Week 3: The Beginnings of Joy

There's just something about a good beginning...If we are honest, any good preacher or speaker will tell you that with a good beginning (and a strong ending) you can get away with some not-so-impressive stuff in the middle. Not that one should make a habit of getting by with great intros and crummy content, but there's some grace to be found in a punchy beginning, and some weeks, that's a comfort.This is where Luke takes centerstage in the pageantry and high drama that we bring into late adv … [Read more...]

Camel Hair is the New Black

Advent Week 2:Bible Study and Discussion QuestionsWhy do we never see John the Baptist on a Hallmark card? Or a giant, blow-up snow globe to put in your yard? Come to think of it, we don’t even include him in our sanctuary tableau. Our songs, our greetings, our pageantry, all seems to skip straight from Isaiah to the annunciation. What it comes down to, I think, is that the wayward 2nd cousin is just not sexy. Not like the angels—I mean, they’ve had a whole holiday lingerie show modeled after t … [Read more...]

Advent Week 1, Day 4

For your listening pleasure, an Advent song (no, really!) that encompasses all the hope, the dwindling darkness, and the anguished beauty of the season. Thanks, Emmylou."There's a Light"Really, just do yourself a favor and download the album, “Light of the Stable.” The whole thing is flat-out fabulous. Worlds better than Celine… Sometimes, it just takes a country girl.  … [Read more...]

There’s an App For That…

Advent, Week 1, Day 2No, not a Droid thing. But a practical application for the theme of "waiting" this week.Know what I find most difficult about the holiday season? (People whining about it? Well, yes. Unless I'm the one whining. Then it's ok).  What bugs me most is how long it takes to run a simple errand. I try to simplify my life as much as possible in December. I shop online so I don't have to run from store to store; i cook at home more and eat out less; i say "no" to some things; but … [Read more...]

It’s All in There: Unmasking for Halloween

Some thoughts on finding/creating the perfect Halloween costume:First of all, nix that idea of "perfect." Add to my growing list of What's Wrong With America that notion of the perfectly executed holiday. I mean, i love to flip through Southern Living, Sunset, or the Pottery Barn catalogue as much as the next girl. But let's remember they share IDEAS. By no means does your yard/house/menu/attire/person need to reflect the meticulously coordinated life on the page. Do NOT let yourself get … [Read more...]

Grace Anatomy

Raise your hand and jump up and down like a girl if you are super excited for the season premier of Grey's Anatomy tonight!!  I know, I know, it's only a tv show. Maybe it's because, though the calendar says fall, it is still 100+ degress in the valley of the sun, and i'll cling to anything that reminds me a new season has begun. Technically. Maybe it's because my whole family has been feeling crummy for the past few weeks, and I'm looking forward to some vegging out time after the kids are … [Read more...]

Curiosity Killed the Monkey (or not…)

"George was a monkey. He lived in Africa. He was a good little monkey, but he had one fault. He was too curious."This is the opening scene of the original "Curious George" book, circa 1941. Here is how the more recent George stories begin: "George was a good little monkey, and always very curious."Whoa. See what just happened there? Big difference. Still a curious monkey, but it's a long way from but to and... BUT he was curious indicates that curiosity is a regrettable quality to be … [Read more...]

The Sacred Struggle

I was cooking dinner and trying not to get sucked in. It is only September. Of the year BEFORE the election year. I am not ready for the emotional angst, the loaded sermon fodder, the toxic wasteland that is partisan rhetoric. It was on in the background, but I was determined not to engage.When I heard the applause, I turned around. I'm listening now,  i thought numbly. I looked to see if I'd really heard what I'd just heard. My husband and I looked at each other, appalled. "Rewind that," I … [Read more...]

Unknown

unknown1

It was a rare (RARE) Saturday afternoon moment. Both kids were asleep at the same time, and my spouse was out of the house. I had just settled into the good chair with a library book, and the phone rang. I glanced over and there it was...the "unknown caller."What do you do? I almost never answer. Especially not on a Saturday, when there are sleeping babies and good books to be read.  It was almost a no-brainer.And yet, this time, I answered. For whatever reason. And it was my brother, ca … [Read more...]


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