Finding a Network of Life-Giving Friendship

Friendship is a life-giving gift in which we don't run away. We do the opposite.

The layers of life, in all their overwhelming proportions, call for a large God. The unexpected diagnosis, the many ways in which we disappoint ourselves, and the messiness of the generations all seem to come home to roost during middle age as parents depart this world and adult children come into their own. Margie Nethercott… Continue reading Finding a Network of Life-Giving Friendship

The Amazing Gift of Volunteer Love

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. Isaiah 53

Whether it was pessimism or lack of imagination, it never once occurred to me to ask God for a husband or a family. Maybe that's why I value them as I do, for they are gifts that came to me, even though I lacked the good sense to pray for them. Cheryl Anne Tuggle calls… Continue reading The Amazing Gift of Volunteer Love

How Do Stories Increase Your Empathy for Others?

Time has a way of eroding the sharp edges of a story. Details become foggy and the setting becomes indistinct. Fully alive, three-dimensional characters may lose their identity in stereotype, becoming mere placeholders in their own story. This was the case for Lucy Walter, the heroine in Elizabeth Goudge's Child from the Sea. Born in… Continue reading How Do Stories Increase Your Empathy for Others?

A Glorious Bustle of Life

Friendship is a life-giving gift in which we don't run away. We do the opposite.

The layers of life, in all their overwhelming proportions, call for a large God. The unexpected diagnosis, the many ways in which we disappoint ourselves, and the messiness of the generations all seem to come home to roost during middle age as parents depart this world and adult children come into their own. Margie Nethercott… Continue reading A Glorious Bustle of Life

Blessing Management: Jayber Crow Discussion Group (Conclusion!)

Last week a huge windstorm felled both trees and power lines, leading to widespread power outages throughout the great state of Maine. By some miracle of grace, we came through the storm with our lights still burning, but my oldest son was without electricity for several days. Since he and his family came here to… Continue reading Blessing Management: Jayber Crow Discussion Group (Conclusion!)

Like the Sound of Many Waters — Jayber Crow Discussion (3)

As I write today, Houston is well into the long rebuilding that follows a hurricane and flooding, and Irma has raged through the Caribbean islands and through Florida, leaving a wake of destruction and death. In an odd sort of coincidence, those of us who are reading Jayber Crow according to the schedule have been… Continue reading Like the Sound of Many Waters — Jayber Crow Discussion (3)

Jayber Crow: Welcome to the Discussion!

The house where I grew up is gone, and I haven't returned to pay homage to the empty space.  For me, home -- the place of belonging and permanence -- is this country hill which has created in me a deep appreciation and understanding of the importance of place.  Expecting to live solitary and transient,… Continue reading Jayber Crow: Welcome to the Discussion!

The Things We Most Desire

Welcome to Hope Harbor where the pace is slow, but news travels fast; where visitors arrive to relax and clear their mind of distractions and then come away with new perspective.  It's an unlikely destination for Eric Nash with his partner-track position at a high-end Portland law firm.  But when "a strategic repositioning" leaves him… Continue reading The Things We Most Desire

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

Stone by Stone

Spare narrative and a stoic reporting of the facts -- this is the tone of the Old Testament book of Nehemiah: "So I came to Jerusalem . . ."  (Five words about a dangerous two-month, one-thousand-mile journey.) "I wept and mourned for many days."  (Three months!) Based on a careful study of Scripture, Lynn Austin puts… Continue reading Stone by Stone