Necromancy No-No

dark gothic house and solemn girl

I’d picked up some free, secular, young teen books that looked like spooky mysteries (which I always liked!). But I was horrified at the content of one, All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn. It was about a supposed haunted place. And the last third of the book had the two key characters seeing and chatting happily with…

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Precious Book and Angel Band

the author as a little girl with her sister, mother, and grandmother

When my kid sister (Jenna) and I were very young children, Grandma Lena Henry (1884–1966) had pet names for us. I was Precious Book. Jenna was Angel Band. Whenever our family pulled up to our grandparents’ home for a visit, Grandma would be waiting on the porch. Then she’d shout across the yard (and into the next county!), “Here they…

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Ezekiel vs. the Dark Side

old map of Babylon

Kids (and adults) look to sports stars, world travelers, movie/cartoon characters, or military figures as their heroes. Bible heroes don’t often top the list, but if we read their contexts carefully, the elements of a great adventure—exotic settings, danger, rejection, races against time, supernatural “interference” (good and bad)—are all there. Consider Ezekiel. Back story: Assyria, under the vile King Sennacherib,…

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A New Name—and It’s Free!

kaimyo on wooden stakes in Japanese graveyard

When we lived in Japan, we learned that one aspect of a Buddhist funeral is that the priest creates a name (kaimyo) that is assigned to the dead person for use in the afterlife. There is also superstition that if the deceased isn’t given a proper send-off, he becomes a wandering spirit, who might possibly come back to commit mischief.…

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