The Power of Like

Big Brother is watching you. That creepy idea has sparked movies, books, and conspiracy theories galore: someone, somewhere, knows what you like, whom you vote for, what you ate for breakfast. Marketing companies analyze your online habits and tailor-make ads to snare you, even varying the cost of potential products depending on your socio-economic status. “Like-farming” is a spammer’s delight. When companies can pinpoint a prospective customer’s vulnerable moments and pounce with confidence-boosting ad campaigns, or a candidate’s campaign can spin out fake news to lure new voters, we really have sunk to a new low…

Read the rest at godcenteredlife.org!

Perspective Podcast

Blessed to be a guest on Chris Arnzen’s “Iron Sharpens Iron” show this week!  Loved the opportunity to linger in conversation a while, and I hope it will give you some food for thought while you jog/do the dishes/drive a bus/bathe a dog.  (Does anyone do anything without multi-tasking any more?)    

Friends and Books

Maybe you have felt that reading a book is like making a friend, or that, picking up someone else’s pages, you have made a connection across miles and time with the author.  You read someone else’s words and you think, Yes!  I feel the same.  As C.S. Lewis said, “Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another ‘What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .'”  For a lonely kid, that is the magic of books.

Now, as an author, I see another side of publishing, “red in tooth and claw” as it is.  Books are business, and business is not friendly.  Trying to get a manuscript published is like sucking up the courage needed to run naked across a stage while being pelted with rotten fruit and large pointy objects.  No one sane would do it at all.  But even in the muck of publishing, there is a nice side, the friendship that can bloom in unlikely ways through the pages of a book.

I have been privileged this year to make such a friend, a stranger across the country who was willing to review Thirty Thousand Days.  That it could have gone badly I am well aware.  Even as I sent off a copy, I dived under the bed to wait for tomatoes to fly.  But what I heard to my happy surprise was “What?  You too?” I am pleased to say that I have found a friend in Carolyn Litfin, and I am honored to know her.  If you should happen this week to read a book that makes you happy, find the author (she’s probably hiding under the bed) and tell her so.  We all have room for another friend.

Here’s Carolyn’s kind review.

Photo credit: krecimag via VisualHunt /  CC BY

Whatever Comes (a devotional for the day)

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us…”  (II Peter 1:3)

Everything I need.  Every little blessed thing I ever needed, or ever will– that’s what God gives me?  Then hiding behind what I think I need there must be a deeper need, not a bigger house, but contentment; not a squabble to end, but love.  And posted on that closet full of goodness is a sign:  “Free for the Taking.”

Do I need hope?  He is my living hope.  Do I need light?  The Lord is my light and my salvation.  Whether the deep need of my soul today is rest and healing, shelter and peace, or I need strength for battle, a sword and a shield, God is my fortress.  There is no lack in my life he cannot provide–wisdom, friendship, joy, or love.  There is no moment his eye is not upon me, no place his arms cannot reach, no depths to which he will not go to find me.  There is no calamity which takes him by surprise, no situation out of his gracious good will.  He is warmth and kindness.  He is unassailable in power, matchless in beauty, victorious over every enemy, gentle as a shepherd.

Why are you downcast, o my soul?  For I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Charles Spurgeon wrote, “the Lord seems to say, ‘I am yours, soul; come and make use of me as you will.  You may freely come to my store, and the more you come, the more welcome you will be.’  It is our own fault if we do not enjoy the riches of our God…. Never be wanting while you have a God to go to; never fear or faint while you have God to help you; go to your treasure and take whatever you need– there is all that you can ever want.”

Lord, whatever comes, make me steadfast, make me rooted.