selfish pursuits -- but I am free to live a life that pleases God. It will be imperfect, for I am imperfect, but my God regards me through the lens of Christ's perfection.

I am free to live life abundantly, to experience as close as I can this side of eternity fellowship with God.

"Loved with everlasting love,
Led by grace that love to know;
Gracious Spirit from above,
Thou hast taught me it is so!
Oh, this full and perfect peace!
Oh, this transport all divine!
In a love which cannot cease,
I am His, and He is mine."
- I Am His, and He Is Mine

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Tuesday, February 03, 2015

My Favorite Smells

Here's a list of my favorite smells:
- libraries
- new books
- old books
- The Body Shop's White Musk
- fresh coffee / coffee shops
- wisteria
- lilacs
- yellow roses
- fresh rain
- the smell in the air just before it snows
- charcoal fires
- wood fires
- cinnamon (not in overdrive)
- nutmeg

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Jerry Bridges on God's Grace

"Do you begin to get the picture? Are you realizing that God's forgiveness is complete and irreversible? Have you started to understand that regardless of how 'bad' you've been or how many times you've committed the same sin, God completely and freely forgives you because of Christ? Do you see that, because God has already dealt with your sins in Christ, you do not have to do penance or fulfill some probationary term before God can bless you or use you again?"

Jerry Bridges. Transforming Grace: Living Confidently in God's Unfailing Love (page 46). Kindle Edition.


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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Where Two or Three Are Gathered

"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them." (Matthew 18:20, ESV)

I have read this verse countless times. And yet, recently I was struck with something I had never thought about before. Two or three people is not a very large group. In fact, most people would hardly consider it a group at all. As an introvert who frequently is overwhelmed by being around large groups of people for an extended period, the smallness of number of people that Christ is referencing brought great comfort.

He doesn't say, "where two or three thousand are gathered." He simply says, "where two or three." That means that if I'm meeting with a friend for coffee and we are focusing on encouraging each other in Christ, then He is there. That means the smallest of house churches knows that He is there. That means the small band of persecuted Christians who can't meet in a large assembly knows that He is there. That means that the missionary who is just starting to meet with a handful of new believers knows that He is there. Two or three.

It doesn't take a whole crowd for us to know Christ's presence. It doesn't take a major church event for us to know Christ's presence. Just two or three. We can have fellowship in small groups with other Christians and know that Christ is with us.


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