Sunday, August 28, 2022

Consumed by Hate, Redeemed by Love

Consumed by Hate, Redeemed by Love: How a Violent Klansman Became a Champion of Racial Reconciliation

I first heard of Thomas Tarrants in a Christianity Today cover story about him in 1978. A radical terrorist who hated blacks and Jews, he was involved in more than 30 bombings of churches, synagogues, and homes before the FBI captured him.

After many years in prison, he was radically transformed by an encounter with Jesus through reading the Bible. This book is an update of an earlier one and gives details of what has happened in his life in the fifty some years since his conversion and release from prison.

He also gives some warning and instruction to us here in the present where hatred and division have become so common even amongst Christians.

I read this book in one day. I could hardly put it down.



Sunday, November 21, 2021

Generosity Through Abundance

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Uprooted: Recovering the Legacy of the Places We've Left Behind by Grace Olmstead

On Homesickness

"There are two different sorts of homesickness. The first is a gentle ache for material things, which I felt soon after I moved to Virginia for college. It's an ache for things that were pleasant and heartwarming as a child—like the smell of pine or the taste of Grandma's pie. These are the things we often associate with nostalgia: the small, material absences or presences that we form rituals around and enjoy, that remind us of the best parts of our childhood. I do not want to negate their importance or sweetness by calling them sentimental, but that is what they are. (And that is not necessarily a bad thing.)

But there's a second form of homesickness that can bubble up in your soul sometimes—often as a reaction to those material items, but going deeper and hurting more. It's an ache for presences past, for the souls that animated and embodied our most beloved memories of home. The ache is often filled with grief and gratitude because our entire idea of home is bound up in their presence, in the way they lived and loved so well. Rather than a gentle ache, it can feel like a raw, burning hurt. In those moments, we feel the absence of the presences that made us who we are, and we long to see them resurrected in our lives. This is why we walk in their footsteps, bake their bread, and tell their stories: to keep them alive, to feel their presences again, to conjure up the comfort they created—even if only for a moment.

"Nostalgia" is derived from the Greek word nostos, for "homecoming," and algos, for "pain, ache." I know I'm not alone in experiencing this ache. Many of my friends have also experienced this homesickness and wrestled with it. Perhaps readers of this book have wrestled with it as well. Many of us share those sense memories of our hometowns, of our grandparents, of the people and places who gave us life. Recalling a particular tree, an autumn scent, or the eccentric habit of a deceased loved one can result in a pang of longing.

We choose what to do with this ache. We can ignore it, dismiss it as sentimentality, and push forward with our lives. Or we can pause and consider. What is the pain telling us about what we're missing? What does it tell us about how we might form the future?"

From Uprooted: Recovering the Legacy of the Places We've Left Behind by Grace Olmstead

Click here for more about the book.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

You Can't Outrun Your Mouth

Book image

You Can't Outrun Your Mouth

If you are like most Americans, you are overweight.
If you are like most Americans, excess weight is affecting your health.
If you are like most Americans, you have succeeded in losing weight only to gain it back.

If you are like most Americans, the thought of that extra weight brings great discouragement.

There is a different way and there is hope.
Say no to fad diets and exercise.
Say yes to sensible and sustainable changes.
My story of losing 70 pounds in 9 months and keeping it off.

I will show you that there is a sensible way to lose weight and a sustainable way to eat and live so it doesn't return. There is no quick fix or miracle formula but a pathway that requires some work. As progress is made, the reward far exceeds the required changes. My story will help you to find your own way.

Get the book!