A Great Alternative to Worry and Two Resources to End Your Ceaseless Striving

A Great Alternative to Worry

Sunday Scripture and Book Talk How much does worry weigh? By my observation, enough to round the shoulders, slow the step, and lengthen the daily darkness. Worry absorbs energy, steals sleep, and dampens conversation. My time spent in public school classrooms warns me that even our children are not immune to worry, for it's not… Continue reading A Great Alternative to Worry and Two Resources to End Your Ceaseless Striving

Is It Really Worth Going Back to Church Again?

Is It Really Worth Going Back to Church Again?

Sunday Scripture and Book Talk Slightly hard of hearing in his Sunday suit and tie, the smiling usher boomed a greeting into the cold and cavernous narthex. “You forgot to set your clocks ahead, right?” Immediately, the disjointed pieces of that chaotic Sunday morning fell into place. The full parking lot, the prevailing hush — yes,… Continue reading Is It Really Worth Going Back to Church Again?

What is the Meaning and the Method of True Rest?

The Meaning and the Method of True Rest

Sunday Scripture My not-quite-two-year-old grandson has an extensive vocabulary, and one phrase that is serving him well these days is, "Do it self." Instead of holding his mother's hand on the slide: "Do it self." Climbing the stairs or building a block tower with Bam: "Do it self." Clearly, he is both loveable and capable!… Continue reading What is the Meaning and the Method of True Rest?

The December Book Talk: Old Acquaintances and Old Books for a Happy New Year

The December Book Talk

Anyone who tries to keep up with the publishing industry--even if your scope is as narrowly focused as mine--can attest to the truth of King Solomon's sigh: "Of making many books there is no end." It does seem that way at times, and I've responded by making some adjustments to my reading life to prevent… Continue reading The December Book Talk: Old Acquaintances and Old Books for a Happy New Year

How You Can Celebrate Light in the Darkness of Winter Solstice

Celebrate Light in the Darkness of Winter Solstice

Sunday Scripture Late autumn temperatures in the northeast United States require a certain fortitude of speech to continue naming the cold "autumn" when, clearly, the chill in the air and the snow underfoot are speaking the language of "winter." My giant sunflowers bowed their heads in October, the pumpkins moldered in the compost pile long… Continue reading How You Can Celebrate Light in the Darkness of Winter Solstice

A Prayer for You as We Persevere through the End of a Long Year

Persevere through the end of a long year

When the Cambridge Dictionary announced their word of the year for 2021, I did an enthusiastic double take. Their choice of perseverance may have been inspired by the name of the space rover that landed on Mars in February 2021, but it is also a noun form of my own word of the year: PERSEVERE.… Continue reading A Prayer for You as We Persevere through the End of a Long Year

How to Cope with Frustration, Disappointment, and Fear at Christmas Time

How to Cope at Christmas Time

Sunday Scripture When I showed up at her door with muffins, I had no idea how sick she had become or how short her precipitous decline would be. In hindsight, I'm grateful for the memory of that last visit with a friend, with her flitting between table and kitchen counter and me working hard to… Continue reading How to Cope with Frustration, Disappointment, and Fear at Christmas Time

Do You Know What Song Your Heart Will Be Singing This Christmas?

"God is God. Because he is God, he is worthy of my obedience." Elisabeth Elliot

This week, I started listening to Christmas music in the car on the way to work. Our 24/7 Christmas music radio station plays everything from crooning Bing to the musical equivalent of an ugly Christmas sweater. One frosty morning, fresh off my Advent devotional reading and a mug of hot tea, the radio wished me… Continue reading Do You Know What Song Your Heart Will Be Singing This Christmas?

No Longer a Divided Space, Now It’s a Celebration Place!

The Celebration Place

Sunday Scripture Sunday morning at Spruce Head Community is a sociological patchwork. Members with advanced degrees worship cheek-by-jowl with high school dropouts. Successful businessmen toss their offering into the same receptacle as welfare recipients, and the octogenarian great-grandmother grins at the antics of tiny, scampering escapees from the nursery. I can't help but picture our… Continue reading No Longer a Divided Space, Now It’s a Celebration Place!

How to Find Christmas Joy in a World of Waiting

Christmas Joy in a World of Waiting

As unimaginable as it sounds to 21st-century ears, Anna the prophetess made a career of waiting. Widowed after her seventh anniversary, the next eight decades of her life revolved around the temple in Jerusalem. Her patient attendance there embodied the posture of her people, the nation of Israel, for they had long been waiting for… Continue reading How to Find Christmas Joy in a World of Waiting