Showing posts from 2010

My Most Important Books, rev.

(whether they should have or not)
TOM JOHNSON – September 2010

Berry Wendell, the novels, esp. Jayber Crow
Bunyan, John, Pilgrim’s Progress
Camus, Albert, The Stranger
Carroll, Lewis, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Endo, Shusako, Silence
The Golden Books (children’s books)
Homer, The Iliad and The Odyssey
Howatch, Susan (the Starbridge Novels)
Huxley, Aldous, Brave New World
Irving, John (the novels)
Lewis, C.S., The Narnia Chronicles, The Space Trilogy, et al.
MacDonald, George, Lilith
Maugham, W. Somerset, Of Human Bondage
Mother Goose Stories
Orwell, George, 1984 and Animal Farm
Pirsig, Robert, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Potok, Chaim (all the novels)
Russell, Mary Doria, The Sparrow
Shakespeare, William (all the plays, esp. the tragedies)
Tolkien, J.R.R., The Hobbitt, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Twain, Mark, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer
Updike, John (all the novels)
Williams, Charles (all th…

Eleven Beliefs That Cause Problems

From Albert Ellis, edited by Kathie Keeler and Tom Johnson

Our behavior is determined by what we believe, whether we are aware of it or not. Anxiety, depression, sadness are all caused by what we believe. Below are listed eleven common beliefs that cause problems. The list is adapted from the work of Albert Ellis , one of the originators of cognitive-behavioral therapy. His pioneering research brought a significant paradigm shift to the world of psychology.

1. I must be loved by everyone.
Actually, everyone doesn’t have to love me, or even like me. I don’t necessarily like everyone I know, so why should everyone else have to like me? I enjoy being liked and loved, but if someone doesn’t like me, that’s OK. I will still feel loved and am OK. I can’t make someone like me anymore than someone can get me to like them. I don’t need everyone’s approval all the time or anyone’s approval all the time. They don’t approve of me: that’s OK. I don’t approve of everyone else either.

2. I must be p…

A Letter from Old John

A Letter from Old John

My friends and I are excited to tell you about our experience with the One who has made a great difference in our lives. We think he belongs to another world, that he came from the One True God to give us Life, and that he is that Life. We are passing on this good news we’ve found so you can share the same joy and be friends with us, united in knowing God and Jesus, the One whom he sent.

Another way One way to express this good news is that the One True and Living God is Light and only Light. We do not have to worry about God; there is no dark side. That’s an illusion, a lie that some people have made up. God is Light, period.

Yes, I know there are people who claim to have a personal relationship with this All-Light God even though their lives emit more darkness than light. You can be sure that such people are self-deceived and are not saying or doing what is right.

Instead, it works like this: if we are seeking to live our daily lives in the presence of the Al…

The prodigal and the unreligious

Here is another brief blog that appeared recently in The Christian Century.

The Famous Little Bo Peep Expository Sermon

I cannot take credit for this sermon, but I have embellished it based on years of teaching exegesis and expository preaching. I am sure I heard a sermion very like this once, but I may have been sleeping at the time. Enjoy.

Little Bo Peep Sermon

I would like to read to you from the 14th chapter of the book of Mother Goose, where we find these words recorded. “Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep, and she doesn’t know where to find them, but leave them alone and they’ll come home wagging their tails behind them.” Thus endeth the reading of the text.

Now I would like to go through this passage with you and explain to you as best I can the pearls of wisdom contained therein.

The first line tells us that “Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep.” Immediately we learn that the name of the main character in our narrative is Bo Peep; to be more precise, Little Bo Peep. Now from this we can ascertain that Little Bo Peep was a child or possibly a small adult. But since there aren’t too many small adul…