Fear is a powerful motivator. Even the reluctant student might memorize lists of data for fear of failing a class. Motorists maintain a more conservative driving speed in areas where police regularly patrol. Unfortunately, there is also the fear that paralyzes, which leads to irrational decisions and self-protective behaviors. Fear of God, however, is the supremely rational fear,… Continue reading Fear Bravely as You Are Strengthened with the Courage to Love
In February, I finished my slow read through the Psalms. One hundred fifty psalms should have taken a mere hundred and fifty days, but I'm sure the math wouldn't come out right if one were to check the dates in my journal. My purpose was to pray my way through the psalms, a goal that… Continue reading Embrace the Subversive Practice of Rest. Celebrate Lent in a World of Hurry and Hustle.
Brushing crumbs off the dining room table, I plunk down my portable pile: Bible, journal, devotional book, another Bible, and they all land with a THUD. The pens go skittering across the table, mirroring my scattered thoughts. Then, pushing my mug of tea out of the danger zone, I settle into reading, my favorite of… Continue reading What Are Spiritual Disciplines and Why Are They So Important?
Conversations on a long road trip are often memorable, perhaps because desperation drives us to dig deeper—or at least to try harder. Somewhere on the Jersey Pike, we were talking about healthy habits and the difficulty of sustaining them. We lamented the hard work of Scripture memory and the need for continuous review. Our thoughtful… Continue reading Don’t Wait Around for a Perfect Beginning–Start Today!
I hope manna will be on the menu in the New Earth--not because it sounds particularly delicious in the biblical account. On the contrary, it sounds pretty bland, and if you put any stock at all in the Israelite's reviews of this bread from heaven, it was quite monotonous fare. I like to picture the… Continue reading Hunger Is an Effective Teacher (And 6 Cheap and Easy Meal Plans with Recipes for Your Family)
When you read the Psalms, what do you do when your eyes encounter the word selah? Do you pause as the meaning of the Greek word suggests? I’ll go first and confess that I usually don’t, and I think I’m in the majority. What if instead of using selah as a convenient mile marker for… Continue reading The True Purpose of Rest: Let It Make a Change in Your Direction
Sunday Scripture and Book Talk Winter has come to this country hill, and the trees stand gaunt and leafless, silent, even in the wind unless a strong gust rattles their branches or snaps a limb. Barren trees in mid-winter brought Nicholas Herman to faith, dramatically, in 17th-century France as he considered "that with a little… Continue reading Let the Power and Providence of God Change the Way You Practice Your Faith
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
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?
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?