Category Archives: Bible/literary themes, elements

On the Nabokov “Christmas” Story. In July. Again…

I have decided to offer my post based on the Vladimir Nabokov short story “Christmas” (which I have featured, now, three times since 2012 for various reasons) as an annual “Christmas in July” tradition. It epitomizes to me the ever-present … Continue reading

Posted in Bible/literary themes, Bible/literary themes, elements, Christmas themed, Commentaries, Devotionals, most recent posts, salvation by grace, spiritual transformation | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Still. In the Moment. God.

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila         In days like this It is imperative To “mind the moment,” Quell the fear, Defy The urgent.

Posted in Bible/literary themes, Bible/literary themes, elements, Christian poetry, Commentaries, encouragement in hard times, end times spiritual survival, most recent posts, spiritual survival, spiritual transformation, survival tools | Tagged , | 2 Comments

On (Dying) Snakes and (Defeated) Satan

Phyllis Nissila ON SNAKES It is said of a snake that even though its head may be cut off, it takes a while for its slow metabolism to respond. In the interim, sometimes up to an hour, its tail thrashes … Continue reading

Posted in Bible/literary themes, elements, Commentaries, end times spiritual survival, most recent posts, spiritual survival, survival tools | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

By Grace Efficacious (Or How the Meek Inherit the Earth)

Phyllis Nissila HUMBLE POWER “Every success becomes the force of timid people,” wrote my Chinese student on the topic of self-efficacy, that is, a “person’s estimate or personal judgment of his or her own ability to succeed in reaching a…goal” … Continue reading

Posted in Bible/literary themes, elements, Commentaries, Devotionals, Easter/Good Friday themes, education and teaching, most recent posts, spiritual survival, spiritual transformation | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

How I Escaped the Foggy, Soggy Bog of Envy

Phyllis Nissila What prompts today’s post right in the middle of the Psalm 91 series is a radio program on the sin of envy I heard just a few hours ago. Just stop your sinful envy, noted the preacher. Confess … Continue reading

Posted in Bible/literary themes, elements, Commentaries, Devotionals, humor, most recent posts, spiritual transformation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mercy for the Merciful (Devotional)

Phyllis Nissila “The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. ‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest. It … Continue reading

Posted in Bible/literary themes, elements, Devotionals, most recent posts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Out of the Fire: On Leaving Roman Catholicism 5 (From Dust to Redemption)

Phyllis Nissila “There’s never an end to dust and dusting,” my aunt would say as her rag, like a thunderhead, scudded across the yellow oak of her little house. There she lived seventy years with a ball of compulsion closed … Continue reading

Posted in Bible/literary themes, elements, Commentaries, Devotionals, Ex-Roman Catholic/Catholicism, most recent posts, Out of the Fire: On Leaving Roman Catholicism, Purgatory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Works in Progress (Devotional)

Phyllis Nissila The other day I ran into a girl who was in one of my old high school writing classes and who is currently working on her degree at the community college where I now teach. She greeted me … Continue reading

Posted in Bible/literary themes, elements, Devotionals, education and teaching, most recent posts, spiritual transformation | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

On Blossoms, Birdsong, and Hope

Phyllis Nissila As I walked by, a spring gust shook loose a cluster of blossoms from a cherry tree. I stopped and lifted my head and hands to the pink profusion. I felt suddenly as light- and joy-filled as a … Continue reading

Posted in Bible/literary themes, elements, Devotionals, most recent posts, spiritual transformation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

One Day in the Life of Redemption (Defeating the Dragon)

Phyllis Nissila Television, radio, and social media are abuzz with doomsday stories. Some of them are theories, of course. But the rest are based on real danger. But what is an ordinary person to do? If one is not young, … Continue reading

Posted in Bible/literary themes, elements, Commentaries, most recent posts, spiritual survival, survival tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments