When You Expect Nothing and Get the Gift of Everything

Ultimately, meaning cannot always be contained in syllables.

There's an old hymn that we don't sing much any more, but it's worth re-visiting because the final verse puts words around the futility of language in expressing the inexpressible: "Could we with ink the ocean fill,And were the skies of parchment made,Were every stalk on earth a quill,And every man a scribe by trade;To… Continue reading When You Expect Nothing and Get the Gift of Everything

Your Invitation to Embrace a New, True Life

Let go of your false self to uncover the person God created.

Soon, I will take up over-sized loppers with wooden handles that should have been oiled last fall, and, once late winter begins to move toward almost-spring, I will snip branches from our feral and fly-away forsythia bush. Bare branches in a sturdy vase will eventually give way to bright yellow blossoms--except for when they don't… Continue reading Your Invitation to Embrace a New, True Life

Adoption and the Journey Toward a Surrendered Heart

Review of Surrendered Hearts by Lori Schumaker, the story of an adoption journey

The collision of lives is mysterious and unpredictable. Friends meet at a gathering and are bonded for life. A man and a woman from random backgrounds are introduced to each other and eventually share grandchildren. Adoption is a choice that puts this miracle of connection on display in unique ways that seem to defy race,… Continue reading Adoption and the Journey Toward a Surrendered Heart

The Gift of God in Exchange for Ashes

Sit on a wooden bench (behind a goat) for a day long bus ride through the Andes.  When the bus stops, the only way forward in 1952 is to rent a horse for an excursion over steep mountain trails with muddy puddles up to your knees. You'll know you've reached the village of San Miguel… Continue reading The Gift of God in Exchange for Ashes

Beloved Differences Bring Us Together in Hope

Review of All the Colors We Will See by Patrice Gopo

Conversations about the laws that govern chemistry might be one of the most spiritual things going on this week at my dining room table. Homeschooling chemistry involves revisiting the Periodic Table of Elements with its jagged line separating the metals and the non-metals and the tiny numbers that define and describe unseen properties of pure… Continue reading Beloved Differences Bring Us Together in Hope

Run Toward the Darkness with Borrowed Light

Review of The Consequence of Moonlight by Sofia Starnes

In times of danger and disaster throughout history, true believers have made their mark by running toward the darkness. Whether it was a plague in second century Rome or a twenty-first century hurricane in America's deep south, if we follow Mr. Rogers's advice and "look for the helpers," we might be surprised by how many… Continue reading Run Toward the Darkness with Borrowed Light

Reclaiming Our Pilgrim Identity

All of us have a little wanderlust. Born to Wander by Michelle Van Loon

I did not set out to live at the same address for 25 years, and, technically, I suppose my deep roots in this country hill may disqualify me from reviewing a book entitled Born to Wander: Recovering the Value of Our Pilgrim Identity.  At the outset, I actually thought I had been born to wander,… Continue reading Reclaiming Our Pilgrim Identity

The Missionary Experience: A Path of Faith in the Midst of Paradox

A Leopard Tamed, Eleanor Vandevort, Missionary Biography

Starting in the book of Acts, the history of missions is characterized by controversy. It may have begun when Paul and company set out with freshly-minted instructions from the Jerusalem Council, defining the parameters of the message they were sharing. It was certainly evident when the citizens of Lystra decided to fold Paul and Barnabas… Continue reading The Missionary Experience: A Path of Faith in the Midst of Paradox

8 Blessings of the Unsatisfied Life

8 Blessings of the Unsatisfied Life

Amy Simpson noticed early on that the tidy claims of Christianity were not lining up with the reality she was living at home. Suffering from the impact of her mother's serious and debilitating mental illness, her family was certainly not strolling toward heaven with all their needs met and a smile on their faces. In… Continue reading 8 Blessings of the Unsatisfied Life