Sunday, October 8, 2017

Weekly Links!

photo credit: Betsy Barber.


~ LINKS TO SOME INTERESTING READING, FOR WHAT'S LEFT OF YOUR WEEKEND ~



-I remember reading this in Touchstone years ago, but it was good to reread this fascinating theory about the Chronicles of Narnia: Narnia's Secret.


-A good reminder for my fellow writers: The Folly of Self-Rejection.


-This blog post is full of such lovely food ideas: Lifestyle Lessons.


-Good stuff from Wesley Hill: An Impatience with Biblical Exegesis.


-More helpful advice for writers, on what to do when you get The Call from an agent: All About Author Etiquette


-I already wanted to read this book, because I already knew I like the author, but this post made me really want to read this book: The Big Idea: David Walton.


-So, as Anne Kennedy always says, "struggling" is the Christian word for failure.  Here, Russell Moore gets even more incisive about our common attitude towards "struggling" with sin: Are You "Struggling" With Sin?


-This sermon on divine omniscience, by Dr. Fred Sanders, is really good. I particularly appreciated his explanation of what Ps. 139 would mean in the mouth of Adam, vs. what it would mean in the mouth of Jesus, and then what being completely known by God means for us, whose life is hid in Christ: Divine Omniscience.



I hope what's left of your Sunday is peaceful and restful.


Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Weekly Links: Growing, Eating, Praying, and more!

some very cool baby shower decorations



~ LINKS TO SOME INTERESTING READING, FOR WHAT'S LEFT OF YOUR WEEKEND ~



-For all of us who aren't kids, but are still working hard on becoming really cool adults: Quick Thoughts on Comparison, and the Angst of Growing Up Slowly.  


-This sounds like an awesome diet plan: I Ate Hundreds of Bowls of Queso and Somehow Lost 10 Pounds.


-And...I really want to go and work here for a few days! If you're in France, maybe you can go and volunteer and tell me how it was...? For 20 Years the French Have Been Building a Medieval Castle Using Medieval Techniques, and the Result Is Incredible.


-And it'd hardly be a links post without hearing from Anne...but, seriously, guys, go hear from Anne (and add her dad to your prayers): It's Okay if You Can't Pray.  

(ETA: I've been corresponding with my grandma, a great woman of prayer, about this post. I think it is always good to pray. I think what comforts me about Anne's post is the reminder that God will still do His good work, even when we fail to ask Him for it. But "help, Lord," is always a good prayer--even if we're not capable of anything more. So, I'm grateful for Anne's reminder that God does not depend on us, and I'm also grateful for my grandma's reminder that it's good to pray anyway.)


-I really like where this guy ended up in his last line: VidAngel Let Me Remove the Sex from Game of Thrones, So Why Do I Still Feel Like a Pervert?


-Yes, this is about working from home, but for me the most interesting part was the section about how hard it was for the scientist to find a group to study that met his requirements: Why Working From Home Should Be Standard Practice.


I hope what's left of your Sunday is peaceful and restful.


Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

on Liturgy, and on Saying True Things


I am thinking about church, again.

I'm thinking again about how one of the good things about the liturgy is that, at least once a week, for a little over an hour, I get to say only true things.

Things like:


Most merciful Father, we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed.

Things like:

Have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Things like:

Glory be to God on high!
And on earth peace, goodwill towards men.

I say so many dumb things throughout the week. So many sinful things.

And so, it is so good to have one hour, once a week, where all the things coming out of my mouth are right, and righteous.

Someday, when we see Him as He is, we will be like Him.

And all that we say will be good.


Come soon, Lord Jesus! 



Sunday, September 24, 2017

Weekly Links: the Hobbit, Medieval Beers, and more!

In our part of the country, the pomegranates are getting ripe.

~ LINKS TO SOME INTERESTING READING, FOR WHAT'S LEFT OF YOUR WEEKEND ~


-This article, on summer and Sabbath and liturgy and good books, is just such a lovely read: Our Beloved Stories of Summer.


-From Anne Kennedy, another good read: Joy Deferred.


-For the anniversary of The Hobbit, here's a link to C.S. Lewis' original review. 


-Sobering: The Tricky Path to Employment is Trickier When You're Autistic.


-An interesting take on the history of beer from the Met: Celebrating Oktoberfest with Medieval Brews.




I hope what's left of your Sunday is peaceful and restful.


Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Notes: All Shall Be Well, by Deborah Crombie



All Shall Be Well, by Deborah Crombie, is the second in her Kincaid and James mystery series (you can read my review of the first book here).

In this book, Inspector Kincaid has the sad task of investigating the death of his neighbor--a neighbor it turns out he didn't know nearly as well as he thought he did.

As with the first book in the series, I enjoyed this book mostly for the sheer pleasure of its prose and the way Crombie describes many disparate people with the same detached, intelligent kindness. It's just a world that's rather nice to spend time in--even though there are a few awful people in it. (There have to be in a murder mystery!)

Though there was one particular character in this one--an emotionally abusive boyfriend--who soured a bit of the book for me. He wasn't in a lot of it, but everything about him was unpleasant. Not to totally contradict my last paragraph, but it was like he was the one character the author had no pity for (understandably), and so it just wasn't fun whenever he turned up on the page. I'm curious to see if having a character who is the "one exception that proves the rule" ends up being a pattern in the series.

Because, of course, I'm totally reading the next one.


Content warning for the usual things, but nothing egregious.


Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell



This post contains Amazon affiliate links; if you purchase a book from this link, I receive a small percentage of the purchase price. I will probably use it to buy more books. (See full disclosure on sidebar of my blog.)




Thursday, September 21, 2017

Book Notes: "Reading the Christian Spiritual Classics: A Guide for Evangelicals," edited by Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel





Reading the Christian Spiritual Classics, edited by Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel, is, as the title says, a guide for evangelicals. It starts by explaining what the spiritual classics are and then, helpfully, gives instruction on how to read them, how to avoid the dangers in reading them, and shows why they're worth reading. Then it goes into a chronological overview, introducing and giving context to works from the church fathers to the Puritans.

Full disclosure: I know at least five of the contributors to this book. But I didn't just read the sections of the folks I know--I read the whole thing, and enjoyed both being reminded of works I've loved, and being introduced to new-to-me classics.

To close, I really love this paragraph by Betsy Barber:

Due to the historical strangeness of many of these writings, it is beneficial to practice hospitality as we read: to entertain these ideas as guests. As with guests, you may not appreciate or benefit from all they say, but give them prayerful space and consideration for a time. Listen to the common family-of-God dialect in their words. 


You could do worse than just taking this book and reading through all of the works the contributors talk about, taking their chapters as a map to unfamiliar territory. I'm grateful for the work these contributors did in providing such a helpful "field guide" to modern evangelicals who want to read these primacy sources in church history.


Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell



This post contains Amazon affiliate links; if you purchase a book from this link, I receive a small percentage of the purchase price. I will probably use it to buy more books. (See full disclosure on sidebar of my blog.)



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Book Notes: "Clean" (Mindspace Investigations #1), by Alex Hughes





Clean, by Alex Hughes, is a sci-fi detective novel set in a futuristic Georgia. Our hero is a disgraced telepath, fighting to stay clean after kicking a drug addiction. He contracts out his services to the local police department.

Usually, he spends his days in the interview room of the police station, trying to get confessions out of the assortment of thugs and petty criminals that the cops drag in. But then some strange murders start happening, and he gets caught up in the hunt for a serial killer.

There were two things I really enjoyed about this book. The first is that it gave me what I like to call "good book hangover." That's when you're going throughout your day, and this taste floats through the back of your mind. It feels kind of like the tune of a song you've forgotten, but liked. It's just an atmospheric sort of an emotion, but a good one, and you think, "What is that? What does that remind me of?" and you realize, "Oh, it's the way that book I was reading made me feel."

I liked this book because it gave me Good Book Hangover. The emotions of it came into my mind when I was away from it, and it was a pleasant reminder. (Which is weird, because serial killers are not pleasant, right? But any story can be told well.) It wasn't OH MY GOODNESS I AM RUINED FOR OTHER STORIES book hangover, but "Clean" definitely resonated with me in a good way, and there are plenty of well-told stories that never manage to do that.

The other thing I really liked about this book was the way that Hughes was always juggling about three different plot threads: the murders, the hero's fight against his addiction, and the hero's relationship with his cop partner.  All three of these threads were always weaving in and out around each other, and in ways that made interesting patterns. Hughes never dropped any of them, or forgot about any of them, but juggled them gracefully, and in ways where each thread made the other ones more interesting because of how they interacted. (And they all came together nicely in the climax of the story.)

If you don't like sci-fi or mysteries, you might not like this. But if you like both, you probably will. Recommended.


Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell



This post contains Amazon affiliate links; if you purchase a book from this link, I receive a small percentage of the purchase price. I will probably use it to buy more books. (See full disclosure on sidebar of my blog.)