Slowing Down

For many years now I’ve received Dr. Don Wilton’s The Daily Encouraging Word, or “DEW,” in my inbox every morning.  It’s a wonderful little daily devotional with a bite-sized chunk of Biblical Truth attached.

I’m ashamed to admit that due to both my busy schedule and my own spiritual recalcitrance, I do not read DEW daily.  Indeed, I have a massive folder in my Hotmail account (yes, yes, go ahead and laugh) called “DEW” with over 1200 unread issues.  Gulp!

I do a bit better with Audre’s blog, Words on the Word.  Even there, though, I could do better.

That’s all to say that it’s serendipitous that this week, The Daily Encouraging Word is going through a series called “Try to Slow Down.”

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Lazy Sunday CLXIII: Friends, Part VI

In looking back at Lazy Sundays, I realized I had not done a compilation of Supporting Friends Friday posts since 7 November 2021.  What an oversight!

So, after six months, I decided to start going back through these posts.  It’ll give us all something positive to read on Lazy Sundays while Ponty and I exchange our worst movies of all time on Mondays.

With that, here are some classic Supporting Friend Fridays:

Here’s to good friends, good music, and good writing!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Supporting Friends Friday: Nicholas on NEO

I’m running into a bit of a problem here with Supporting Friends Friday—I’m running out of friends to support!  Fortunately, my friends are quite prolific creators, so I can always recycle some old ones, and I’m always encountering new bloggers.  That said, I’m having to get creative to keep this series going.

That’s probably not the most flattering introduction for this Friday’s feature, but I assure you, he’s a great writer, and worth your time.  I know him simply as Nicholas, and he is a semi-regular contributor to Nebraska Energy Observer, Neo‘s excellent, long-running blog.

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Lazy Sunday CLXI: Easter II

Happy Easter—He is Risen!

As Easter always falls on a Sunday (by definition), this weekend’s Lazy Sunday marks the second one dedicated specifically to the holiday (the first one was 4 April 2021’s “Lazy Sunday CVII: Easter“).  This second Easter post will, honestly, repeat most of the posts from last year, with a couple of new ones to round out the Easter eggs:

Happy Easter!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Supporting Friends Friday: Local Churches

It’s Good Friday in the Western Church, so I thought I’d spotlight the friends that need our support the most:  our local churches.

Your local churches will obviously be quite different than mine, but I would encourage every Christian reader to give to your local church this weekend.  If you are not tithing to a church already, start doing so!  Only 5% of churchgoers tithe, but American Christians earn $5.2 trillion annually.  Imagine the transformative impact if every Christian gave ten percent.  That could feed, clothe, and shelter a lot of people.  It would also be an incredible witness to Christians’ commitment to their faith.

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Go to Church

Easter is just a few days away, and churches will be filled to bursting with twice-a-year “Christians,” people that still feel some vague sense that they should go to church on Easter and at Christmas, even if they can’t quite articulate why, and don’t attend for most of the rest of the year.

That church attendance is in decline is no mystery.  Sure, there are plenty of nominal Christians who attend church regularly for their own reasons—the social aspects, the opportunities for professional development and career advancement, etc.—who aren’t truly Believers, but since we cannot know the content of one’s heart, church attendance is a pretty good gauge for religiosity in the United States.

I live in the rural South, so there are churches on every street corner.  There are tiny cinderblock buildings in the middle of nowhere with names like “First Church of the Holy Apostolic Prophecy” that look like tool sheds that have been converted into places of worship.  There are decadent megachurches.  There are churches that date back centuries, and churches that were planted a week ago.

Yet even here, Biblical illiteracy stuns me.  Sure, I’m one of those guys who knows that something is “in the Bible,” even if I can’t always place exactly where it is (that’s what Bing is for).  But when I write “Biblical illiteracy,” I mean that people lack a basic understanding of the simplest Bible stories.

I’ve related this anecdote elsewhere, but I’ll never forget teaching a philosophy class years ago in which we were discussing Danish Christian existentialist philosopher Søren KierkegaardKierkegaard famously argued that attempts to prove the existence of God rhetorically, logically, or otherwise were the philosophical equivalents of building the Tower of Babel—man’s Gnostic attempt to “reach” God, not to be close to Him, but to challenge God’s Supremacy.

The Tower of Babel is Vacation Bible School 101—really, it’s Sunday School 101.  The Tower of Babel would be Track 2, Side 1 of The Old Testament’s Greatest Hits, if such an album existed.

Despite that, none of my students knew the story of the Tower of Babel.  Even a young lady who was a very committed Christian did not remember the story, and I know her parents, at the very least, had taught it to her!

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TBT^2: Nehemiah and National Renewal

This past Monday, it was my responsibility to lead men’s Bible study for the monthly fellowship I attend.  I would love to say I prayed fervently for The Lord to deliver a message to my heart, but instead I do what bloggers and teachers do frequently:  recycle and reuse.

As such, I went back to the tried and true, Nehemiah 1:1-11, the passage from my hit post “Nehemiah and National Renewal.”  It’s all about Nehemiah crying out to God to order his steps amid the fallen state of Israel.

Also, it’s about rebuilding a wall.  Seems wise, yes?

With that, here is “TBT: Nehemiah and National Renewal“:

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TBT: Saint Patrick’s Day

It seems like this week is packed full of holidays and pseudo-holidays:  Pi Day, The Ides of March, and now Saint Patrick’s Day.  Was there a holiday on 16 March that I missed?  “Blustery Sweet Sixteen Day” or the like?

I like holidays, even the minor ones, and as much as companies love pretending we’re all Irish for a month so they can sell socks with four-leaf clovers on them, I would slot Saint Patrick’s Day in the “minor holiday” category.

That said, the story behind the holiday is quite inspiring, especially for Christians, and explains how a barbaric, pagan land became a bastion of Christianity and, quite possible, the savior of Western Civilization.

As such, I’ll be donning some green today (if I remember—d’oh!) and enjoying a wee bit o’ the spirit of the day.

With that, here is 17 March 2021’s “Saint Patrick’s Day“:

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Monday Morning Movie Review: The Wicker Man (1973)

I watch quite a few movies, and most of them come and go without leaving much of a mark.  Indeed, I pretty much only watch movies now, with the exception of a few shows (like Bob’s Burgers).  Some of them probably deserve more attention than I give them, as I’m usually multitasking—poorly—while watching them.

But for every eight duds there is one film that will stick out.  These are usually the ones I write about.  Typically they stick out in a positive way, though Ponty has encouraged me to write some reviews of movies I don’t like (you can read one such review here).  This week’s selection really made an impact on me, and it’s one I heartily recommend.

The flick is 1973’s The Wicker Man, based on a 1967 novel by David Pinner called Ritual.  The film is, perhaps, one of the most Christian (and pro-Christian) movies I have seen in a long time.  I don’t think its creators intended it as a Christian film, but I’ll make the case for it in this review.

That said, if I’m correct, The Wicker Man probably has the most nudity of any Christian film ever made.

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