Saturday, January 30, 2010

Revelation 2+3

Revelation 2 + 3
Jesus speaks to 7 Churches
If you have ears to hear…
These chapters include principles for us (eras? types?)
Jesus talks about churches - it's super cool to hear from Jesus Himself what God thinks about churches. We get to see what's important to Him and what advice He has.

Formula for Messages
Description/ title for Jesus
Assessment and Advice
“He who has an ear to hear, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches”
Promise for “overcommers”

Rev. 2:1-7 Ephesus
“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write: The One who hold the seven stars in His right hand, and the One who walks among the seven golden lamp stands, says this: “I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call
themselves apostles and are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore, remember the height from which
you have fallen, and repent, and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lamp stand out of its place – unless you repent. Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear to hear, let him hear
what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.”
Ephesus – Truth without Love

Loyalty to God’s name
Leaving their first love
Advice= 1. REmember the height from which you have fallen. 2. Repent 3. Do tthe deeds you did at first

Rev. 2:8-11 Smyrna
Smyrna – Suffering and Poor
Though poor and suffering, yet they are rich
No indictment made
Advice = Be faithful even to death and recieve the crown of life

Rev. 2:12-17 Pergamum
Pergamum – Soft

Not denying God’s faith and holding fast to His name – despite being in a hard spot.
False teaching
Stumbling others
Sexual sin
Advice = Repent!

Rev. 2:18-29 Thyatira
Thyatira – Love w/o Truth

Serving love
Faith and perseverance
Infiltrated by an evil false prophetess who encourages immorality
Advice = What you have; hold fast

Rev. 3:1-6 Sardis
Sardis – Dead or Dying

Well taught
A few pure people
Dead, or dying
Advice = Wake up! And strengthen that which remains. And remember the things you have heard and keep them. And repent.

Rev. 3:7-13 Philadelphia
Philadelphia – Strong

Little Power
Kept God’s word, and not denied Him
No indictment given
Advice = Hold tight to what you have.

Rev. 3:14-22 Laodicea
Laodicea – Lazy, Rich, Proud

No compliment given
Rich and proud
Advice = Get riches and adornment and vision/insight from Me. Be zealous and repent. And open the door of your heart and invite me in for a relationship.

Titles for/Descriptions of Jesus
Holds the 7 stars and walks among the 7 lamp stands
The first and the last, who was dead but has come to life
Has the sharp 2-edged sword
Has eyes like the flame of fire and feet like burnished bronze
Has the 7 spirits of God and the 7 stars
Holy, true
Has the key of David who can open and shut things that can’t be changed
The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God

Promises for Overcommers
Eating from the tree of life in the Paradise of God
Not hurt by the 2nd death
Will receive hidden manna
A white stone with a secret name
Authority and the morning star
Clothed in white garments
Not erased from the book of life
Confessed by name in front of God and the angels
Becomes a pillar in the temple with names written on him
Sitting with Christ on His throne

For Further Study
John Stott’s “What Jesus Says To the Churches”
Walvoord’s “Revelation”
Tenney’s “Interpreting Revelation”

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

wonder + creativity

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.
Joseph Chilton Pearce

The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Every mind is a building filled with archaic furniture. Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.
Dee Hock

The ability to see beauty is the beginning of our moral sensibility. What we believe is beautiful we will not wantonly destroy.
Reverend Sean Parker Dennison

Develop interest in life... in people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.
Henry Miller

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." -Edgar Allan Poe

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.
John Muir

By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet.
Thomas Merton

Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“In spite of illness, in spite even of the arch-enemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.”
Edith Wharton

Eccentric doesn't bother me. 'Eccentric' being a poetic interpretation of a mathematical term meaning something that doesn't follow the lines - that's okay.
Crispin Glover

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads by R. Wiseman

I read the first 4 chapters of this book today; I also own her more famous previous book: "Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence" This is not a Christian book, and so you have to read it with Biblical wisdom in the back of your mind trumping the worldly ideas; however, I think that she makes some really interesting and astute observations about social dynamics.

In the Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads book, the author is trying to demystify some of the weird social pressures we feel as parents. Like zombies we all start doing things like: dads = organize the garage and make the lawn nice. Moms = go to the school and talk to the principle about getting our kid in the gifted program. These pressures come from our ideas of what a real man is like, or what a real woman is like. For example: a real man can talk about sports, mow the lawn, provide for his family, and not be controlled by his wife. A real woman can look great, be busy all the time, have well-behaved children, and have a lot of friends. Some parents thrive in these conditions (the Queen Bees and the Kingpins), but others languish and feel hopeless (the Wannabes).

It's really thought-provoking to see these ideals being questioned. Even though this is from a liberal/modern point of view - which in reality has it's own set of standards (i.e. each couple is perfectly 50/50 in everything, we're green, we teach tolerance, we don't discipline, etc..)- I think it's good to smash down some of the bullcrap icons we have in our heads about what is really important in life. They should be replaced, of course, by God's values and priorities rather than just some other set of human standards. But, it is still helpful to think through. If we choose to speak to the principal and mow the lawn - it should be because we want to and think it's right - not because we blindly follow a worldly standard of social pressure.

She speaks out against racism, violence/bullying, and extreme pressure. She also makes the point that we, as parents, should resist the temptation to take identity from our children's success. It's an iconoclastic work to be sure, but I realised when reading it, that it is more of a sequel than a stand-alone book - and I really should read the other book first (Queen Bees and Wannabes). So, I will have more to say on these books later.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Spiritual Reality or Obsession by Watchman Nee

This is a short, 5-chapter, 64 page book about having what Nee calls, "Spiritual Reality" The first 3 chapters discuss spiritual reality, and basically make the point that fakery is no good when it comes to spiritual matters. I think that the material here is extremely helpful, especially for someone who believes themself to saved yet don't show signs of the Spirit or people who share and pray at meetings and seem to give off a fakey or unedifying vibe. He makes the point that the BOC and a relationship with God are about more than mere external forms - they are about "spirit and truth" (Jn 4). He also makes the point that some of the sweetest-seeming Christians are actually being too shallow in their relationships, because as he puts it: "It is a fact that sometimes it is more valuable to reprove than to shake hands. Though we may maintain a gentle appearance which causes people to praise us, there is no spiritual value before God." (p.28)
In this section he also discusses how to develop spiritual discernment, serving others privately (without recognition), and coming to church filled up by what God supplies so as to share that with others.
He speaks to the question, How can I get in touch with spiritual reality? by saying that we must be disciplined and taught by the Holy Spirit. In turning to God in our distress and discipline, the Lord will enlarge our enjoyment and appreciation of Him. And he states that this "enlargment" (or growth) will endow us with spiritual riches to share with others. But that many people forfeit their chance to be enlarged by becomming overwhelmed by distress and murmuring against God.
The last 2 chapters talk about "Spiritual Obsession" - which could also more bluntly be described as being a self-deceived and unteachable stubborn Christian. Nee describes, "He does not see the true character of a thing; yet considers himself clear. What he thinks and does is wrong, but he reckons himself to be most right. Such a condition we call 'obsession.' The obsessed person needs the light of God; otherwise he will not be able to come out of his obsession; obsession is self-deception...he who deceives people is a liar; he who deceives himself is obsessed...Obsession is a matter of the heart. When the obsessed does something wrong, his heart insists that he is right." This section is very similar to the chapter called "Be Not Subjective" in the Normal Christian Worker.
He talks about how to be freed from obsession by saying that Christians need to not "love the darkness (Jn3)", but rather walk in the light. Also, Nee blames pride as a main reason for "obsession", and refusing to receive love. (p.58-60) His answers to this problem then, are light, humility, and acceptance of love (or a lack of self-protection).
I'd really recommend this little book. I think it's awesome.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Social Justice and Amos


1. Oracles against the nations (1:3-2:16)
a. Damascus
b. Gaza
c. Tyre
d. Edom
e. Ammon
f. Moab
g. Judah
h. Israel
2. Further oracles against Israel
a. 3:1-6
3. Visions of Judgment
a. 7:1-9:4
4. On the sovereignty of God and restoration of Israel
a. 9:5-15

Purpose and Message:
1. (2:6-16) Amos denounces sin and forecasts national disaster due to covenant consequences
2. (3:1-6:14) Amos condemns specific acts of social injustice and religious hypocrisy <4:1, 5:11-12, 6:4-8>
3. (7:1-9:4) Amos relates several visions he has seen relating with God’s judgment and the exile of Israel <8:4-6>
4. (9:5-15) Amos concludes with the promise of Messianic restoration and blessing

Major Theme: Social Justice
6:12, 5:24
Social Service and Social Action are differenciated in John Stott's: “Involvement: Being a Responsible Christian in a Non-Christian Society, Vol. 1” I'll summarize the differences below; but it's important to keep in mind that the Bible, in this case Amos, suggests that we engage in both sorts of social justice.
Social Service:
-Relieve human need (5:12)
-Philanthropy (4:5; 6:4-7)
-Ministering to individuals/ families (4:1; 5:6-7)
-Works of mercy (4:1; 6:4-7)

Social Action:
-Remove causes of human need (8:4-6)
-Political and economic activity (5:10-11, 15)
-Transforming the structures of society (4:4-5; 7:7-9)
-Quest for justice (2:6-8; 5:7, 24; 6:12)

5 Areas of Christian Teaching that Foster Meaningful Involvement in Society:

1. A doctrine of God as the creator and sustainer of creation, merciful God of all nations, a God who hates injustice and is concerned for humankind (2:10; 4:13; 5:8, 15; 9:7)

2. A doctrine of humanity that understands that all persons are God’s creatures, created in His image, and valuable (1:9; 2:1; 9:7)

3. A doctrine of Jesus as Messiah that understands the renewal and restoration associated with true redemption (9:13-15)

4. A doctrine of salvation that admits human fallenness and sin, looks beyond to God for the solutions to the problems of sin and evil in the world, and truly “does justice” (2:4; 3:2; 5:4-6, 14-15)

5. A doctrine of church as a community that sees responsibility to be an agent of reconciliation and restoration for our fallen world (3:1; 9:11-15)

(From B. Thorogood’s “On the Book of Amos as an Old Testament Paradigm for Social Concern”)

From Other Passages:
1. In the Minor Prophets – Haggai 1:5-7; Malachi 1:8; 2:10, 17)
2. In the Wisdom Books – Ps. 140:12
3. In the Historical Books – Boaz and Ruth
4. In the Gospels – Mt. 6:19-21
5. In the Epistles – James 2:15-16

Further Reading:

“Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger” Sider
“Involvement: Being a Responsible Christian in a Non-Christian
Society, Vol. 1” John Stott
“Churches that Make a Difference: Reaching Your Community with
Good News and Good Works” Sider, Olson, and Unruh
“The Church in Response to Human Need” Samuel and Sugden
“A Quiet Revolution: Meeting Human Needs Today; A Biblical
Challenge to Christians” John Perkins
“Christian Social Ethics” Cotham
“Ministry to the Social and Physical Needs of Our Society”
“Christian Principles – Missions and the Poor”
“The Gospel in Action: A Holistic Approach”
“God’s Heart for the Poor”

Thursday, January 21, 2010

cg - isaiah 13-26 from ms. laura stoddard

Intro = The Complaint Agianst the Nations
In this we see what is important to God - what does God make a big deal of? The nations sought security from others or through self-sufficiency; Either way they were forgetting God. Before we read these downer passages; let's start with having an attitude of faith in God's goodness and character rather than putting God on trial.

First Section = Chapters 13-20
-13-14:23 - A prophecy against Babylon (They were arrogant, oppressive, ruthless)
-14:22-27 - A prophecy against Assyria (Israel trusted them when they shouldn't have)
-14:28-32 - A prophecy againt the Philistines (They oppressed the poor and needy)
-15 and 16 - A prophecy aginst Moab (They were rich, agressors, conceited, worshippers of Molech) [READ 15:5, 16:9]
-17 - An oracle against Damascus (idolatry) [READ 17:10]
-18 - A prophecy against Cush (agressive)
-19 - A prophecy about Egypt (idolatry and divination, spirit-worship) [READ 19:3, 22]
-20 - A prophecy against Egypt and Cush (become shamed, captives to Assyria) [READ 20:5

Second Section - Chapters 21-23
21:1-10 A prophecy about Babylon (idolatry)
21:11-12 A prophecy against Edom
21:13-16 A prophecy against Arabia (pomp/arrogance)
22 A prophecy about Jerusalem [READ 22:14,18]
23 A prophecy about Tyre (wealthy merchants in this town will be forgotten for 70 years, there will no longer be a good harbor) [READ 23:17-18]

Third Section - Chapters 24-26
24 God's Devastation of the Earth
[READ 24:1-6, 20-23]
25 Praise the Lord
[READ 25:1-4, 8]
26 A Song of Praise
[READ 26:3-4]

Common Complaints
Idolatry, Injustice, Oppression, Forgetting God
"The whole series comes to a dramatic climax in the contrast of 2 cities: the world's city- the human attempt to organize a world without God- which falls
(24:10), and the strong city of salvation (26:1) which stands." -Motyer, Commentary on Isaiah

Things to REmember
-God takes no pleasure in punishing. God is looking for faithful people; the vision has to do with a positive search, not a desire to find evil. [1 Chron. 16:8-14]
-God is ready to forgive and restore. REpentence is possible, necessary, and effective [Isa. 26:9-10]
-God will always have someone to follow Him: the remnant will live [Isa. 14]
-God made it clear to people what right and wrond were and that He is a jealous God [Deut 4:24, 39-40, DEut 18:9-13]

1. We are so blessed by the new covenant and how easy it is to approach God under grace [2 Pet 3:8-9, Heb. 4:16]
2. We are so lucky to have the HS to help us walk with God, and to convict us.
3. There will be this sort of judgment and destruction again (tribulation); Judah/Israel was called to be a blessing to the surrounding nations so that they would know God. Similarly, we also need to be a good witness.
4. We should be eager to listen to instruction and discipline. Our pride or hurt feelings are a small price to pay. God dealt strongly with people who had similar sin as us. This is a wake up call, not a threat. [Isa. 26:16-18]

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Few Oswald Chambers Quotes

"Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time."
Oswald Chambers

"Holiness, not happiness, is the chief end of man."
Oswald Chambers

"It is the unseen and the spiritual in people that determines the outward and the actual."
Oswald Chambers

"The dearest friend on earth is a mere shadow compared to Jesus Christ."
Oswald Chambers

"We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties."
Oswald Chambers

"We look upon the enemy of our souls as a conquered foe, so he is, but only to God, not to us."
Oswald Chambers

"When a man is at his wits' end it is not a cowardly thing to pray, it is the only way he can get in touch with Reality."
Oswald Chambers

"When it is a question of God's almighty Spirit, never say, "I can't.""
Oswald Chambers

"You will never cease to be the most amazed person on earth at what God has done for you on the inside."
Oswald Chambers

Monday, January 18, 2010

"Your Mind Matters" by: John Stott

This book is really short - 61 pages. It is a transcript of a talk Stott gave to his students at the beginning of an acedemic year. I think it's a nice read. This book is much more consice than "Love Your God with all Your Mind" by Moreland, but discusses the same sorts of ideas.
He begins talking about how it's important to have zeal and knowledge. That one without the other is a problem. He's also against cold pragmatism: "The modern world breeds pragmatists whose first question about anything is not, "Is it true?" but "Does it work?""
Stott asks the question, why should Christians develop and use their minds? He gives answers such as,
- The ideas around us are potentially dangerous and false(i.e. think about "Mein Kampf" in the days of Hitler); and most certainly against the gospel.
- We're created to think
- God is a self-revealing God, who has thoughts to share with us
- We have a new redeemed mind, given to us by Christ
- We can use our minds to worship God, present the gospel to others, and utilize our gifts in the Body
Furthermore, Stott discusses having a reasonable faith. He shows how our minds can help guide us towards the Lord and spiritual growth. He ends suggesting that we depend on the Holy Spirit, but that doesn't mean we don't use our own minds as well. He brings up what God spoke to Daniel after Daniel had prayed: "Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind to understand and humbled yourself before God, your words have been heard..." Stott concludes, "Indeed, both the setting of the mind to understand and the self-humbling before God are tokens of a man's hunger for divine truth."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

movies and books

this is the list of movies and books from the book entitled, "What Stories Does My Son Need? A Guide to Books and Movies that Build Character in Boys" by: Michael Gurian
I love a lot of these - although i might add a few more personally. which would you add?

Stories and movies:
Empire of the sun
Field of dreams
Forrest gump
Free willy
Gods must be crazy
Goodwill hunting
Grapes of wrath
High noon
In and out
Inside moves
Iron giant
Iron will
It’s a wonderful life
Judgment at Nuremberg
Karate kid
Kramer vs. Kramer
Lassie come home
Life is beautiful
Lion king
Man for all seasons
Men don’t leave
Miracle on 34th street
Mississippi burning
Mr. holland’s opus
My bodyguard
Never cry wolf
October sky
Old yeller
Paths of glory
Peter pan
Places in the heart
Pride of the Yankees
Prince of Egypt
Prince of tides
Princess bride
Saving private ryan
Scent of a woman
Schindler’s list
Searching for bobby fischer
Shawshank redemption
Simon birch
Simple plan
Sound of music
Stand by me
Swiss family robinson
Sword in the stone
ten commandments
Three wishes
To kill a mockingbird
Treasure island
Vision quest
Where the red fern grows
White squall
Wind in the willows
Little prince
Lou gehrig: the luckiest man
Like jake and me
Aesop’s fables
Complete grimm’s fairy tales
Firestorm at kookaburra station
Minstrel in the tower
Mint cookie miracles
Stories Julian tells
Stuart little
When dinosaurs die
Black beauty
Bridge to taribithia
Charlotte’s web
Chronicle’s on Narnia
Curse of the blue figurine
Defeat of the ghost riders
Gathering of days
Indian in the cupboard
Island of the blue dolphins
Phantom tollbooth
See behind trees
Stuck in neutral
Whipping boy
Animal farm
Bless the beasts and the children
Call of the wild
Dr. Jekyll and mr. hyde
Education of little tree
Grapes of wrath
Harry potter
If rock and roll were a machine
Johnny tremain
Jonathon Livingston seagull
Lord of the flies
Master puppeteer
Moves make the man
Nothing but the truth
Old man and the sea
Ordinary genius: the story of albert Einstein
Red pony
Robinson crusoe
Running loose
Tuesdays with morrie
Things fall apart
Staying fat for sarah byrnes
Separate peace
Walt Whitman
William and the good old days
Wizard of earthsea

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Faith, Hope, and Love by C.S. Lewis

I wanted to share a few things that I read today about faith, hope, and love.

Faith =
"The question of faith arises after a man has tried his level best to practice the Christian virtues, and found that he fails, and seen that even if he could he would only be giving back to God what was already God's own. In other words, he discovers his bankruptcy. Now, once again, what God cares about is not exactly our actions. What He cares about is that we should be creatures of a certain kind of quality - the kind of creatures He intended us to be - creatures related to Himself in a certain way. I do not add "and related to one another in a certain way" because that is included: if you are right with Him, you will inevitably be right with your fellow creatures, just as if all the spokes of a wheel are fitted rightly to the hub and the rim, they are bound to be in right positions to one another."

Hope =
"Aim at Heaven and you will get earth "thrown in": aim at Earth and you will get neither. We must learn to want something more. The real want for heaven is present in us, but we do not recognize it. Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise."

Love =
"Our [agape, giving love] must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner - no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment."

"All You Need to Know About Raising Girls"

A book by Melissa Trevathan and Sissy Goff, this book is the one Amazon recommended to me as a complimentary book to "Wild Things: the Art of Nurturing Boys". Here is the Amazon page for it:
When I started reading this book, I was surprised and glad to see what a Christian focus it took - there was no trying to be sly about Christianity in this book. But, I was dismayed when I read that book authors were older women who were counselors and yet had never been married and never had children. I wondered how I could take their advice seriously, when I would be able to write off everything they said with the old, "Well, they've never lived this out. and they don't know what it's really like outside of the clinical environment." However, I came to repent of that attitude as I realised that they actually had an objective voice (or voices) that I did respect. Moms can tend to view, or skew things in a way that is biased by their own experiences; but these women didn't have that at all.
That being said, I think overall it was a helpful book - but a lot lighter fare than "Wild Things: the Art of Nurturing Boys". Although the authors spoke more about being a Christian parent; they also tended to tell a lot of stories and spend time on what I might call "fluff".
It does go into all the relationships in a girls life: her and her mother, her and her father, her and her siblings, her and her grandparents, etc.. And I think the descriptions of the different developmental stages were pretty accurate. So, the book does get my recommendation - just be aware that there is some "fluff" and that the authors are not parents.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Enjoying Nature

I wanted to share some quotes on the enjoying of nature. Not every one of these come from a Christian perspective; but some of them do. And, being a Christian who feels very close to God when enjoying nature, I can appreciate these a great deal.

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul."
-John Muir

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Forests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes - every form of animate or inanimate existence, leaves its impress upon the soul of man."
-Orison Swett Marden

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."
-Albert Einstein

"By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet."
-Thomas Merton

Friday, January 1, 2010

self-focus vs. others-focus

“The love of our neighbor is the only door out of the dungeon of self, where we mope and mow, striking sparks, and rubbing phosphorescences out of the walls, and blowing our own breath in our own nostrils, instead of issuing to the fair sunlight of God, the sweet winds of the universe.” -George MacDonald

One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self is more distant than any star.
-Gilbert K. Chesterton

Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply for another person.
-Tennessee Williams

Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. They seem not to notice us, hovering, averting our eyes, and they seldom offer thanks, but what we do for them is never wasted.
Garrison Keillor

"For most of my life I thought that the way to be happy was to have as many pleasurable experiences as you could. Sounds reasonable, doesnt it? But as it turns out, one of lifes many cruel whims is that happiness and pleasure are often at complete odds. For me, one of the most unpleasant things in life is writing. I hate writing. I hate having to sit down to a blank screen every day and create something. Id so much rather curl up in front of my TV and watch some mindless movie. That would bring me a lot more pure pleasure. On the other hand, except for my boys, nothing in life brings me more happiness than writing. So on the days I do surrender to the lure of instant gratification, I wind up feeling miserable. Its often true that while displeasure lies in the doing, happiness lies in the having done."

- Rick Reynolds

"Love makes everything lovely"
-George MacDonald