My grandchildren are learning to sing hymns, and I love it! There's not much cuter than hearing a two-year-old's rendering of timeless theological truth. And whether or not he understands it today, the words are in his brain just as all those crazy advertising jingles from the seventies will forever be stuck in my own… Continue reading Rest: Growing in Our Understanding of the Words We Think We Know
I live and worship on the fringes of a fishing economy. On the drive to church, I observe nets festooned and floating on the water, and my husband and I ask each other, "What's running right now?" or "Is it time for alewives already?" I've noticed that I need a translator for sorting out conversations… Continue reading I’m Not Interested in Standing on the Fringes of Life
I'm planning a party for the kids who attend the church I call home. On the first Sunday in September, we will celebrate Promotion Sunday--and we'll do it with Promotion Sundaes! Before we start a new year of classes, we're going to pile ice cream and sticky toppings into bowls and pause to give thanks… Continue reading What Is Truth and Why Is It Important?
This summer, I am learning to bake, prepare meals, and can our garden produce on a much smaller scale than ever before. A batch of whoopee pies makes about two dozen. That's approximately one picnic's worth in the days of four sons living at home, but an endless (and overwhelming!) supply for this empty nest.… Continue reading Why Does Feeding People Make Us Feel So Happy?
I've noticed myself becoming impatient with some of this year's newly published books, which seem to be running toward Christianity as a self-improvement project. Scanning the lists from publishers, it dawned on me that there's no way I can be or do or fix all the unspoken broken that populates our world, the church, or… Continue reading Embrace a Life of Restful Exertion to Counteract a Self-Help Culture
Every year in late spring, we till up an admirable crop of rocks as we prepare the garden soil for planting. Some years I have been diligent about collecting them. Other years . . . not so much. Regardless, there always seems to be a plentiful supply, and after twenty plus years of gardening in… Continue reading There’s a Big Purpose Behind Every Small, Unseen Task
Weekly we gather — seldom daily as they did in New Testament times, the era of ravenous lions and Nero’s flaming, pitch-dipped Christians, human torches to light his gardens. Lugging our three pound Bibles and a week’s worth of accumulated angst, we gather, having in common our hearts of flesh and likely the scar tissue… Continue reading Every Sunday Come Together for the Better and Receive the Story Anew
Happy Father's Day! If you have a loving dad in your home, or if you grew up in a home where there was a supportive and involved father, you have so much to celebrate! Children are blessed when their father contributes his unique gifts, perspectives, and personality to the family. One of the best gifts… Continue reading The Best Father’s Day Gift: A Loving Dad
Prayer is hard work, perhaps because it's hard to quantify. I can spend fifteen minutes praying or fifteen minutes cleaning the bathroom. The results of one are far more obvious than the other--at least in the moment. But what about the long term "results?" And exactly what do we mean when we talk about "results"… Continue reading Do You Ever Have the Feeling that Prayer Doesn’t Really Work?
Advent is my favorite space on the church calendar. I understand the season as preparation and a solemn but celebratory time of waiting. Lent is longer, and I find myself losing focus, but I appreciate the invitation to reckon with Christ's offering up of himself and to examine my own heart before diving into the… Continue reading Happy Pentecost! But What Does It Mean And How Do I Celebrate?