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?
I observed as my small grandson placed one hand on the door frame, shifted his weight to one foot, and then put the other small boot toe-down on the floor. Looking at his dad, he checked his hand position and then assumed the facial expression he deemed appropriate to the occasion, a conversation among “the… Continue reading To the Boy Mum Seeking Hope and Help in Raising Her Son with Solid Character
Sunday Scripture and Book Talk How much does worry weigh? By my observation, enough to round the shoulders, slow the step, and lengthen the daily darkness. Worry absorbs energy, steals sleep, and dampens conversation. My time spent in public school classrooms warns me that even our children are not immune to worry, for it's not… Continue reading A Great Alternative to Worry and Two Resources to End Your Ceaseless Striving
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 Sunday morning at Spruce Head Community is a sociological patchwork. Members with advanced degrees worship cheek-by-jowl with high school dropouts. Successful businessmen toss their offering into the same receptacle as welfare recipients, and the octogenarian great-grandmother grins at the antics of tiny, scampering escapees from the nursery. I can't help but picture our… Continue reading No Longer a Divided Space, Now It’s a Celebration Place!
Hope has become one of those words that might show up on a couch pillow or stenciled onto a wall hanging. We’ve domesticated the word, taming it until it’s become a floating, sentimental abstraction: "Faith, hope, and love... now you may kiss the bride." The truth is that hope is our lifeline, but we do… Continue reading The Peril of Hoping in Hope and the Solid Joy of a Better Hope
Who would imagine that biblical lists could be a rich source of spiritual insight? It's really tempting to just skip over them, but lately, I've come upon a better plan. Rather than skipping over the lists as if they were somehow “extra,” what if we viewed them as a string of beads to finger and… Continue reading The September Book Talk Plus a FREE Printable to Guide You Into Scripture Meditation
Our family has been looking forward to July ever since Joel's and Emilee's engagement in December. Here on the hill, weddings mean family gatherings, lots of laughter and (of course) food. Then, there's also the bittersweet reality that while we rejoice and welcome a new daughter, we say goodbye to a much-loved son and go… Continue reading The July Book Talk Where We Want to Know, “What Are You Looking Forward To?”
The gardening challenge here on the hill every summer for the past twenty-seven years could be summarized in four words: Big Garden, Small Well. Watering the garden has always taken a back seat to laundry and showers, but this year, with our nest officially empty on the date of our son's July wedding, I have… Continue reading The June Book Talk Where We Welcome Summer with Reading Friends