I can’t think of a thing more discouraging than being defined by what I am NOT. Of course, the list is long, and for most of us, that list is freighted with a fair amount of disappointment, squandered opportunity, or even just plain failure. In his letter to the church he planted in Ephesus, Paul… Continue reading Take Courage from the Power, Majesty, and Authority of God
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
The number of plates on my dining room table had been a constant so dependable that I could set the table on auto-pilot. Often the number would swell to account for guests or shrink when one of us was visiting elsewhere. However, the ebb and flow always had a fixed point of return–until it didn’t.… Continue reading Holding On, Letting Go, and Doing the Work of Loving Your Empty Nest
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
Sunday Scripture Why is it that the big questions float to the surface unexpectedly? It's not when I'm sitting alert with open journal and quiet mind, but rather when I'm pushing a shopping cart or a vacuum cleaner hose; when I'm mixing cookie dough or scrubbing a pot, that a face comes to mind or… Continue reading Why Does Evil Exist in the World?
Sunday Scripture Our son sawed lumber, hammered nails, and used a paintbrush dipped in Mediterranean Olive green to create custom made doors for our bathroom closet. There are any number of things a twenty-year-old guy could do with his Saturday. He chose to give his away. When Jesus gathered in the Upper Room for the… Continue reading A Lenten Celebration of the Love of God
The number of plates on my dining room table had been a constant so dependable that I could set the table on auto-pilot. Often the number would swell to account for guests or shrink when one of us was visiting elsewhere. However, the ebb and flow always had a fixed point of return--until it didn't.… Continue reading How to Thrive After Your Kids Leave Home
Sunday Scripture After a long night of empty-net fishing, seven discouraged disciples turned their boat toward shore. The surprise of an early morning Jesus-sighting and the gift of an unexpected and bountiful catch turned their day upside down, and their shore-side picnic with Jesus is one of my favorite New Testament images. What's not to… Continue reading Breakfast for Your Body and the Bread of Life for Your Soul
Something inside me freezes when I hear the word discernment. Whether I'm making a major purchase, giving advice to a friend, or standing in a voting booth feeling as if I'm taking a test I haven't studied for, discernment is the quality that's lacking and the thing I long for. We want good things for… Continue reading Discernment: Pursuing the Good, the True, and the Beautiful
Given the word "God," without self-editing or over-thinking, what's the word or phrase that comes immediately to mind? If you've been schooled in the false gospel of ceaseless striving, you may come up with words like judgment, severe, or disapproving. After all, it's clear that we are not equipped to measure up on our own to the demands… Continue reading No Greater Message: God Is For You!