The March Book Talk Where Smart People Read While We Wait for Spring

"From the best bliss that earth imparts, we turn unfilled to thee again."

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

What Is the Main Message of the Book of Revelation?

In the Revelation, the Apostle John is standing in the doorway.

“Deep in our hearts, we know that the best things said come last,” said Alan Alda in his memoir entitled Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself.  He’s right, of course.  We chat for hours of an evening, asking for and receiving updates on mutual friends, alternately bragging on and complaining about our kids; and then “linger at the… Continue reading What Is the Main Message of the Book of Revelation?

It’s Time to Conquer that Midyear Bible Reading Slump

The discipline and delight of steady and methodical Bible reading is life changing.

My ten-thousand-steps-a-day routine is a lot easier to accomplish in June than in January, the month when we all set our intentions for the year. The green world beckons, the garden needs tending, and our mowing business is in full steam ahead mode. (On a recent six-lawn Wednesday, I passed the ten thousand step mark… Continue reading It’s Time to Conquer that Midyear Bible Reading Slump

How Do You Whet Your Appetite for God?

"Worship does not satisfy our hunger for God--it whets our appetite." ~Eugene Peterson

Sunday Scripture In these days of social distancing, even our worship has taken on a new look and a different feel. An act that has typically conjured images of white-steepled buildings--or polished praise teams, lasers, and smoke machines, depending on your church background--is now taking place in front of screens, in living rooms with only… Continue reading How Do You Whet Your Appetite for God?

The Gift of Language and the God Who Speaks

Language is a gift from God through which we sing and pray and, using the very same syntax and parts of speech, can also order a burger at the drive through or tell a story to a two-year-old.

The recent biographical movie featuring the life of J.R.R. Tolkien captures him saying, "After all, what's language for? It's not just the naming of things, is it? It's the life blood of a culture, a people." Language and the way we use it reveals our thinking and our character. The structure of a language reveals… Continue reading The Gift of Language and the God Who Speaks

Timeless Words About Love for Your Valentine’s Day

"Let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and in truth." I John 3:18

The snow is flying sideways like rice at a wedding, and I'm reading Lore Wilbert's blog post about marriage. She writes: "'We don’t treat our home like it’s the place where we can ‘be real,’ as though every other relationship in our lives deserves the fruit of the Spirit, but at home we can drop… Continue reading Timeless Words About Love for Your Valentine’s Day

When God Asks for More but it Looks Like Less

When God Asks for More but it Looks Like Less: my review of The Ministry of Ordinary Places

For long years, I have ridden the bucking bronco of calling, leaning into the tension of being a fairly ambitious woman in a life that leaves little room for goals beyond laundry management and remembering to thaw something for dinner. Anyone with a Facebook account or a presence on Instagram knows that there are people… Continue reading When God Asks for More but it Looks Like Less

Musings: October 2018

"Biblical religion is aggressively internationalist." Eugene Peterson

When jets fly overhead, stitching up the airspace between Boston's Logan and somewhere-in-Europe, by the time they reach the sky over Mid-coast Maine they are barely visible, nothing but contrails. My roots are deep here on this country hill, thirty thousand feet below, so I'm no globetrotter, but over the years, visitors from around the… Continue reading Musings: October 2018

Musings: June 2018

Let's use our hoes with care. Pay attention to the manner of change that's at work.

My favorite hoe was a gift from a friend. Its blade is just the right size for scooping up the dirt to support a growing plant or for upending the roots of pesky weeds. While it's making a difference in the lay of the land and the weed-to-wanted-plant-ratio in my garden, its familiar feel in… Continue reading Musings: June 2018

How to Read the Bible without Dealing with God

John Calvin, Obedience, Knowledge of God

If you want to live well and to share wisdom with your children and your neighbors about how they can also live well, the Bible will chart a sound course. If you are looking for inspiration or comfort or if you are preparing a speech, you will certainly want to lift some of the soaring… Continue reading How to Read the Bible without Dealing with God