One of my favorite type of books is the one where the main character has a plan and the audience is left out of it. We observe, like the other characters, the preparation, and execution of a plan that looks ridiculous. Some even look doomed to failure. Then, at the last moment, a final piece... Continue Reading →
Over two thousand years ago, you could not find a position much lower than a poor, Jewish girl. Under Roman occupation, a girl like Mary had little political, economic, or social power. Even within her own country, she came from an area that elicited the response from Nathanael (a disciple): “Can anything good come out... Continue Reading →
When we think of Christmas, it is easy to imagine the scene of Jesus’s arrival as a joyous time for all involved. Instead, history shows us that Israel was a powder keg and Jesus was in many ways a match to light it. Silent, But Not Calm Over two thousand years ago, the Roman Empire... Continue Reading →
When I was a kid, I used to be perplexed by what I considered the stodginess of elderly people. They seemed desperate to maintain their routines, angry even. This type of character is captured comically in Disney’s Up and beautifully in Frederick Bachman’s A Man Called Ove. In both stories, the main character, a man,... Continue Reading →
The first Star Wars movie came out the year I was born. Though I never saw these movies in their original releases in the movie theaters, these movies helped define my childhood. I owned the action figures and played with them constantly. When I ventured away to more traditional toys, Star Wars came with me—my Barbie named was Leia and Ken was named Luke. There are too many iconic moments in these films to count, but I always remember Princess Leia’s rescue scene with mirth.