Rebecca Hagelin

“What my dog did over his precious bone, making those low throaty rumbles of pleasure as he gnawed, enjoyed, and savored his prize, Isaiah’s lion did to his prey. The nugget of my delight was noticing the Hebrew word here translated as “growl” (hagah) but usually translated as “meditate,” as in…Psalm 63: “when I think of thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the watches of the night” (v.6)…

Hagah is a word that our Hebrew ancestors used frequently for reading the kind of writing that deals with our souls. But ‘meditate’ is far too tame a word for what is being signified… when Isaiah’s lion and my dog meditated they chewed and swallowed, using teeth and tongue, stomach and intestines…There is a certain kind of writing that invites that kind of reading, soft purrs and low growls as we taste and savor, anticipate and take in the sweet and spicy, mouthwatering and soul-energizing morsel words… I am interested in cultivating this kind of reading…”

Who doesn’t want to cultivate that kind of reading? As writer and poet Oscar Wilde stated, “It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”

How to Save Your Family: Do a Little Summer Reading

Dr. Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College said, “You can live life richly and you can prepare yourself to live it actually by reading great books.”

That firmly held belief is exactly why Hillsdale College is offering a free online class series called Great Books 101. I work with Hillsdale and am so very proud of their effort to break through the meaningless and mindless noise of poor stories and promote great ones. In ten 30 to 50 minute lectures (and an introductory lecture by Dr. Larry Arnn), the well-renowned teachers of Hillsdale College discuss ten of the most important and classic works of Western literature. You can watch the lectures at your own pace, in any order, and all for free.

The books covered in the class include Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Sophocles’Oedipus Rex, Dante’s Inferno, and selections from the Old Testament, among others. The free course is full of great material that is worth dwelling on.

Instead of filling your summer with reading good books - try reading a few great ones that have stood the test of time. Whether it is alone or with your family, get your head into stories of real substance and use the free tools that are made available to you. You can sign-up for these great free online lectures at Take 30 minutes and sample Dr. Arnn's opening lecture - I promise, you will be inspired!

Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
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