the fertile paradox

environment and infrastructure discussion, Christian faith, running and reflections from a planted life

Don’t Take Offense at Jesus’ Call

This is one of a series of Lenten devotionals I wrote for our church’s Foreign Missions Ministry and appears on their blog. However, I wanted to share it with you all…

Today’s Scripture Focus: Acts 16:1-3

Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well…

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Count Not Just the Cost, But Also The Worth

Count not just the cost, but also the worth of living with Christ. By seeing what we’re up against, we gladly give all!

We have been writing Lenten devotionals in our church’s Foreign Missions Ministry. This post was originally written to be published on our minstry’s blog, but it was not required. I think that I’d like to share it with you all on my personal blog, so here goes…

Today’s Scripture Focus: Luke 14:28-33

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see…

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Purge [Puhdistus] by Sofi Oksanen

Purge [Puhdistus] by Sofi Oksanen shows devastating consequences of breakdown in the rule of law for physical security of women

Work has been wild recently, so I stole some time from family colleauges and friends to read Sofi Oksanen’s book, Purge.

I have recently felt a prompting by God to learn more about sexual violence, sexual slavery, and sexual abuse.  So, you can imagine the shock of my librarians at Enoch Pratt when I walked to the information desk and asked them for fiction books on the topic of sexual slavery.…

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In Christ, We are God’s Righteousness #NPBCSetApart

I was reviewing some memory verses and after a brief review of 2 Corinthians 5:17 in context, I came to the following passage at the end:

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s…

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El Enamoramientos [The Infatuations]: Javier Marías

El Enamoramientos [The Infatuations]: Javier Marías—What is worse than death itself?

The worst thing that can happen to anyone, worse than death itself, and the worst thing one can make others do, is to return from the place from which no one returns, to come back to life at the wrong time, when you are no longer expected, when it’s too…

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stories of 2013

each year as new year’s day approaches, billions of us instinctively reflect on our lives and appraise ourselves.   in that appraisal, we often find ourselves wanting.  for some of us, this conclusion is certainly borne out by the evidence; for most of…

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Reflections on “The Pale King”

Reflections on “The Pale King”: life in the face of crushing systemic inertia

Given the size of the book and the immensity of its author, this will be a brief reflection.  The Pale King, by David Foster Wallace, was an adventure.  It was a book that reminded me why I read fiction.

Not necessarily to be entertained, because this…

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Ma Jian—The Dark Road

Ma Jian—The Dark Road. faceless and voiceless victims of the Cultural Revolution you’ll not soon forget

While returning from a trip to the UK for research, I committed to finishing Ma Jian’s The Dark Road.  Not only was this book very, very dark, but it gave voice to faceless men and women whose individual stories we can never hope to know. Let me just say…

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two unexpected pleasures: Nagaland to the heartland

i had the opportunity recently to pick up a couple more books towards my goal of 12 fiction books this year.  i had fallen off the pace quite a bit, but it may still be possible for me to finish. in october/november, i’ve read “an outline of the republic”…

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Thoughts from my trip to ESREL Amsterdam

Some quick thoughts that hadn’t occurred to me on prior trips to Europe:

One: our reputation as a violent society may be harming us in ways we can’t quantify. While I’d never heard anyone express to me trepidation at relocating, or even visiting, the US…

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