# 98. The Woodbegoods by E. Nesbit, 1900

Nesbit published approximately 40 books for children, including novels, collections of stories and picture books. Collaborating with others, she published almost as many more.

Nesbit was “the first modern writer for children”: Nesbit “helped to reverse the great tradition of children’s literature inaugurated by Lewis Carroll, George MacDonald and Kenneth Grahame, in turning away from their secondary worlds to the tough truths to be won from encounters with things-as-they-are, previously the province of adult novels.” Briggs also credits Nesbit with having invented the children’s adventure story. Noël Coward was a great admirer of hers and, in a letter to an early biographer Noel Streatfeild, wrote “she had an economy of phrase, and an unparalleled talent for evoking hot summer days in the English countryside.”

Among Nesbit’s best-known books are The Story of the Treasure Seekers (1899) and The Wouldbegoods (1901), which both recount stories about the Bastables, a middle-class family that has fallen on (relatively) hard times. The Railway Children is also known from its adaptation into a 1970 film version. Gore Vidal called the time-travel book, The Story of the Amulet one in which “Nesbit’s powers of invention are at their best.” Her children’s writing also included numerous plays and collections of verse.

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99. The Five Red Herrings


99. The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy Sayers

Who was Dorothy Sayers:
She is best known for her mysteries, a series of novels and short stories set between the First and Second World Wars that feature English aristocrat and amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey, which remain popular to this day. However, Sayers herself considered her translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy to be her best work. She is also known for her plays, literary criticism, and essays.

She was a member of a literary society called the Inklings, which included Owen Barfield, CS Lewis, and JRR Tolkien.

Her very influential essay The Lost Tools of Learning has been used by many schools in the US as a basis for the classical education movement, reviving the medieval trivium subjects (grammar, logic, and rhetoric) as tools to enable the analysis and mastery of every other subject. Sayers also wrote three volumes of commentaries about Dante, religious essays, and several plays, of which The Man Born to Be King may be the best known.

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Day 3 The Forty-Day Word Fast

Take the challenge–40 Days of fasting complaining, sarcasm, criticism, gossip, judgments, and all negative words.

Change your words, change your life.

Ps. 141:3 Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;
keep watch over the door of my lips.

LORD, do for me what I cannot do!

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What are you putting your hands on?

It starts first thing every day—what you put your hands on. Where does the intuition come from to know what to respond to through the day? For instance, I’m making sure the news is not something I put my hands on through the computer, first thing each morning. Matter of fact, I’ve been fasting the news, and it feels great!

Most of us are familiar with the thought of having spiritual ears to hear what God is saying and spiritual eyes to see from a religious perspective. But what about the things we touch every day?

He spoke:

Do you want to take a step further into the inner courts with Me? Consider what the Holy Spirit would say to you about what you touch every day.

The whole point of sanctification isn’t to make you a perfect human. It is to draw you into unity with Me. Keep seeking My face; never give up. Don’t be discouraged by failures, regrets, or seemingly insurmountable odds. I am mighty in battle and the Lord of Hosts. Give yourself entirely to Me, and We can share the victory over the enemy and the spoils.

Take your hands and move out some of the things in your life you are wasting your time on. I’m not into sacrifices, except on this one instance. Offer me the sacrifice of clean hands and a pure heart.

“For My people have committed two evils. They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:13).

“Depart, depart, go out from there, touch no unclean thing; go out of the midst of her; be clean, you who bear the vessels of the Lord” (Is. 52:11).

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Harnessing my imaginations and dreams

All of us have those random, troubling dreams and thoughts. Sometimes I wonder where a dream originated. How could I have such an evil feeling about someone? Our heart is accurately portrayed by the Psalmist when he says, “The heart is desperately wicked.”

Our dilemma is that we can do nothing about our heart. We can’t change it, purify it, or redirect its passions. We urgently need a savior.

He spoke:

I see every corridor of your heart. The Holy Spirit will purify the uncharted regions of your heart that you don’t even know exist.

If the Holy Spirit could only cleanse the conscious part of your life, you would have no hope. But He also has power over your unconscious dreams and imaginations. You just need to ask.

I am God from the early morning to the late night. I am God over all things. I hold all things together. I am the one who completes all things.

My blood cleanses you from all sin. I reserve a place of sanctity in the Holy Spirit where your body, mind, and soul thrive in unspotted integrity and agreement.

“May the very God of peace sanctify you completely. And I pray to God that your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:23).

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

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What Changes a Christian into an Intercessor?

There are elements in the Christian life that mark it with beauty and wellbeing. They make a person fit for being a blessing to others in this world. They are the attitudes that call forth heroic virtues of the life of faith. Nothing shows more nobility of character that the spirit of daring and perseverance which battles major difficulties and conquers. So should we who are Christians be able to face the difficulties we meet in prayer. The blessings that others need must be called down from heaven in persevering, believing prayer.

These are the marks of a true intercessor:
• An understanding of the need of those who don’t know Christ
• A Christlike love
• An awareness of personal inadequacy
• Faith in the power of prayer
• Courage to persevere in spite of refusal
• The assurance of an abundant reward

These are the qualities that change a Christian into an intercessor.

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What Does It Take To Make You Pray?

Scriptures for the day: Luke 11:7, Romans 8:26-28

Is it possible to do much faithful, earnest, and sacrificial work for others without genuine love for them? Out of a high sense of calling and faithfulness to their profession, a physician can become deeply involved in the needs of their patients without a tincture of special love for them. In the same manner, Christians may give themselves to their work with devotion and self-sacrificing passion without any strong Christlike love.

The lack of love causes a lack of prayer. Love will compel us to pray. It is the nature of love to forget itself for the sake of others. We talk a lot about the power of love. In one sense this is true, and yet the truth has limitations. The most robust love may be utterly inadequate. Inadequacy can be our hope and refuge. Why? All my passion and zeal eventually ends, and I have nothing. Insufficiency gives strength to the life of intercession. My love takes refuge in intercession, and the Spirit makes up for my lack.

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