Christians, even the most devout, have an uneasy relationship with the Old Testament. We rhapsodize over the psalms and spin heroic tales from Israel's hall of fame, but to be honest, we're queasy over discussions of slavery, God-sanctioned Canaanite slaughter, the exclusion of women from worship spaces, and all manner of bizarre customs. We're far… Continue reading Do We Still Need to Know the Ten Commandments Today?
Sunday Scripture On the first Sunday after the first full moon following the first day of spring, it's a pretty sure thing that we'll be having ham for dinner. When it comes to Easter, don't confuse the arbitrariness of the celebration's timing with the laser focus of its purpose. Easter is a celebration of resurrection.… Continue reading The Startling Difference the Resurrection Makes in Your Following Life
The number of plates on my dining room table had been a constant so dependable that I could set the table on auto-pilot. Often the number would swell to account for guests or shrink when one of us was visiting elsewhere. However, the ebb and flow always had a fixed point of return–until it didn’t.… Continue reading Holding On, Letting Go, and Doing the Work of Loving Your Empty Nest
Sunday Scripture By their narrowed eyes and over-the-shoulder glances, the sixth-grade boys made it very plain that they did not appreciate my presence in the classroom, especially since I was standing behind them where I could see their laptop screens and monitor their conversation. I was "just a substitute teacher" in the room, but my… Continue reading Is Jesus Welcome to Make Another Palm Sunday Entrance?
I am working my way through a hymnal at the rate of one per day, reading the lyrics, trying to hear them over the roar of familiarity that dulls all meaning. I'm making note of the most vivid words in my journal, and am continually astonished at the treasures I am uncovering: "From the best… Continue reading The March Book Talk Where Smart People Read While We Wait for Spring
Sunday Scripture When I am serving as a substitute teacher, I'm often intrigued by the books I find sitting on the desktops of the teachers I am helping. Sometimes there is even time for me to skim a chapter or to scan the table of contents and to be inspired. On a middle school math… Continue reading When Obstacles Become Part of Your New and Good Story
In the dark, in the car, hands on the steering wheel, I sighed in frustration. “I can’t do this anymore,” I said out loud, startling myself with the fierceness of my tone over the sound of the car’s heater. On that frigid January night, I was brittle with fatigue and hollow with disappointment. I had… Continue reading What Is Your Reference Point for Success in Ministry?
Sunday Scripture Did you remember to spring forward today? Every year when we "spring forward" and go around the house setting all our clocks ahead one hour, I lament the disappearance of that hour of sleep or productivity. I know... we get the hour back in the fall, but, to tell the honest truth, some… Continue reading Do You Feel As If Your Spring Forward Is Just Plain Sprung?
Today I attacked the kind of cleaning chores that I envision other more diligent and domestically devoted women doing all the time, the tidying that requires pulling furniture away from the wall, vacuuming under beds, and applying a ferocious dust cloth to the rungs of chairs and the hidden recesses of bookcases. Homely household routines… Continue reading The Unexpected Gift of Homemaking and What I Learned from Elisabeth Elliot
Sunday Scripture I've been in charge of the woodstove lately, and since my good husband is recovering from surgery, I have learned that as long as I have a half cord of kindling and the equivalent of a Boston Globe, I can, indeed, start and maintain a respectable fire. I've started collecting bark and small… Continue reading Let Truth Kindle Your Flame of Passionate Hope