The True Purpose of Rest: Let It Make a Change in Your Direction

True Purpose of Rest

When you read the Psalms, what do you do when your eyes encounter the word selah? Do you pause as the meaning of the Greek word suggests? I’ll go first and confess that I usually don’t, and I think I’m in the majority. What if instead of using selah as a convenient mile marker for… Continue reading The True Purpose of Rest: Let It Make a Change in Your Direction

3 Reasons to Embrace the Precious Pitfalls of Family Discipleship

Embrace Family Discipleship

The parties in this mini-drama will remain unnamed, but I will reveal that the scenario is taken from an old journal entry (which accounts for its truncated style): The Dad:  [Reading from the Bible] “My son, hear the instruction of your father,     And do not forsake the law of your mother;     They will be a graceful ornament on… Continue reading 3 Reasons to Embrace the Precious Pitfalls of Family Discipleship

Let the Power and Providence of God Change the Way You Practice Your Faith

Brother Lawrence

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

Is It Really Worth Going Back to Church Again?

Is It Really Worth Going Back to Church Again?

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?

What is the Meaning and the Method of True Rest?

The Meaning and the Method of True Rest

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?

The December Book Talk: Old Acquaintances and Old Books for a Happy New Year

The December Book Talk

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

How You Can Celebrate Light in the Darkness of Winter Solstice

Celebrate Light in the Darkness of Winter Solstice

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

A Prayer for You as We Persevere through the End of a Long Year

Persevere through the end of a long year

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

Do You Know What Song Your Heart Will Be Singing This Christmas?

"God is God. Because he is God, he is worthy of my obedience." Elisabeth Elliot

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?

How to Find Christmas Joy in a World of Waiting

Christmas Joy in a World of Waiting

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