Archive | elliot

Making Friends of Books

I wrote to you in May a short list of various books my siblings and I were reading. I thought it would be fun to have a recap and see what everyone has moved onto! Personally, I have not had the pleasure of reading much lately, but I’m sure I have a few to add to the list.

Sabrina (19):

Everly: (17)

Bunny (15):

Birdie (14):

Samuel (10-almost-11):

Willin (8):
“Stuart Little” by E. B. White (I am reading this aloud to him)

Jubilee (6):

What Mommy has been reading aloud to all of us (highly acclaimed at Eyrie Park) :

Everly Pleasant
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a life unfair, Lord (part III)

Have you ever had soft-serve ice cream?
Certainly you have. My favorite place to get it is called Deli-cat. At Deli-cat, you have the choice of vanilla, chocolate or vanilla and chocolate mixed. Once given the cup, you walk yourself over to the machine and pull the magical lever (the one out of the three that you choose) and watch as the cold snake of dessert slithers into your cup. It always fills faster than you expect, and you watch eagerly for it to appear, heaping at the top and then curl around and coil. You want it to look perfect and have plenty to last you a good long while…but how tall can you make it? There is an unending amount in the machine, you know. Couldn’t’ you just keep making it higher and higher? And as you think of this, the coil, which is now about five inches above the mouth of your cup, begins to slide and you feel a drip run down your arm. Oh dear, you’ve got to much. You should have just decided to cut it off a moment ago.
If you could relate at all to my story (though I doubt you’ve ever been to Deli-cat, located in Haiti,) then you may understand how I feel right now. There is so much I could say on this topic. So many words from scripture have appeared before my eyes this week, so many words from my newest favorite authoress, Elizabeth Elliot, have applied to this series as I read, so many thoughts connect to other thoughts-the flow is unending. With that in mind, I hope that you don’t find this post choppy or confusing. I am trying to organize my words clearly, but at some point (since the introduction has been mostly about ice cream and is already almost twenty lines long,) I am going to just have to cut it off. I hope that between that point and now, you find some word of hope, inspiration or a blessing of some sort.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
John 15:13 (KJ)
Fairness, sacrifice, burdens, love, we use these words frequently. Let us not forget their meanings or allow them to run together. We talked in the last post about how we are called to sacrifice…it is a large part of our Christian faith, as we are to be like Christ in our actions and Christ made Himself the most vital sacrifice of all time. In the first post, we spoke briefly of love and how we should love those who do us wrong, react in gentleness and love in every situation. Love should also always be our motivation to sacrifice. No sacrifice is worth making that has no love behind it. People who are forced to make sacrifices often say that life is unfair. But is “an unfair life” such a bad thing?
The way I look at is this. I am a Christian. I have devoted my life to Christ and His will and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when I die, I am going to go to Heaven. The Bible clearly states that each one of us will be judged (on a day, usually known as “judgement day”,) and, according to our faith here on Earth, either go to Heaven or Hell. This is justice, yet it is-in another way-unfair.
It is justice because God has given every man an opportunity to come to Him, yet some have chosen not to. These are those who will spend eternity separated from God and all things good and beautiful. The rest of us go to Heaven.
It is unfair because nobody deserves to go to Heaven…we all deserve Hell. A Christian is a sinner just like a nonChristian. We have all made ourselves unholy, worthy of eternal separation from our Creator, yet Christ has given us the gift of eternal life through accepting Him as our savior. A gift is not something we deserve. In “the afterlife,” things will be unfair in that sense. We will get something (something wonderful!) which we have not earned. Here on Earth, it is unfair for other reasons.
On Earth, during this time, Satan is the prince. Life is unfair for Christians. People attack us, harm us, bruise and abuse us and we respond in love (or at least we should.) Does that seem fair? Not at all! During this time, while we are on Earth, we are the ones who get the short end of the stick. But every time you are treated unfairly, remember the end of the story. This, my friend, is the only “hell” we will ever experience. This time on Earth is the worst of the worst for us…only the beginning for a lost person. There is nothing a man can do to you here on Earth that would be equal to the agony he will face in Hell…for eternity. In the end, it isn’t fair. We get something far better than we deserve. So until then, I say, let me have it! Let them win the little battles, respond in love, the war is already won.
So no, we should not seek after pain, agony, burdens, but we should seek after God’s will for our lives, which often brings us heavy responsibility or persecution. We are supposed to “join in the suffering of Christ,” but that doesn’t mean that we enjoy the pain. When the hardships do come (for they will!) we are supposed to bear them courageously, knowing that God is on our side, react to those who inflicted the pain upon us in a loving way which rightly represents Christ and remember that in the end, it won’t matter how beat up we were on Earth, because we will be spending eternity in a perfect place, forever with our Lord.
Everly Pleasant
P.S. Please, if you have any questions or comments, let your voice be heard in the comment box! I realize that I often leave no references for the verses that I quote from The Bible, so if you are wondering about any of them, feel free to ask!
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a life unfair, Lord (part II)

(continued from the last post…)
The answer is of course, “yes.”
Yes, it is possible to “love thine enemy.” But sometimes (oftentimes, usually,) it seems impossible. How can we “turn the other cheek” to someone who hates us and Our Lord? How can we do this on the spot when our pride has been hurt? How can we do this without making Christians out to be cowards, wimps, push-overs?
The answer brings tears to my eyes.
Let me ask you a question: Who is behind this religion we call Christianity? Christ is.
Was He beat? Was He bruised? Were thorns jammed into His head? Was His beard ripped out? Was He nailed through His wrists and feet to a wooden cross which was staked in front of a crowd of people who spat upon Him and tore His clothes off and laughed at His agony? Did He take on every sin ever committed, every sin being committed, every sin ever to be committed? Did He? And what, I ask, was His reaction? If He is really who we claim to follow, let us look to the scriptures and learn how we must react to persecution.
When Judas betrayed Jesus and brought the soldiers to arrest him in the garden, Jesus made one very important remark: (Mathew 26:53)
“Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?”
He could have summoned any sort of help, but no. He took it all upon Himself.
When He is questioned, Jesus held His peace.
He answered them when they had no right to be answered.
He remained calm, He was peaceful, He spoke the truth but did not strike back. He went to the cross in this manner. This blows my mind. The ultimate sacrifice was the One who we (claim to) follow, the One who we (supposedly) model our lives after. Sacrifice is important, it is what we are supposed to do. It is what we are supposed to be.
Elizabeth Elliot in Passion and Purity writes:
(page 40:) What kind of God is it who asks everything of us? The same God who “…did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all; and with this gift how can He fail to lavish upon us all He has to give?”
He gives all.
He asks all.
Doesn’t that make it all rather clear?
I mean, I am speaking to myself here. I sometimes take the easy route. When I don’t understand something, I pretend like there is no way I can. This is wrong…God reveals these sorts of truths to us blatantly! Sacrifice is a key element in…well, Christ-likeness! We cannot ignore it any longer.
But that still brings us to the question:
Should we actually look for pain, sacrifice, trials, the unfair life?
(to be continued)
e.pleasant

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Bookish Conversation

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK CHARACTER?

Fairlight (or “Birdie”): “My favorite girl character is probably Lucy Pevensie! She is so brave and has a big imagination! And my favorite boy character is probably Reynie Muldoon from The Mysterious Benedict Society he is great!”
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Autumn: “That is a difficult question. There are so many characters I would like to be…Jo, from Little Women, Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, or Ramona from the Beverly Cleary books. I could never choose!”
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Rita: “My favorite character in a book is………………………I don’t have one!! But one character I really like is Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird.”
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Lydia Jane: “It is really very hard to choose, but I would have to say that Mayme Jukes from the Shenandoah Sisters series for my girl character, and for my boy character Johnny Tremaine although Nat Bowditch comes in close.”
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Magda: “1) constantin levin in anna karenina by leo tolstoy, 2) eowyn + faramir in the lord of the rings by jrr tolkien- these characters are very much more noble in the books than in the movie, 3)anne elliot in persuasion by jane austen”
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Joy Michelle: “Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I’ve always been drawn to the mysterious hero/villian sorts of characters, the ones that you can’t quite decide about.”
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Tessa: “I think for a favorite male character (besides my own Benjamin Snyder) I’ll choose Matt Cruse in Airborn and Skybreaker. And for female, I think Anidori in The Goose Girl.”
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Everly: “You probably noticed that I haven’t answered my own question. I chalenged myself too much! I don’t have a favorite character per say but I do have a lot that I like. I always say that the first book character I ever “related to” was Jane Moffat from The Moffats. I still like her. I also love characters from Narnia, Nat from The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Anne of Green Gables, and so many, many more. My mind is obviously blank right now…”
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Thanks so much for participating everyone! Sabrina, etc. I expect that you give your answers (though late) in the comment box!!! Or else!!!
Love,
Everly
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