What I Do Not Fear

I’ve just finished a revisit to C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy at the moment, and it resonated with me in an interesting way. I’m an American who has never been particularly thrilled with the current state of our political system. (I’m also frustrated with the fact that the human race is fallible and fallen and imperfect. I’m really looking forward to heaven; the government there is going to be awesome.)

However, as folks around me have been rushing to concern about the election, I’ve been trying to keep my eyes focused on the fact that while this does matter, it isn’t actually the Biggest Deal in the History of the World. The theoretical election of either Hillary Clinton or Drumpf will neither end the world nor will it save the world. Humanity has been in bad spots before. We’ll find ourselves in bad spots again. We’re definitely in a better place than the characters in That Hideous Strength find themselves.

And as I read that book, I’ve been reminded of something. The real struggle is not the political struggle between two (or more) parties. It isn’t between a few powerful individuals. Fairy Hardcastle is not nearly as dangerous as the power behind N.I.C.E. Lord Feverstone is made dangerous by the Power that controls him. The Director (aka Ransom) is good because of the Power that he has chosen to serve.

Similarly, in our world, the real struggle is between The Ruler of the Present Age and the Ruler of the World to Come. Our hope does not rest in Washington D.C. No American politician can save our souls. Only Jesus Christ can do that. As St. Paul puts it, our struggle “is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Yes, what happens in this life matters. We need to make good and wise choices. We want good leaders, but we can’t count on politicians to save us. We need to live lives that are focused not on this world but on the next. “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.” (C.S. Lewis) Our hope is not here on earth. Our goal is not here.

The goal, the hope is heaven. Yes, we will face difficulties in our earthly lives. So have all of those who have come before us in faith. Jesus told us that it wouldn’t be easy. “ I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33) We do need to pray for our political leaders. We do need to make wise choices politically. But we do not need to worry. The Master of the Universe has conquered the World. We may face hard times. We may have governments that we do not like. But in the end, the Good and Just Judge awaits us.

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FO: Sazerac

If you pay much attention to my knitting posts, you may have heard that I really like the work of a designer named Thea Colman. In February, Thea released a sweater pattern that I knew that I needed to make. It’s name is Sazerac, and it looked like the comfy sort of sweater that I love. Thea had used YOTH Yarns Big Sister, which is DK weight. I’d never heard of YOTH before Thea started referencing them on Instagram and in her Rav posts, but I thought I’d try them out. Thea spoke highly of them, so I sprang for a sweater quantity of Big Sister in Thyme. Thyme is a brilliant blue-green that spoke to my mood back in February. As soon as it arrived, I was in love.

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Sazerac is not a hard knit. The pattern is well-written. If you can follow a chart, the cable chart is really straight forward. To be honest, I had the chart memorized fairly quickly. The reason it took me a little more than three months to finish the sweater is that I was busy and it requires focused attention. The cabling is NOT hard to do or to memorize, but it does require that you focus on the pattern. This is not mindless knitting. This is not a pattern that you can work on while you watch War and Peace or Captain America.

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It is, however, a pattern that is definitely worth the time and the effort. Prior to this sweater, it had been quite a while since I’d made a sweater worked in pieces and seamed together. But this was worth the time. This is a gorgeous piece that I’m thrilled to have in my wardrobe for the winter.

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It’s only about 80 degrees Fahrenheit today. This sweater was only worn for the photo shoot. IMG_3135

Overall, the sweater took me five and a half skeins of Big Sister, which leaves me with a skein and a half leftover. I’m hoping to make myself a cowl for winter with that selvedge. But for now, look at more pictures of the sweater! Aren’t those cables glorious? I’m really thinking that I’ll need to make a baby blanket using this cable pattern some day. Heck, maybe that cowl I’m dreaming up will use that pattern.

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Those cables! All those books…I love books. I think that I need more books.

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Raveled here.

Book Review: One More Thing

A few weeks ago, I finished reading B.J. Novak‘s book One More Thing. I’ve liked B.J. since his days on The Office where he was both a writer and an actor. I also really like his children’s book, The Book with No Pictures.

While my high school self would probably want to punch my adult self in the face for this, I’ve really come to love short stories. I “blame” my college professors for this because they exposed me to geniuses like Flannery O’Connor and Mark Twain. In fact, I find B.J. Novak’s style to be reminiscent of Mark Twain’s voice.

Throughout the book, Novak’s voice was warm and compelling. Some stories were a few pages, others a few sentences. The narration is witty and entertaining. I don’t love every topic that he covers, but for the most part, I was entertained by his stories. There were a few stories that didn’t really line up with my moral comfort zone.

Overall, it’s a good book. Novak revisits the age-old tale of the tortoise and the hare in a hilarious way. He tells us what REALLY happened to Elvis. He gives us funny and realistic tales of potential romances and failed romances. He mocks accepted facts such as the formulaic nature of a John Grisham novel. Novak isn’t producing the greatest literature of the twenty-first century, but he is producing something that is both entertaining and intelligent. He isn’t afraid to mock social conventions. He isn’t afraid to be original. Now, he’s not avant-garde, but he has a voice that is his quite respectably his own.

If you’re not afraid of a little dirty humor, I recommend the book. (I also really recommend his children’s book, The Book with no Pictures.) And if he writes another book of short stories or a novel, I’ll definitely read it.

P.S. His Instagram account is definitely worth a follow if you use that platform.