Mrs. Charming’s Castle, Act I


Dedicated to our wives, and The Church.

Act 1:  The War

Scene 1: The Gnomes

The gnomes invaded the continent almost exactly one year after Prince Kit Charming married Cinderella, now known as Princess Ella.

“My son,” said the King. “While I gladly gave you a year to enjoy life with your beautiful bride, It is now time for you to take on the duties of royalty.”

Oh no, thought Ella.  Will he send Kit away to the war?

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LEAD! C.5 Studying Scripture


boIn Which Diligently Searching God’s Word Leads Us to Truth

Few disciplines are as essential — or as dangerous! — as studying the words and works of God. Used in the wrong spirit, theology can become a heavy burden or a useless distraction (cf. Matthew 23:4). But when taught by the Holy Spirit, God’s word becomes the very source of life itself (cf. Luke 4:4). The challenge to us, as to Timothy, is whether we will apply God’s word rightly

Memory Verse: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)

Assigned Reading
  1. Richard Foster: Celebration of Discipline

    • 5. Study
  2. Donald Whitney: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

    • 2. Bible Intake (Part I)
  3. Eugene Peterson: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

    • 6. Help: “Oh, Blessed Be God! He Didn’t Go Off & Leave Us!”
  4. Ruth Haley Barton: Sacred Rhythms

    • 3. Scripture: Encountering God Through Lectio Divina

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LEAD! B.10 From Lust to Purity


In Which Our Desires Are Tamed As Our Hearts Are Purified

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” — Matthew 5:8

Though sometimes a synonym for sexual desire, or conversely any kind of consuming passion, we will define lust as the idolatrous pursuit of sexual/romantic excitement or fulfillment. In other words, trusting “eros” instead of God to validate who we are (our “name”).

Though far from the deadliest sin, lust is certainly one of the most popular, and (except for pride) the most difficult to defend against — especially, though not only, for men.

The opposite state from lust is purity, having a heart wholly focused on God. The pure heart is one that recognizes we can only find true wholeness by submitting to God’s name — which is essential if we are ever to see His face.

Assigned Reading
  1. Peter Kreeft: Back to Virtue

    • 12. Pure of Heart vs. Lustful of Heart
  2. Dick Hockett: Foundations of Wisdom
    • 3.7 (Wise) Example: Proverbs about the Tongue

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The Quest, Part II: Dragon and Princess


Start with Part I.

8:00 AM, Saturday, April 15th, 2006

The Castle

I am a young man, now, perhaps 13 or so. The old man has long since passed away — or perhaps just disappeared. It does not matter. I was not emotionally attached to him. I am not emotionally attached to anyone. I am attached to my studies.

I had been gradually taking on more and more of the simple chores needed to keep up the castle, so his departure was not a radical shift. We never really talked or socialized, though he would teach and quiz me as needed. Which was not very much, since I soon learned to read and taught myself from his library. My horse — the only other living thing in the castle — had soon grown bored and wandered off. I felt a brief pang at the time, but since I was already too busy for him it didn’t really seem to matter. Did it? As usual, I just returned to my studies and moved on.

Alone in my castle, with few distractions and no visitors, life was placid, but never boring. I took joy in the simple tasks of self-sufficiency, conjuring food, mastering new ideas, maintaining order in the castle so it wouldn’t get it my way. There are no wild plants or dust to disturb my tranquillity, just a few herbs in a box for my research. The armor of my childhood still lay in my room, and I would polish it and magically stretch it to keep it in my size and in good condition — for I was well brought up — but I never needed it, since I never went out, and nobody ever came.

Which is why the knock on my chamber door is so startling. I am not scared, exactly — what need I fear? — but sufficiently surprised that I spill ink over the parchment I’m annotating. Actually, so surprised I don’t even mind my clumsiness, but — without thinking — get up and answer the door. For I was brought up well.

I open it, and there stands a well-built, bearded man in his early thirties. I’ve never seen him before, but he looks at me with a smile of recognition.

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