The Malaysia I Know and Love

Malaysia has been in the news lately.  I’m sure you know about the tragedies of Malaysian Airlines flights MH 370 and MH 17.  Unfortunately, the coverage accompanying these terrible events doesn’t come close to depicting the Malaysia that I know and love.  There’s much more to this Southeast Asian nation than the images of crash sites and flight maps.  A caveat here:  My husband and I lived, taught, and travelled in Malaysia for several years in the early 1990s.  We have also visited since then.  Recently I have been asked a lot of questions about the country, so I’d like to share some of what I know about this unique place and its culture. Continue reading

Big Times in Big-D

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When you are driving to Dallas in July, the last thing you think will happen is that the temperatures will be below the high nineties. But when I pulled into the DFW Hilton in Grapevine, the Dallas suburb near the airport, it was only 82. In Texas, in July, this constitutes a minor miracle. It was the first of many pleasant surprises, and you might even be a little shocked to hear that I, Miss Lit on Lit-Er-Ah-Ture, was there for a conference to hear all about science writing.

Strange, but true.

I brought my son Christopher with me because he wasn’t named after the Patron Saint of Travel for nothing, and when we drove the long way from Houston, he read to me from a book called Ambush about Bonnie and Clyde. He had visited the Bonnie and Clyde museum in Louisiana, saw where they were shot dead, and wanted to disabuse me of any romantic notions I might have about them. He told me that Bonnie was really a waitress, (although he used the more politically correct “server,”) and that “she was just a tag-along, although they were in love.” When we walked into the hotel, the first thing we saw was the restaurant called “Bonnie and Clyde’s.” We looked at each other and laughed. Well, you can’t reach everyone.
Continue reading

A to Z with C.S. Lewis: J is for Jesus

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No person has ever had a greater impact on the history of the world, and yet no person has been the focal point of more controversy and strife.  No person has ever been worshipped with such devotion or manipulated with such selfish ingenuity.  For well over a century, an ever-changing band of biblical “scholars” (some of them genuine, but most of them self-appointed) have organized themselves under the rubric of the Jesus Seminar and have taken as their goal the grail-like search for the “historical Jesus.”

Sadly, though the majority of their findings are based on their readings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (with an occasional gnostic gospel thrown in), most members of the Jesus Seminar refuse to treat the canonical gospels with the respect they deserve.  Continue reading

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