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?
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
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
Since the Lord in his infinite wisdom has ordained that, here in Mid-Coast Maine, snow and cold should always be followed immediately by rain and warm temperatures, it's unusual for the ground to be covered with white for weeks at a time. https://videopress.com/v/ewIVqeKl?preloadContent=metadata Here's what snow sounds like underfoot at zero degrees Fahrenheit, and my… Continue reading The February Book Talk Where Friends Come in from the Cold
Sunday Scripture "I don't need to listen to this," I said out loud (to myself) as I clicked out of my podcast app. The truth is, I could have information pouring into my eyes and ears every minute of the day: news, commentary on the news, audio books, book reviews, interviews, or conversations on the… Continue reading Practice Rich Habits of Faith to Minimize Distractions in a Noisy World
Sunday Scripture If you are a person whose eyes are open and watching in the wee hours, if sleep sometimes eludes you because you aren't sure who's actually in charge when you aren't, you may need words to remind you of the large truth that God's sovereignty, goodness, and love are in effect, even in… Continue reading Why Is Prayer in the Night So Important?
January has required of all of us a degree of restraint that's probably healthy, but may be hard to muster in the moment. A wise woman once said that the secret to growing old gracefully is to remember that I need not share my opinion on every topic nor at every opportunity. Oh, how I… Continue reading The January Book Talk Where Everyone Begins Again
Sunday Scripture Why is it that the big questions float to the surface unexpectedly? It's not when I'm sitting alert with open journal and quiet mind, but rather when I'm pushing a shopping cart or a vacuum cleaner hose; when I'm mixing cookie dough or scrubbing a pot, that a face comes to mind or… Continue reading Why Does Evil Exist in the World?
Farewell, 2020!Welcome, 2021! If I've learned anything from the year we've just experienced it's the need for (and the importance of) compassionate listening to those who are different from me in any number of ways. As a majority culture, rural-dwelling woman on "this side" of fifty, it's tempting for me to throw everything I don't… Continue reading The December Book Talk Where Reading Friends Pause to Ponder
I've added a hymnal to the pile of books I tote between laundry room and dining room table on the daily. Starting at page one, I've been working my way through the familiar and the unfamiliar and then recording a line that stands out to me in my journal. Playing hymnal roulette is not even… Continue reading The November Book Talk: Where Reading Friends Give Thanks