Christians, even the most devout, have an uneasy relationship with the Old Testament. We rhapsodize over the psalms and spin heroic tales from Israel's hall of fame, but to be honest, we're queasy over discussions of slavery, God-sanctioned Canaanite slaughter, the exclusion of women from worship spaces, and all manner of bizarre customs. We're far… Continue reading Do We Still Need to Know the Ten Commandments Today?
I am working my way through a hymnal at the rate of one per day, reading the lyrics, trying to hear them over the roar of familiarity that dulls all meaning. I'm making note of the most vivid words in my journal, and am continually astonished at the treasures I am uncovering: "From the best… Continue reading The March Book Talk Where Smart People Read While We Wait for Spring
January has required of all of us a degree of restraint that's probably healthy, but may be hard to muster in the moment. A wise woman once said that the secret to growing old gracefully is to remember that I need not share my opinion on every topic nor at every opportunity. Oh, how I… Continue reading The January Book Talk Where Everyone Begins Again
There's a piece of very good advice circulating these days, and I followed it several decades ago without even realizing it. Hearing it set to the music of wise words, I can see how much energy it has saved me over the years. It goes like this: Make the Decision Once. Of course there is… Continue reading Have You Made the Decision to Love the Local Church?
My granddaughter's ponytail falls in blonde ringlets, and her wardrobe manifests all the many moods of pink and frilly. Having been a girl of a very different stripe, and then having raised four rowdy sons, I am in quiet awe of her unmitigated girliness. Together, we have made jam, blown bubbles, and painted messy pictures.… Continue reading Standing Beside You, Teaching What Is Good
One day, I stopped apologizing for my boring salvation story. While it's true that "I once was lost but now am found," there was no dramatic Damascus Road turnaround for me, no potty mouth to disinfect or cigarettes to snuff out. The real miracle, though, was that God landed with grace in the unseen muck… Continue reading Hope for the Hearts of Saints and Scoundrels
My favorite way to do life involves a schedule. Always a planner, I map out the days in advance and often find myself studying my calendar as if I might be tested on it at some point. Oddly, the pop quiz usually comes in the form of a delay or some unforeseen curve that cancels… Continue reading How to Train Your Thinking When Life Throws You a Curve
Pushing a middle-aged body out the door for a daily walk comes with its challenges, especially when I step up the pace to a jog/trot on the final hill leading home. I'm learning, though, that this discipline offers benefits beyond cardiovascular fitness and tending to the needs of a demanding dog. The impact of my… Continue reading Will Your Faith Stand the Test of Hard Questions?
According to popular wisdom, ten thousand hours of deliberate practice are required for excellence in any field. After 20 years of homeschooling, 25 years of mothering, and 30 years of gardening and canning, I'm doing the math and wondering if mastery is even a possibility in any of these life compartments. Maybe a more realistic… Continue reading Why It’s Great to Be a Woman
It's been a long time since I browsed in a Christian bookstore. They're exceptionally rare here in Maine, but on one of my last excursions, I inquired about the poetry section hoping to lay hands on something by Luci Shaw or Marjorie Maddox. Alas, it was not to be on this day. "We don't carry… Continue reading A Literary Pursuit of Beauty, Grace, and Truth