The Best Birthday: Receiving God’s Gift of Love

Birthdays are a big deal because people are a big deal.

Every Sunday morning, we sing and celebrate the birthdays:  the toddler clutching three sweaty pennies for the bank, representing his three years of life; the grandfather who contributes a dollar to the bank and jokes about not needing much change. Birthdays are a big deal because people are a big deal to God. So we… Continue reading The Best Birthday: Receiving God’s Gift of Love

Is It Time to Rethink Your Definition of Christmas?

The Christmas Cradle by Meadow Rue Merrill

When Christmas seems to have been reduced to a shopping list; When the squares on your December calendar are bulging with enough activity to exhaust Frosty the Snowman, Santa, and all his elves; When you are tired of the knot that has already twisted itself into your stomach by the day after Thanksgiving . .… Continue reading Is It Time to Rethink Your Definition of Christmas?

Hearing the Stories Anew

It is a trick of human nature that if we walk by the sock under the coffee table enough times, it will eventually disappear.  We will have stopped seeing it.  This is unfortunate for pristine housekeeping practices, and even more so when we're reading the Bible. It's tragic when we've heard the stories so many… Continue reading Hearing the Stories Anew

Love Hides Close By

Until I put it on display, love is sometimes hard to see. Dr. Mary Manz Simon invites pint-sized theologians to embark upon a delightful scavenger hunt, looking for all the places love hides in the daily life of a preschooler.  She does this with precision, because when we demonstrate the love of God to others,… Continue reading Love Hides Close By

Theology 101 (In the Nursery)

When school started in the fall, I introduced a series in our Sunday School on God's incommunicable attributes -- for the kids.  The timing was perfect:  everyone was going back to school.  We all have lots to learn.  God has never needed to learn anything.   He is omniscient . . .  and on we… Continue reading Theology 101 (In the Nursery)

The Heavens Declare!

Little people find words first for the people and the things that are most important to them.  As one of the "named people" in my grandson's life, I love to read books to him that include pictures of the sun, moon, and stars, because he responds by pointing to them, naming them over and over,… Continue reading The Heavens Declare!

Fabulous and Full of Life!

Everyday, the townspeople of Thrim would ask, "Hey, Yoj, how are you today?" And everyday, Yoj would answer, "I am fabulous and full of life!" And why shouldn't he be?  Yoj was the happy doll maker who awoke each day with a song on his lips and dinner invitations almost every night -- until one day a mysterious stranger… Continue reading Fabulous and Full of Life!

A Fish Story for the Whole Family

There's nothing like summer fun on the scenic shores of a lake:  sand between the toes, an afternoon spent face-down in the clear, cold water, tiny fish peering back at you through your goggles.  Irish Beth Maddock celebrates the beauty of the creatures that God has made through the eyes of Paul and Beth, a brother… Continue reading A Fish Story for the Whole Family

Gifts of Easter

One Spring Lamb

In a decision that somehow manages to seem both arbitrary and precise, the Council of Nicaea met in 325 A.D. and determined that Easter would be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon that falls on or after the first day of spring.  Easter and spring are also holding hands in Anne… Continue reading Gifts of Easter