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Tim Challies

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Friday Miscellania

I was just opening up my blogging software to begin writing today’s article when I got interrupted by a Home Depot truck. After our basement got flooded a couple of weeks ago, we decided (after having the crack in the foundation repaired) to replace the old, ugly carpet with hardwood. We ordered everything from Home Depot and the delivery turned up this morning. The truck couldn’t maneuver to the front of our house, so had to drop the skid a ways away. I just spent an hour hauling hardwood and subflooring into the house (through the rain).

A little-known fact about this site is that 90% of the time, at least, I write what you see immediately before I post it. I know some bloggers write content days in advance and store it up. That method has never worked for me. I prefer to begin each day with an idea or even just a sentence. Then I sit down and see what happens. While this means that my writing is probably not quite as good as it could otherwise be (and why spelling and grammatical errors sometimes slip through) it does give it a freshness. I don’t know if anyone else notices this, but it is important to me. In the past when I’ve written something and held onto it for a long time before posting it, I’ve often felt like it’s stale or like I don’t really feel what I posted. And so I continue to write and post without planning weeks or even days ahead.

Today I had a sentence in my mind and had planned to begin writing about it to see if it would come out as a viable article. But Home Depot interrupted me and stole an hour of my day. Now it’s too late, so I’ll put that idea on hold until next week. For now, I’ll try to clear out a few of the little things, the miscellania, that have been piling up around here.

The Cross He Bore

This is your second notification about my plan to lead a reading of Frederick Leahy’s The Cross He Bore in the days leading to Good Friday. It is a series of thirteen meditations on the sufferings of the Redeemer, beginning with Gethsemane and ending in the outer darkness. In his Foreword to the book, Edward Donnelly says, “in rereading these chapters, I found myself more than once compelled by emotion to stop - and then to worship. I cannot help feeling that this is exactly how they were written and that the author’s chief desire is that each of us who reads should be brought to gaze in fresh understanding and gratitude upon ‘the Son of God,’ who loved me and give himself for me.”

This book ranks on my list of all-time favorites and I look forward to reading it again this Easter. I’d love to have you read it with me! I assure you that you will find it well worth the read. And even if you don’t read it with me, read it on your own. The book costs only $3.75 when you buy it from MonergismBooks.com. So why don’t you purchase a copy (or two or three) and we’ll read it together. We can begin reading it on Sunday March 29 and read one chapter per day in the thirteen days leading to (and including) Good Friday. I will post a brief reflection on the chapter each morning.

Buy It Here.

Lying to Impress

It was quite a while ago that I bookmarked this little article: Many lie over books ‘to impress’. It is funny, isn’t it, that even in an age that up-plays video at the expense of the written word, people somehow realize the innate superiority of the written word. I don’t know anyone (beyond perhaps the occasional child) who says he watches movies or programs in order to impress others. But we do still lie about what we read, knowing that literacy, not television, makes us appear smarter (and, in fact, does make us smarter).

Collect Life Lessons as You Pass Go

And here is another interesting article. It talks about the great benefits of playing board games. It was not too long ago that we got rid of our cable TV access and used the money we had saved to buy a big stack of board games. While our interest has come and gone (and come and gone again) we have found that games really are beneficial. They teach patience, they teach us how to win and lose with grace, and they allow us to spend time as a family or as a couple. These are all lessons that tend to fall by the wayside when we turn instead to the television. Where television is a largely lone and silent pursuit, games demand conversation, negotiation and interaction. Speaking personally I can testify that we’ve received much more benefit from playing games together than we have from watching TV together. Of course this isn’t to say that I won’t miss watching HD broadcasts of the Blue Jays this summer…

Photoshop CS3

I have a copy of Photoshop CS3 for Windows that I no longer have a use for. If you are in the market for it, let me know. Yes, it’s one version removed from the latest and greatest, but 90% of users have no use for the extra bells and whistles that come in CS4. Plus, once you buy a full version, you qualify for upgrades for future versions. It is cheaper to buy the older version plus the upgrade. If you are interested, please let me know via email. Best reasonable offer takes it. It is just the standard Photoshop CS3 for Windows, full version rather than upgrade. It’s just the DVD, case and serial number (no box). It’s not Photoshop Extended and is not the full CS suite.

And now…stay tuned for Free Stuff Friday.