Sunday Scripture ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“You mustn’t wish for another life. You mustn’t want to be somebody else. What you must do is this: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks.’ I am not all the way capable of so much, but those are the right instructions.”

According to the Apostle Paul, gratitude is more than a pumpkin-spice-feeling. It is a matter of obedience to the will of God. Author and poet Wendell Berry put words into the mouth of a fictional, elderly widow named Hannah Coulter who, in addition to being a crackerjack farmhand when needed and probably making a great… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Timeless Words About Love for Your Valentine’s Day

"Let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and in truth." I John 3:18

The snow is flying sideways like rice at a wedding, and I'm reading Lore Wilbert's blog post about marriage. She writes: "'We don’t treat our home like it’s the place where we can ‘be real,’ as though every other relationship in our lives deserves the fruit of the Spirit, but at home we can drop… Continue reading Timeless Words About Love for Your Valentine’s Day

Musings: January 2019

Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)

I'm no physicist, but it would appear that a cannon ball, shot due north from Bangor, Maine on a snowy-cold Saturday morning, could travel unobstructed all the way to the Canadian border. We left home in the dark for a quick visit with much-loved relatives, eight hours round trip, but worth every minute and every… Continue reading Musings: January 2019

Following the Instructions for a Grateful Heart

Following the Instructions for a Grateful Heart

One morning, deep into the throes of our kitchen renovation, it dawned on me that I had no idea where our toaster was. Having reduced breakfast to the lowest common denominator of toasted bagels with cream cheese, my quest for the toaster was more than idle curiosity, and when it showed up in the furnace… Continue reading Following the Instructions for a Grateful Heart

Blessing Management: Jayber Crow Discussion Group (Conclusion!)

Last week a huge windstorm felled both trees and power lines, leading to widespread power outages throughout the great state of Maine. By some miracle of grace, we came through the storm with our lights still burning, but my oldest son was without electricity for several days. Since he and his family came here to… Continue reading Blessing Management: Jayber Crow Discussion Group (Conclusion!)

Pulled Away By Expectation: Jayber Crow Discussion Group (10)

Now that I have pulled all the carrots with my grandson and hunted down the last of the red tomatoes, the gardening season is behind me. My sunflowers stand hanging their heads in resignation, but they're still beautiful to me because I'm already thinking ahead to next year's planting:  strategizing (No more eggplant!  I give… Continue reading Pulled Away By Expectation: Jayber Crow Discussion Group (10)

The Necessary Work of the World: Jayber Crow Discussion Group (9)

My grandson likes nothing better than a good project, so on our days together, he and I are a force to be reckoned with. He has saved me many a bend in the tomato patch, and when he pulled orange carrots out of the ground with quivering joy, each fistful was a miracle to behold.… Continue reading The Necessary Work of the World: Jayber Crow Discussion Group (9)

Let It Trouble Your Heart: Jayber Crow Discussion Group (8)

The most recent natural disaster spreads itself across your news feed while coverage has preempted the day's programming on NPR. A grizzled, rheumy-eyed man reeking of alcohol sticks out his hand and cobbles together a story of need. A blog post about the refugee crisis sets you to wondering if there's anything practical your family,… Continue reading Let It Trouble Your Heart: Jayber Crow Discussion Group (8)

When the Time Comes to Look Back — Jayber Crow Discussion Group (7)

I listened to hard words today from a dear woman I've loved and admired for nearly twenty years. We were seated in her small room in a nursing home, my grandson was exploring every nook, cranny, and light switch (and eating one of the cookies we had brought for her!), and I asked her how… Continue reading When the Time Comes to Look Back — Jayber Crow Discussion Group (7)

The Problem of Belonging: Jayber Crow Discussion Group (6)

When it comes to friendship, to a confidence of our place and belonging to a group, all of us have at least one toe in Middle School. The sense of being outside looking in is ubiquitous enough that it has its own acronym (FOMO). In a speech delivered to a young adult audience in 1944,… Continue reading The Problem of Belonging: Jayber Crow Discussion Group (6)