Today I am honored to have one of my articles published by Christ and Pop Culture (CaPC) magazine. I wrote about our experiences sailing across the Pacific from Mexico to New Zealand. This magazine is a member benefit, but it is currently available to non-members for a limited time. CaPC membership starts at $5/month, which gets you great content engaging with popular culture in a thoughtful way from a Christian perspective. As well, member benefits include music and e-book downloads each month.
Sailing to Paradise: Sin, Disease, and Natural Disaster
“Ellen, come look at this,” my husband, Todd, requested.
We were five days sailing into our first ocean passage from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia in 2000. We expected the 2,800-mile journey to take close to four weeks and possibly a full month of blue water sailing. I sleepily uncurled from the off-watch bunk of our Cal 34 sailboat, Mandolin. Todd presented me with a weather fax he had downloaded via our HAM radio to our laptop. It showed that a Tropical Depression had developed to the southeast in the Gulf of Tehuantepec, the birthplace of Pacific Ocean hurricanes. This weather system had the potential to kill us. It was heading our way.
Hannah More enjoyed a brilliant literary career among the London literati in the late 1700’s, was an equal among William Wilberforce’s cohorts in ending the British slave trade, and brought to fruition what the Protestant Reformation boldly stated in theory: in order to understand the Scriptures, all should learn to read. So why is it that her poems, essays, pamphlets, and fiction as well as her pioneering work in education are little known today? In part it is due to her immediate friends; in part it is due to her subsequent enemies, states Karen Swallow Prior in her biography Fierce Convictions: the Extraordinary Life of Hannah More—Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist.
How often do you expect to laugh while reading a work of fiction dealing with death, grieving, and moving on? In When the Heart is Laid Bare, Skylar Hamilton Burris pulls off the seeming impossible: finding wholesome, witty humor while looking for answers to life’s suffering.
From the back cover: “Coach Calder Johnson’s wife has, according to the hospital social worker, expired. Expired. Like a credit card. Not like a human being. Calder hasn’t had a true friend, other than his wife, in twenty-four years. So if he’s going to heal, he’ll have to learn to let someone inside.
The women were coming and I would never be ready on time.
My children were still wee young things. It must have been the Holy Spirit’s leading that had caused me to successfully get a women’s Bible study up and running in my home. Those who know me well, know that thinking of, organizing, and following through on such plans is completely unlike me. Many times on Bible study day, I recall waking up in the morning, standing in my kitchen, and wondering how I would ever be ready on time. The perpetual pile of papers was always there to accuse me of being a homemaker failure. Taking care of my children and getting hot drinks ready for a group of women daunted me. And that was the extent of my responsibilities: faith life, husband, children, home. Nothing major, nothing extraordinary, and I was overwhelmed.
Menacing, dangerous, and deadly are the themes surrounding green in the Old English epic poem Beowulf. Listening to J R R Tolkien’s The Hobbit on CD during our Tahoe road trip, conveyed the threatening nature of gloomy green as Bilbo and the dwarves traversed Mirkwood Forest for seemingly endless days. Literature depicts life. In the modern world it is still no light matter to embark on an apparently easy, short jaunt into the green landscaped wilderness.
Late last month, I read on Tim Fall’s blog that Mars Hill church conducts demon trials. In his post on the subject, Tim states, “It’s in comparing Mr. Driscoll’s practices to Scripture that we see he and his leadership team are making things up as they go along. They promote a false doctrine contradicting what the Bible says about demons and about the power of those who belong to Jesus.”
Last week a friend handed me the book They Shall Expel Demons, by Derek Prince. It appears to me that deceased Derek Prince also has a false doctrine contradicting the Bible.