C. S. Lewis on Jesus’ Knowledge of Temptation

“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness–they have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means–the only complete realist.”

C.S. Lewis

Why every reader needs a Goodreads account

If you’re like me, you’ve checked out several websites that serve as digital bookshelves, but thought they looked like a waste of time. And, if you’re like me, you read that one story about the spaceship in 7th grade (or was it 8th grade?) and would love to re-read it but, for the life of you, can’t seem to remember the author or title. Additionally, if you’re like me, you oftentimes see books at the library, bookstore, airport, or other such place and are interested in checking them out but quickly forget their titles and never actually wind up reading them when you have the time. Finally, if you’re like me, you would love to know how many books you read in 2009, or how many pages you read in 2010, but certainly aren’t going to go through the effort of adding it all up.

For these reasons and more, Goodreads has become my new favorite website! At first glance it doesn’t seem very useful, but it actually has a ton of functionality. With the iPhone app I’m able to scan the barcodes of all my books and then organize them however I choose. I can also use this feature when I’m on-the-go, such as at the library or airport, and add the books to my “to-read” shelf. I can then check them out later and decide if I actually want to read them. The shelves are essentially tags, and can be used to organize books any way you choose. For example, I have a shelf that lists all the books I remember reading for my undergrad degree (check it out here), I have an ongoing shelf for all my seminary books (here), and I’m even going to start creating more specific shelves to help me in ministry later (such as church history, parenting, and coaching). Another useful feature (which you’ve likely noticed by now) is the ability to share my shelves with others.

Also, on my homepage, under the “Currently Reading” section, I can update my status as I work through a book. While this initially seems silly and vain, it will actually help me remember the contents of every book I read. I say this because, when I update what page I’m on, I can add some notes. I plan on using this section to type up a one-paragraph summary of the contents I just read. This forces me to recall what I just read (thus embedding it more effectively in my memory) and gives me a place I can go in the future to review the contents of the book.

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After I finish reading a chapter in a book I want to remember for later, I will type up a brief summary.

When I finish a book, I’m able to write a review that will be shared with other readers and can give me a good reference to return to in the future. Another feature I like is that I can include the date I finish reading a book. This allows me to track how many books I’ve read, when I’ve read them, and what I thought of them. There’s also a cool “stats” area that shows me how many books you read (or how many pages, or what year they were published).

So, for these reasons and more, I can’t recommend this website enough! I am excited to see what other useful features they come out with next. What about you? Can you think of any other cool ways to use Goodreads.com?

Themes in Proverbs

While taking a class with Professor Carl Laney, I ran across an excellent list of “Themes in Proverbs.” This is his list but I thought it was worth sharing. He starts by saying “The individual proverbs are not generally grouped together topically or in a thematic series. They are quite mixed and any one chapter may contain a great variety of topics. Some of the more important themes and topics in Proverbs include the following: Continue reading Themes in Proverbs

Some Links for Moms

Here are a couple articles about mothering that I’ve seen and thought worth sharing:

These were all very good articles that I thought would be encouraging and edifying for moms.

John Piper on husbands who would rather play World of Warcraft than lead their wives.

The husband who plops himself down in front of the TV and orders his wife around like a slave has abandoned the way of Christ.

John Piper, Desiring God, Revised Edition: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (Colorado Springs: Multnomah Books, 2011), 217.

Same-Sex Marriage: Bigots & Hypocrites

So, have you been to Chik-fil-a recently? Never has someone’s fast-food choice meant so much to so many, right? I think this controversy has only given us a foretaste of all the heated division that is sure to surround same-sex marriage for the foreseeable future. I think it’s also revealed something about the people on both sides of the controversy: it’s bigots vs. hypocrites.

Continue reading Same-Sex Marriage: Bigots & Hypocrites