The Humility of the Given Self

“The best way to find out whether or not you really have a servant’s heart is to see what your reaction is when somebody treats you like one.”

I pushed the damp mop across the kitchen floor, knowing full well that I would be finding sticky spots on cupboard doors and drawer handles for days to come. The transformation of a bushel and a half of apples into smooth, pink applesauce is the work of a couple hours on my own. However, with… Continue reading The Humility of the Given Self

The Word Became Flesh ~ Sunday Scripture

And the Word became flesh...

Became. On this first Sunday of Advent, pause with me for a moment to soak in the stunning presence of the word "became" in connection with God the Son. Immutable and eternally uncreated, God became something else: Infinite became finite; Eternal became temporal; Invisible became visibly a baby, born in a remote part of Palestine and tethered to flesh… Continue reading The Word Became Flesh ~ Sunday Scripture

Concerning the Times and the Seasons: Autumn 2019

What verbs have defined your days of autumn in 2019? There's always something happening in this busy life under the sun, even if it's only talking or thinking--a couple of seriously under-rated verbs, in my opinion. Here at the end of November, I'm looking forward to celebrating around gratitude and pumpkin pie while taking one… Continue reading Concerning the Times and the Seasons: Autumn 2019

Are You Showing the Symptoms of Gratitude Derailed? Sunday Scripture

We're four days away from Thanksgiving here in the United States, and since the fourth Thursday in November is late in the month this year, we've had lots of time to prepare ourselves for a celebration of gratitude. How are you doing? I will confess to a certain grumpiness over the collision of holidays ahead… Continue reading Are You Showing the Symptoms of Gratitude Derailed? Sunday Scripture

Discernment: Pursuing the Good, the True, and the Beautiful

Discernment, an eye for what's good, is part of the believer's transformation process.

Something inside me freezes when I hear the word discernment. Whether I'm making a major purchase, giving advice to a friend, or standing in a voting booth feeling as if I'm taking a test I haven't studied for, discernment is the quality that's lacking and the thing I long for. We want good things for… Continue reading Discernment: Pursuing the Good, the True, and the Beautiful

What Will You Bring to Worship? – Sunday Scripture

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving. Psalm 95:2

What do you bring with you when you come to God? Psalm 95 suggests thanksgiving as cargo: "Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms."  (Psalm 95:1, 2) I'm thinking about… Continue reading What Will You Bring to Worship? – Sunday Scripture

6 Books for Friends-in-Training

And this is the power and the gift of friendship: when hearts collide, lives are altered.

“I want to keep it handy in case I need it,” she said, matter-of-factly. She wasn’t talking about a flashlight. Not a package of tissues. Not a cell phone – they hadn’t been invented in 1978. She was talking about Isaiah 55. “I liked it,” she went on.  “So I memorized it.” “Come, all you… Continue reading 6 Books for Friends-in-Training

Sunday Scripture ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“You mustn’t wish for another life. You mustn’t want to be somebody else. What you must do is this: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks.’ I am not all the way capable of so much, but those are the right instructions.”

According to the Apostle Paul, gratitude is more than a pumpkin-spice-feeling. It is a matter of obedience to the will of God. Author and poet Wendell Berry put words into the mouth of a fictional, elderly widow named Hannah Coulter who, in addition to being a crackerjack farmhand when needed and probably making a great… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Following the One Who Has Set Us Free

By grace, we cultivate interior order as we follow the One who has set us free.

Friends and family chuckle when they discover that my spice cupboard is alphabetized. Some are amused because it lines up with what they already know about my personality, others because the idea seems ludicrous to them. Nevertheless, for me, the minutes of hunting I save by consistently replacing the marjoram or the dill seed in… Continue reading Following the One Who Has Set Us Free

Sunday Scripture ~ Isaiah 12:1

Gratitude is a choice!

I love a decisive verb, especially when it appears in the setting of a solid, declarative sentence. Isaiah 12 is just right for this season of gratitude, falling leaves, and stiff breezes.  The prophet’s bracing words stand up to the fading light here on the far edge of the Eastern Time Zone with a pronouncement… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ Isaiah 12:1