Why New Year Resolutions May Be a Bad Idea

Are you thinking about New Year resolutions yet? If not, you’re running out of time. Tomorrow is Day 1 of the New Year.

Before you pull out that Moleskine and start scribbling out your list, consider the possibility that you should forgo making New Year resolutions. Here are some reasons why New Year resolutions may be a bad idea:

  1. You set yourself up for feeling defeated. This happens more quickly if your resolutions impale you with the spear of a repeating event—something you have to do every day or once a month to accomplish what you’ve resolved to do. Read more of this post

Sherlock Holmes Is Back

I haven’t seen the Sherlock Holmes movie that was released on Christmas day. Instead, I drew a likeness of the celebrated sleuth—in the pages of a Moleskine, of course.

If you’ve seen the movie, how about leaving a comment with the rank you would give it?

No Such Thing as an “Attempted Terrorist Attack”

So what do you call it when a man, claiming affiliation with al Qaeda, ignites an incendiary device on a commercial flight from Amsterdam to Detroit?

It’s being reported that President Obama has called the Christmas day incident an “attempted terrorist attack.” I hope that’s not what he’s calling it.

If someone attacks innocents, for terrorist purposes, then the attack is a terrorist attack, whether or not the attack is completely successful. Read more of this post

Christmas Challenge

Today is Christmas. I have a Christmas challenge for you. Whoever you are, I urge you to read a succinct summary of the central role Jesus is supposed to play in God’s plan for the salvation of humanity.

Please, don’t click away from this post without reading to the end. Surely you can spare a few minutes for this. It is, after all, Christmas Day.

This challenge doesn’t assume that you’re a Christian, that you believe in Jesus, or that you have any religion whatsoever. But any reasonable evaluation of Christianity presupposes a knowledge of the basic outline of what a true disciple of Jesus believes to be the only hope for this world.

To accept this Christmas challenge, please click on this link to a brief PDF file: God’s Plan of Salvation

I’ll be happy to receive any comments or questions you have after reading this. Unless you wish to have them published on this post, your comments will be kept in the strictest confidence.

Note: I have taken this challenge myself today and found it truly rewarding. It’s attributed to Mark Dever, and appears as an explanatory essay in the study version of the English Standard Bible, published by Crossway Books.

Favorite Christmas Card?

Filippino Lippi, ca. 1485

By now you probably have a collection of Christmas cards from people thinking of you during this season of celebration.

Do you have a favorite card? Can you describe it? How does it speak to you? Please leave your comment.

Today we received a card featuring the beautiful detail of “Madonna and Child” painted by the Florentine artist Filippino Lippi (ca. 1485). The image to the right shows more of the detail than is included on the card.

The card (shown left) is a close-up of the Madonna, whose expression of pensive tenderness seems to convey humility, and perhaps vague uncertainty about the child’s future.

Mary’s vestments reflect the honor due her as one chosen by God for her unique role in history, rather than for any special respect she enjoyed among her peers.

Thank You, Readers!

Thanks to you, readers, my blog has had over 140,000 views as of today. Your many comments have helped shape things here.

The busiest day of the year was April 6, with over 2000 views. That was for my commentary on the Craig vs. Hitchens debate on the existence of God. That post continues to be visited daily, and has garnered the most comments.

Far exceeding my expectations, the “Jason Bourne vs. James Bond” post has eclipsed many of my posts in popularity. It, too, is viewed daily.

My series of writing tips on “The Moleskine Method” is the most viewed of posts added in the last few weeks. Another daily read.

Some of you I’ve known for years. Others I’ve met here for the first time. And some I’ve encountered during my travels for speaking.

For each reader who subscribes to have email notification for every post, or who has an RSS feed from my blog, I’m most profoundly grateful.

Finally, I want to thank each of you who have added this blog to your blogroll, and to all who have posted comments on your blogs, sending me so many new visitors. You guys are great!

Merry Christmas!

Americans Shamed by Obama for Carping?

Greta Van Susteren reported on Monday, December 21, about President Obama’s morning speech. In his speech, he scolded those who are opposed to his health-care bill, and said they need to “stop carping.” Greta went to the dictionary to check up on “carping.” She discovered that the word means “marked by or inclined to querulous and often perverse criticism.”

So the President thinks that if you express concern about his bill, then your criticism is “querulous,” and possibly “perverse.” I believe he said what he believes, even if he didn’t mean to say what he said.

On what basis can the President say what he did if the “carpers” add up to roughly 60% of Americans? I think it’s simple. Read more of this post

More Christmas Reading

In my recent post “‘Tis the Season for Christmas Reading,” I included titles to consider in the days leading up to Christmas. But there are many more to know about.

One I should have included comes from the category of fantasy, by one of fantasy fictions greatest practitioners, J. R. R. Tolkien. For twenty years Tolkien wrote and illustrated letters from Father Christmas, delivered from the North Pole to his own children. So here is my entry for best fantasy fiction for this year: Letters from Father Christmas, by J. R. R. Tolkien (in hardback or paperback). You may be inspired to write your own letters from Santa or Father Christmas to children (your own, or someone else’s).

The rest of this post will be updated as I’m able, with More Christmas Reading:

Fantasy Fiction

General Fiction

Humorous Fiction

Hymns and Carols


Mystery & Suspense

Non-fiction—Social Commentary



Note: Though I’ve been careful in selecting these titles, I haven’t read all of them myself.

Original Post: ‘Tis the Season for Christmas Reading

Related Posts by Doug Geivett:

Christmas Quote—Do You Know What You Want for Christmas?

“There are things you don’t ask for because you know you can’t have them, and then there are things so far outside the realm of possibility, it would never even occur to you to want them.”

—Fred to Lauren, in the short story “Miracle,” by Connie Willis

‘Tis the Season for Christmas Reading

There’s so much great Christmas-related fiction that you have to start January 1 to get it all in before Christmas. But the best time to dive into Christmas stories, large and small, is during the Christmas “season.” That starts earlier for some people than others. But within ten days of December 25 you should be into the spirit of things. Some good reading can help.

Here are a few tips, including some suggested reading: Read more of this post

Thought for the Day—December 17, 2009

If you yank the heart out of truth, you have nothing left but a bloodless form of belief. —RDG

Don’t Fool Yourself

If you think you don’t need to read this book, you’re probably fooling yourself. I Told Me So: Self-Deception and the Christian Life—by my friend and colleague, Gregg Ten Elshof—may get you thinking about all those people you know who deceive themselves. It should be obvious that that’s not the goal of the book. But because what Gregg says in his book is so on target, I’m afraid it won’t be obvious to everyone.

Forward by Dallas Willard. For more details on this new title, click here for the Amazon description.

Thought for the Day—December 13, 2009

I don’t know when. I don’t know how. But I do know why. —RDG

Edgar Allan Poe and “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar”

Occasionally I dip into my copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination, a compact and inexpensive, but moderately elegant, hard copy edition in the Barnes and Noble “Collector’s Library.” It measures 4 inches by 6 inches, is not quite an inch thick, has gilt edges, and a wine-colored ribbon.

The collection includes Poe’s story “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” a story ostensibly about the effects of mesmerism (the precursor to hypnotism) on an individual who is about to die.

Though not obvious to everyone when first published 20 December 1845, the story is pure fabrication. Read more of this post

Thought for the Day—December 7, 2009

It already looks like we’ll be commiserating about the good ole’ days in the future. —RDG

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