Review: The Seraph Seal

I'm not much of a fiction reader, but when I saw Leonard Sweet's name on the cover of this book, I decided to give it a spin*. Co-written with Lori Wagner, The Seraph Seal (Thomas Nelson, 2011) is a genre-blurring book the authors have dubbed "engaged fiction". The meat of the book is an apocalyptic journey through the end of days that borrows in structure from barn-burners like the DaVinci code, book-ended with Sweet's trademark provocative, prophetic decoding of the often-disparate clues … [Read more...]

The taste of daily bread

"Our driver is running a few minutes late. Is that O.K.?" The voice on the other end of the phone waited for my answer.What was I supposed to say? I'd been sitting in an office with nothing much to do except wait for the guy from the office equipment company to come pick up his copier. "Sure. I'll be here."It is the mundane nature of days like this that threatens to numb us from savoring the activity of God in our lives.I diddled with some paperwork, wrote a few emails, and watched the … [Read more...]

At The Table: A Reading For Two Voices

Once upon a time, I used to write a lot of readings for use during church services. Some of the pieces were meant to tell a story in a unique way, other readings were simply a creative division of a Biblical text that would allow a congregation to listen to familiar words with fresh ears because 2-5 voices proclaimed them.This summer at our church, there was a call for the congregation to bring our "Living Psalms" to one another. Below, you'll find my psalm, the first script I've written in a … [Read more...]

Trying to look on the sunny side

"My husband reads your blog, and he commented that you seem to have a lot of complaints about the Church," a friend told me recently. A number of responses came to mind, mostly of the "Well, yeah" and "No duh" variety.There are lot of voices offering criticism of the church around the blogosphere. A sizable percentage of these critics sing the laments that jilted lovers do. Their minor key songs are the kinds of songs sung by those who gave time and money and the best parts of themselves to a … [Read more...]

The electric fence

"I'm wondering if you and your husband have run into issues of sexual sin among any of the leaders in your congregation." My query paused the conversation while my friend reviewed her experiences in the last year or so since her husband had become an elder in a mid-sized, non-denominational congregation.The fact that she had to pause and think about it answered my question. "Well, there's a couple dealing with infidelity on the part of one of the spouses," she said at last."Are they in … [Read more...]

Country music words quiz

I've avoided the genre like smallpox, but in recent years, a few crossover hits have captured my imagination. And that Mad Magazine coverboy, also known as American Idol winner Scotty McCreery, got me to thinkin' 'bout tryin' the Country Music for the first time. (!) I challenged myself to give country a chance for a month.I'm almost done with my 30-day challenge period wherein I listen to pop-hit country US99 in the car when I drive. There are a few songs that I simply can not stomach as a … [Read more...]

Spiritual narcissism

Yesterday while I was playing hooky, I headed to WI for a quick visit with Meg, my long-time prayer partner. We ended our day in the empty sanctuary of her Pewaukee church. It is a small modern space, but was sited onto the land with great respect to the old trees and plantings already residing on the land. Windows behind the altar bring breathtaking views of creation into the building all four seasons of the year.  As Meg and I prayed, I could almost hear a sermon preached to me by the … [Read more...]


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