Tag: Redemption

“…Today You Will Be with Me in Paradise.”

 

You know how sometimes Scripture just seems to jump out at you, or you notice something you hadn’t before? Well, I had one of those moments Friday. My pastor has a daily devotional podcast, and for the Good Friday episode this year, he opted to simply read the story of Jesus’ sacrifice for us from the Bible. When he was reading from Matthew, one verse in particular struck me (I’ve also included the preceding verses for context):

Then two criminals were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. Those who passed by were yelling insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!” In the same way the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him and said, “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! He is the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God rescue him now — if he takes pleasure in him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” In the same way even the criminals who were crucified with him taunted him.

A Life Redeemed from Destruction

 

Yesterday I wrote a piece that provoked some interesting comments, including an entire sub thread about something that had little to do with the original post. That’s how things go on Ricochet. If I’ve learned anything from this past year, it’s that people in my circles have said things … new things, that have surprised me. In regard to my closer friends, I thought I knew them. And I thought they knew me. It’s as if all this time we’ve been playing on the margins and now as the fires have gotten hotter, the conversations are suddenly changing, taking us down new and uncharted roads.

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Five years ago, our 14 year-old daughter walked out of our home. It was catastrophic in so many ways, ripples upon ripples. We tried to save the situation, but it was too little, too late. We had to move on, because everything we tried was worse than doing nothing. My wife and I could not […]

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Basia and the Squirrel: Scruton’s Tale of Eros Transubstantiated

 

“The apostolic church is a church of the heart. When you steal from it you steal the heart. Hence the theft is easy, and amends are long and hard.” A strange way to sum up a story of erotic love. Nonetheless, it was Scruton’s way, as he described, in the second half of his essay, Stealing from Churches, the thwarted love affair that taught him a “narrative of transubstantiation” transmuting body into soul. In truth, the love affair wasn’t thwarted at all, but one that fulfilled its purpose, a purpose his stubborn young beloved, Basia (pronounced “Basha”), saw more clearly than he did.

Scruton had organized a subversive summer school for the Catholic University in Poland, bringing together Polish and English philosophy students to resist communism. Under the codename “Squirrel” (in Polish “Wiewiorka”, for his red hair) and tailed by at least one jug-eared agent, Scruton had stumbled into more James-Bond mystique than most ginger-haired philosophy dons could hope for. It would be almost cliche, then, for an exotic young thing to throw herself at him. Wry-smiling, stunning Basia was no cliche, though. Or rather, if she were, it would be the cliche in a kind of story too little told these days to count as cliche anymore.

Basia, at 26, the oldest, most academically-advanced of the bright young things attending Scruton’s summer lectures and their unofficial leader, was an uppity young woman with a checkered past. She wasted little time with Scruton: after his second day in Kazimierz, she waylaid him in the woods to announce she noticed no ring on his finger. Such a frank admission of desire seems likely to end in embarrassment all round whether the desire is reciprocated or not, and perhaps it would have if it weren’t accompanied by her equally frank admission that consummating desire was not her aim:

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    It was surreal to get a text from a friend that Notre Dame Cathedral was on fire as we were driving to the funeral home. I saw the headline and shut off my phone. My mother-in-law passed in the early morning hours of Monday, April 15th, our last remaining parent. It’s been months […]

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Andrew Klavan joins Paul Beston on a special summertime edition of 10 Blocks to discuss faith, depression, and redemption—the focus of his memoir, The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ.

Klavan is an award-winning and bestselling author, Hollywood screenwriter, political commentator, and contributing editor for City Journal. But before his books became films starring Clint Eastwood and Michael Douglas, severe depression took him to the brink of suicide.

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“Then one of the Twelve – the one called Judas Iscariot – went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.” (Matthew […]

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I received this e-mail this morning from a complete stranger. I don’t know how she knew of me—she doesn’t say—though I suspect she heard me tell a story on the Moth Radio Hour? At any rate, I thought you might find it, and my reply, interesting? Dear Kate, Preview Open

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Beauty from Ashes

 


“To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit
of despair.” — Isaiah 61:3

Seven years ago, a mountain in southern Iceland called Eyjafjallajökull erupted. This caused an enormous emission of smoke and ash that covered large areas of northern Europe. Consequently, the majority of European flights from April 14 to 20, 2010 were cancelled, creating the highest level of air travel disruption since the Second World War. Twenty countries closed their airspace to commercial jet traffic and it affected about 10 million travelers. By April 21, the eruption had ended. Since no further lava or ash was being produced, the crisis was declared over and flights returned to normal.

But life would never be normal again for the many homes and farms in the countryside around Eyjafjallajökull. The toxic ash had killed their livestock and crops and rendered their soil useless. Many families moved away, others sold all their holdings and changed their livelihoods. But a small, enterprising number of Icelanders stayed. Rather than curse the ashes that had obliterated their former lives, they took them and turned them into new sources of income. One of the most successful was soap.

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”There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb and he almost deserved it.” This is the first line of C. S. Lewis’ classic children’s novel “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” (the 3rd book Lewis wrote in the Narnia series and the 5th if one reads them chronologically.) Preview Open

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I was a senior in high school when I first read The Exorcist. Frankly, I found the assignment odd, wedged in, as it was, between Crime and Punishment and King Lear. Although I hadn’t yet seen the movie, scuttlebutt had it that the film was just another tired horror tale filled with the ever greater gore that was, even […]

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