Becoming truly literate is a choice. Reading done well is not a passive activity like sitting in front of a screen. It requires a degree of attention, engagement, and active questioning of which most of our children currently have a deficit. The core question is not whether you hold in your hand an old-fashioned paper book or a new electronic book, but rather that even when you read from a screen, you develop the self-discipline to ignore the temptation to check email or scores or social media every few minutes. Reading done well requires a forward-leaning brain. Our culture’s ever-present distractions–the obsessive appeals to immediacy (“What ‘news’ might I be missing?”)–conspire to blunt our curiosity and distract us from sustained thought. The relentless pull of the digital world, with its demands that our kids submit to the shiny and the immediate, threatens to make them not just less literate but also more like subjects than citizens.
[a repost from November 2014]
Are you wondering what God’s will is for you today?
pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Unless you are dead or in the process of withering away in front of your screen the way so many millions of us do, there’s an imperative in your soul to unpack life and its endless mysteries. This is an active, not a passive, pursuit. For people who are alive, really alive, their brains are in motion. On the wall in the primary schooling area in our home hangs this apt observation by Ellen Parr: “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”…Curiosity is the mental mortar for building strength and resilience.
Or, as my grandmother said, if you’re bored, you’re boring.
It was another poor sleeping month which means it was a good reading month. 🙂
- You Will Know Me – Megan Abbott
- A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles
- Goodbye, Vitamin: A Novel – Rachel Khong
- Since We Fell – Dennis Lehane
- A Woman’s Wisdom: How the Book of Proverbs Speaks to Everything – Lydia Brownback
- Perfecting Ourselves to Death: The Pursuit of Excellence and the Perils of Perfectionism – Richard Winter
- Commentaries on Proverbs – Matthew Henry
My favorite this month (and will very likely make my top five for the year) was A Gentleman in Moscow. The other fiction books this month were just meh.
What are you reading & recommending these days?
From here and there:
Yes, the influence of Marcuse, Derrida, and Foucault has been disastrous. In the hands of American followers, their ideas have, indeed, undermined the Western tradition and the Great Books. If tradition is, respectively, an ideological construct, a mystification, or an exclusionary institution, the disciples reasoned, then why respect it?
What these exceptions prove is this: You can critique, dismantle, and subvert the canon, but you still have to learn it.
Happy Monday y’all!
[a repost from September 2013]
From The Quiet Place: Daily Devotional Readings by Nancy Leigh DeMoss:
…by the time you get up in the morning, an unseen battle has already been raging for hours in the heavenlies. Within the mystery of God’s sovereignty, He has given the forces of hell the temporary right to contend with Him and His own. And you as His child start each day in the crossfire of this cosmic duel.
On the face of things, it may only seem like a lack of desire to spend time alone with the Lord in prayer and His Word. It may feel like the press of the day’s upcoming schedule, disturbing your thoughts before your feet hit the floor. It may sound like the typical morning review of ongoing issues with your marriage, your children, your job, your general life situation.
What it may not seem like is what it actually is: the presence, activity, and involvement of Satan’s forces, drawing you away from God, wrestling you back down into fear, doubt, discouragement, and sinful reactions.
So stand to your feet. Recognize the real enemy. Invite your victorious Lord into this challenge. And win the first battle of the day by knowing where the true battlefield is. Consciously take your place within the ranks of the One before whom even hell’s most defiant warriors must ultimately concede defeat.
What would change in your approach if you remembered that the real enemy is not the people, things, and circumstances in your life?
I can’t believe that my granddaughter is one! This year has zoomed by, and we celebrated K’s big day in Chattanooga:
Her other grandmother is a seamstress extraordinaire, and she made K a Moana outfit to go with the theme of the party. K chilled in the hammock.
Will took this one.
Her mama stripped her down so she could enjoy her cake. It was soooo hot!
It’s been a big year for all of those who love Baby K. She’s a delight in every way, and I miss her big!
From Martin Luther, as quoted in Perfecting Ourselves to Death by Richard Winter:
This life, therefore, is not righteousness but growth in righteousness, not health but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise; we are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it; the process is not yet finished, but it is going on; this is not the end, but it is the road.