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 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?
Anyone who tries to keep up with the publishing industry--even if your scope is as narrowly focused as mine--can attest to the truth of King Solomon's sigh: "Of making many books there is no end." It does seem that way at times, and I've responded by making some adjustments to my reading life to prevent… Continue reading The December Book Talk: Old Acquaintances and Old Books for a Happy New Year
Sunday Scripture Late autumn temperatures in the northeast United States require a certain fortitude of speech to continue naming the cold "autumn" when, clearly, the chill in the air and the snow underfoot are speaking the language of "winter." My giant sunflowers bowed their heads in October, the pumpkins moldered in the compost pile long… Continue reading How You Can Celebrate Light in the Darkness of Winter Solstice
When the Cambridge Dictionary announced their word of the year for 2021, I did an enthusiastic double take. Their choice of perseverance may have been inspired by the name of the space rover that landed on Mars in February 2021, but it is also a noun form of my own word of the year: PERSEVERE.… Continue reading A Prayer for You as We Persevere through the End of a Long Year
As unimaginable as it sounds to 21st-century ears, Anna the prophetess made a career of waiting. Widowed after her seventh anniversary, the next eight decades of her life revolved around the temple in Jerusalem. Her patient attendance there embodied the posture of her people, the nation of Israel, for they had long been waiting for… Continue reading How to Find Christmas Joy in a World of Waiting
Sunday Scripture Deer hunting season has arrived here in Maine, and this mum of four sons has heard a lot more about the habits and methods of dispatching whitetail deer than I really want to know. However, truth be told, I've been sharing wooded trails with the deer, bearing witness to deer-ish desire, since we… Continue reading Is Desire a Reliable Guide on the Path of Life?
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Even in this unfamiliar season of the empty nest, I value its uncomplicated requirement of gathering with loved ones, preparing a meal featuring everyone's favorites, and cultivating a spirit of gratitude to carry throughout the year. Of course, that last one can be a little challenging, right? I keep catching… Continue reading Can I Really Persevere in Daily Gratitude as a Matter of Obedience?
Sunday Scripture On Saturday, I filled the bird feeder, and before I had time to close the front door behind me, an enterprising chickadee had already landed for a late breakfast. Soon, the front yard needed air traffic control to regulate all the landings and take offs. And those honking Canada geese that pass overhead… Continue reading What Makes the Birds Seem So Much Smarter than People?
Sunday Scripture Conversations at our house tend to follow a pattern. We make a plan, and my husband assumes that all will be well. That's my cue to begin thinking about the details and coming up with at least five things that could (and probably will) go wrong. I've been honing my catastrophizing skills for… Continue reading How to Fight Fear and Anxiety by Hitting Your Mental Reset Button