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
Sunday Scripture The only possible downside I can see in exposing young children to classic hymns and great works of music is that sometimes they mange to misinterpret the lyrics and completely miss the point. Handel's great rendering of Isaiah 53:6 in The Messiah landed on my youngest son's ears as "Oh, we like sheep,"… Continue reading Is There an Upside to Being a Sheep?
Every Sunday morning, we sing and celebrate the birthdays: the toddler clutching three sweaty pennies for the bank, representing his three years of life; the grandfather who contributes a dollar to the bank and jokes about not needing much change. Birthdays are a big deal because people are a big deal to God. So we… Continue reading The Best Birthday: Receiving God’s Gift of Love
"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6 ESV) The work of salvation is ongoing, and this is good news for those of us who daily feel the rub of our own shortcomings against the… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ Philippians 1:6
One day, the Gift of all gifts was carried into a public space. Although the Gift could have come with a transcendence too glorious for human eyes, It came instead in the arms of a young Jewish woman. No one noticed, For the Gift was small, Unexpected. Besides-- No one was looking for a Gift… Continue reading Are You Ready to Receive the Gift of Advent?
A couple of weeks ago, my grandson walked into our house on his own two feet for the very first time. There was snow on the ground -- an indescribable delight to a sixteen-month-old -- and, although he is still working on balance, he strode manfully across the lawn. The expression on his face revealed… Continue reading Keep On Drawing Near
Author Marilynne Robinson offers a stunning and succinct summary of the Old Testament in one sentence: "Stop doing this to yourselves!" The endless downward spiral of a nation is difficult to read. The voice of God comes to the people and they disobey. He forgives and rescues them from their mess -- and they rebel… Continue reading An Urgent Rest