I realize it's been awhile since I wrote. Training at work has continued, as well as Casey and Dante have continued adjusting to the big city (and the desert.) Yesterday (Monday), my little brother graduated from high school. It seems hard to believe that he finally got to the end, and is now heading off to college. He'll spend about a year at Ozark, and then plans to come back to study for firefighting. However, speaking of graduation, it has been almost a year since Casey and I finished our degrees.
In this past year, I got to enjoy some much needed time in literature. Not to say that I don't love learning from A History of Western Civilization or World Religions, but sometimes non textbooks are what the soul needs. Therefore, I read about 30 books, half of which were fiction. For instance, I got to reread The Chronicles of Narnia, which helped renew my imagination as well as remind me of God's love. I also read The Hobbit, in rebellion against Peter Jackson's decision to stretch it into yet another trilogy.
Yet with all the fiction I read, I think my favorites were the non-fiction. Among these were Revolution in World Missions, Death by Love, Follow Me to Freedom, Jesus for President, God on Mute, and more. These did everything from challenge my thoughts on missions to the atonement to poverty to prayer to ministry.
My point in recalling all that is this: Read. As Erasmus of Rotterdam said, "When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes." Whether you read fiction to refuel your imagination and to relax or non-fiction (theology or not) to challenge you, you need to read. However, once you read, go do. As James says, "So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." (2:17) I never really liked the application part of sermons, etc, because I truly believe almost everyone who hears a lesson can put two and two together and figure it out. (Remember critical thinking in school? Yeah, tell your teachers thank you.)
For now, grace and peace.