Bindings: Reflections on faith, life, and good books
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Bindings: Reflections on Faith, Life, and Good Books

Bindings offers thought-provoking blogs by vibrant, published Christian authors on faith issues, life and current events, and intriguing, must-read books.

Posted 10/31/14 at 12:38 AM | Bindings: Reflections on Faith, Life, and Good Books

Why Christians Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Halloween

Christians and Halloween haven’t always been the best of friends. At best, Halloween has been an excuse to hand out Jack Chick tracts, and at worst it’s been a day of looking down at all the devil-worshipping children out on the streets. Christians preach fiery sermons designed to instill a fear of the devil and all his minions. They hold separate parties in their basements so their children have a better alternative to trick-or-treating. They make the words “Haunted House” akin with communing with the spirits. Simply stated, Christians are afraid of Halloween. But I say it’s time we put the Christ in Halloween.

I’m not talking about dressing up as Jesus for Halloween (really, please don’t ever do this. And if you do, don’t tell people I told you to). But maybe instead of being scared of Halloween, we could embrace it. Jesus wasn’t scared of spirits or ghosts or demons. He spent a lot of time talking to them and driving them out of people. For a while they were the only beings that recognized Him as the Messiah. So why are we so afraid of even mentioning them now? FULL POST

Posted 10/28/14 at 11:16 PM | Bindings: Reflections on Faith, Life, and Good Books

Poisoned Apple: Are Apple Products Still Cool?

If you have friends or internet access, you probably heard about the iPhone 6’s release on September 19. Reviews of the phone are very good for the most part, and sales of Apple’s newest product broke sell-through records. In spite of releasing such a great product, I think that Apple has already reached its climax.

Now, I don’t think this will happen all at once. It will be more of an IBM type decline, where a once great and innovating company slowly fades into the background. It will be years before any noticeable change is felt, at least in terms of physical sales. But Apple just isn’t what it used to be.

Remember when the first iPhone launched? And how everyone believed that it would change the phone industry? Same thing with the iPod and the iPad. These products rocked the market, introducing terms like “MP3 player” and “tablet” into the common vernacular. They changed everything. But it’s been years since the iPad came out, and Apple hasn’t released anything as groundbreaking since then. FULL POST

Posted 10/27/14 at 2:23 AM | Bindings: Reflections on Faith, Life, and Good Books

How Insecure Are You? Take the Insecurity Challenge!

When I wouldn’t let my fiancé see my face—my face without makeup, that is—I knew something had to change. “You’ll hate me,” I cried as I buried my face into a pillow.

Finally he pried my hands off my cheeks, gazed into my eyes, and said it didn’t matter that I wasn’t wearing makeup. “You’re beautiful,” he told me.

Beautiful? I didn’t believe him. Not at all.

I thought about the scarring words a friend in fourth grade had said to me: “Anna, you’d be pretty…if only you wore makeup.” Later that day is when I decided that memory’s hurt had held me for way too long.

After all, I’m the girl who can’t leave her apartment without at least some mascara. The same girl who feigned illness so her fiancé wouldn’t see her acne. It was time to do something. It was time to give up makeup and make headway toward conquering my insecurity. FULL POST

Posted 10/23/14 at 2:22 AM | Bindings: Reflections on Faith, Life, and Good Books

ISIS Invasion Traps Iraqi Christians in Their Own Country

“We tried very hard, very hard to raise the banner. The world remained silent. Now the devastation is a gradual death.”

The voice of Juliana Taimoorazy, Founder and President of Iraqi Christian Relief Council, clears the clack-clack of roadway background noise. She is driving home from yet another conference concerning the suffering of her fellow Christians in Iraq.1 Yesterday, she met in D.C. with world leaders of the persecuted Yazidis, another Iraqi religious minority.

“The majority of death that happened in the Christian community was [around] 2005,” continues Taimoorazy, referring to earlier mass murder. Now at least one quarter of Iraq’s Christian population, offered only the options to convert or die, have fled to Iraq’s Kurdish north where they are crammed into schools and churches, sleeping in pews and courtyards. They own absolutely nothing. And the northern Kurdish government has just ordered all convents and schools to empty so school can begin. “The winter is upon them,” Taimoorazy explains, “The time aid gets to our people, they are dying…devastated. This is a human tragedy.” FULL POST

Posted 10/22/14 at 1:15 AM | Bindings: Reflections on Faith, Life, and Good Books

The Ray Rice & Janay Palmer Rice Story: Are We Addicted to Abuse?

Photo: Flickr/Keith Allison/cropped - Creative Commons

Clearly I’m not the only one sickened by the story of Ray Rice, the Baltimore Ravens’ now former running back, and Janay Palmer (now Janay Rice). On Monday, September 8, TMZ released a video of Rice punching Palmer in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino.1 Not only did her knock her unconscious, he dragged her body out of the elevator. No tears, no “what did I do?” Instead, he seemed unconcerned…after just beating his fiancée.

Was it callous payback because, as surveillance videos at Atlantic City showed, the two were arguing and striking each other in the casino before they entered the elevator? Was Rice merely getting the upper hand by finishing what they each started? The two were charged with domestic violence-simple assault.2 Before the video went global, though, Rice had already been under investigation for the beating. To sidestep a trial, he’d undergone an intervention program for first-time offenders. The NFL suspended him from two games this past summer. A handslap for a violent crime. FULL POST

Posted 10/19/14 at 9:27 PM | Bindings: Reflections on Faith, Life, and Good Books

For the Love of Football, Goldenrods, and Jesus

Fall of the year has arrived and everybody knows what that means in the south – football season. It’s that time of year in Alabama when we either get out the crimson and white or the blue and orange. It’s that time of year when families and friends are divided in the allegiances and we pray that no one gets hurt (on the field or in the family television room). It is that time of year when we may spend about twelve hours on Saturdays watching the SEC. It’s a good thing that grass isn’t growing as much or we might not be able to find our houses. After all, who has time to cut grass and weed eat during football season?

There is another season that happens during the fall too. It’s called hay fever season. I participate in this season each year too but I don’t enjoy it nearly as much as football. About the time of the Kickoff Classic my nose begins running like a tailback and it usually doesn’t slow down until bowl season. I’m not sure exactly what all I am allergic to but I do know it includes goldenrod, hay, and Easter lilies. While you might normally see these outside I have experienced all three inside the church. FULL POST

Posted 10/15/14 at 12:50 AM | Bindings: Reflections on Faith, Life, and Good Books

Early and Late Bloomers

In the play 1776 (later made into a movie), John Adams and Ben Franklin visit Thomas Jefferson, who is struggling to compose a declaration of independence from Britain. Adams and Franklin inspect the writing.

“This is awful, Tom,” one of them says. He reads a part of it. It sounds like something a grade school child might compose. Eventually, after Jefferson spends time with his wife, whom he has missed terribly in Philadelphia, he writes the Declaration of Independence that we know today.

Sometimes my writing reads like Jefferson’s first efforts with the Declaration. Really awful. About as able to move the reader as a nursery rhyme. No, a nursery rhyme is better.

I hate the first writing of a novel. It’s forced, and I don’t know what I’m doing.

I love editing and rewriting. It’s then that I experience the high of writing that moves me. I begin to know what it’s about. FULL POST

Posted 10/12/14 at 11:47 PM | Bindings: Reflections on Faith, Life, and Good Books

It All Depends on How We Look At Others

My friend, Jean, graduated from Manchester High School, in Georgia, in the spring of 1964. She and her husband, Wayne, recently attended her fifty year class reunion. The reunion coincided with the high school’s homecoming. The school paraded through the streets of downtown Manchester prior to the homecoming game with the class of ’64 as their special guest. The class actually had their own section in the parade. Class members wore matching tee shirts in the school colors of blue and white. The front of their shirts had the school name above a picture of their blue devil mascot, and beneath that was written “Class of 1964.” Each class member’s name was listed on the back of the shirts. They wore Mardi Gras type beads around their necks and threw them to the crowd as they passed. About half a dozen class members drove their vehicles in the parade. Some rode motorcycles, Jean rode in the parade with Wayne in his beautifully restored turquoise 1957 Chevrolet, another class member drove his Porsche, and another his brand new Corvette. The rest of the class members rode on a float. The float consisted of a rubber tired wagon pulled by a pickup truck. The wagon had large banners on the side that read, “Welcoming and Celebrating Manchester Blue Devils Class of ’64 Reunion.” Although many of the classmates had white hair and some of the men had little or no hair, parading together no doubt reminded them of those long ago days of their youth. They may have felt a little young again, at least until someone heard a little girl watching the parade say to her mother, “Look Mama, the float with the nursing home folks!” FULL POST

Posted 10/8/14 at 1:48 AM | Bindings: Reflections on Faith, Life, and Good Books

Echoing and Coloring

While reading a recently popular novel on a flight, I came across a solution to a character’s conflict that seemed very familiar to me. Wasn’t the very same solution in another novel I’d read? No, wait. With obvious detail variances, the situation was in a book...that I had written! Horrors. A jumble of reactions whipped through my mind—how embarrassing, coincidental, and apparently, un-original of me to write those words. Readers might assume that I had copied another author’s idea. I truly had not read his book until that flight.

I returned the book to my carry-on bag and pondered my dilemma by considering the clouds below. Then a Bible quote came to mind: There is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9) Clearly, there is a much nobler and more spiritual meaning to the verse, but it made me feel better. Upon arrival at our home, I checked my favorite writer’s opinions on originality. Again, I found solace. FULL POST

Posted 10/6/14 at 12:47 AM | Bindings: Reflections on Faith, Life, and Good Books

Ginger the Weather Forecaster

I’m hoping Ginger can land a job as a weather forecaster. I’m trying to help her put together a resume but she doesn’t have many credentials. I’m a little embarrassed to admit this but none of us, Ginger included, even know her date of birth. We remember the year but not the exact month or day. I guess that, along with other reasons, is why we’ve never given the poor girl a birthday party. She doesn’t even have a social security number. She has no work experience. She has never done a hard day’s work in her life. She never pitches in to help with any of the household chores. I hate to say that she is lazy but she spends most of her days lying around sleeping.

She hasn’t been to college. To tell the truth she has no education. She can’t even read or write but she is an expert in one area. Her field of expertise is weather forecasting. She is good at it too. I may be a bit partial but I think she has the looks for television. She has a pretty face, beautiful eyes, and blond hair. Oh, by the way, did I mention that Ginger is a dog? She is our sixty five pound yellow Labrador. We used to watch Willard the weather man. Now we could have Ginger the weather dog. She is more accurate than any weather radio or radar I’ve ever seen, not to mention a few forecasters. FULL POST

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