Sunday Scripture and Book Talk Winter has come to this country hill, and the trees stand gaunt and leafless, silent, even in the wind unless a strong gust rattles their branches or snaps a limb. Barren trees in mid-winter brought Nicholas Herman to faith, dramatically, in 17th-century France as he considered "that with a little… Continue reading Let the Power and Providence of God Change the Way You Practice Your Faith
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?
Sunday Scripture My not-quite-two-year-old grandson has an extensive vocabulary, and one phrase that is serving him well these days is, "Do it self." Instead of holding his mother's hand on the slide: "Do it self." Climbing the stairs or building a block tower with Bam: "Do it self." Clearly, he is both loveable and capable!… Continue reading What is the Meaning and the Method of True Rest?
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 Late autumn temperatures in the northeast United States require a certain fortitude of speech to continue naming the cold "autumn" when, clearly, the chill in the air and the snow underfoot are speaking the language of "winter." My giant sunflowers bowed their heads in October, the pumpkins moldered in the compost pile long… Continue reading How You Can Celebrate Light in the Darkness of Winter Solstice
When the Cambridge Dictionary announced their word of the year for 2021, I did an enthusiastic double take. Their choice of perseverance may have been inspired by the name of the space rover that landed on Mars in February 2021, but it is also a noun form of my own word of the year: PERSEVERE.… Continue reading A Prayer for You as We Persevere through the End of a Long Year
This week, I started listening to Christmas music in the car on the way to work. Our 24/7 Christmas music radio station plays everything from crooning Bing to the musical equivalent of an ugly Christmas sweater. One frosty morning, fresh off my Advent devotional reading and a mug of hot tea, the radio wished me… Continue reading Do You Know What Song Your Heart Will Be Singing This Christmas?
As unimaginable as it sounds to 21st-century ears, Anna the prophetess made a career of waiting. Widowed after her seventh anniversary, the next eight decades of her life revolved around the temple in Jerusalem. Her patient attendance there embodied the posture of her people, the nation of Israel, for they had long been waiting for… Continue reading How to Find Christmas Joy in a World of Waiting
Sunday Scripture One of my earliest Christmas memories is the sadness of learning that for baby Jesus there was "no room in the inn." Adding to my distress was the mistaken idea that they had no source of water either--a simple misunderstanding of the Christmas carol, Noel--interpreted by pre-school ears as "no well." Jesus's earliest… Continue reading Are You Making Room for Jesus in Your Advent Celebration?
Sunday Scripture I'm about to break one of my own rules.I never talk about Christmas before Thanksgiving.Never!But, I've created a guided journal to lead readers into a focused and uncluttered Advent celebration, and in order for you to get it, print it, or load it onto your device in plenty of time, I'm sharing it… Continue reading In This Darkest Season of the Year, Let’s Pay Attention to the Light