Pilgrim’s Road Trip #1 – Goodbye, Eden

We live as exiles. We're called to be pilgrims.I hope to journey through Scripture chronologically in the coming year, exploring the themes of our identity and experience as exiles. I'll also offer some helpful thoughts about how Christ can reshape that identity and reorient our journey so we live as pilgrims. J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote, "Not all who wander are lost". Pilgrims wander with a purpose, an internal homing device that pulls them Homeward. Every exile account in the Bible contains an … [Read more...]

Emptied himself of all but love

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Review: Booked

When I was a young parent building a library of kiddie lit for my children, it dawned on me that I'd heard bits and pieces of the Good News long before I first read the Gospel of John during high school. I learned about faith and redemption from Grimm's fairy tales like Little Briar Rose, Snow White and Rose Red, the Fisherman and His Wife, Cinderella and Rapunzel. I learned about the power of love to triumph over evil by reading Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time. I learned about … [Read more...]

O Come, O Come Emmanuel | Lament

O come, o come, Emmanuel,  And ransom captive Israel, That mourns in lonely exile here  Until the Son of God appear.  I am lost; my exile is a homeless home. The brightness of your promise fades, early sundown on a cold, dark winter afternoon. God-with-us, where are you? Oh, come, our Wisdom from on high, Who ordered all things mightily; To us the path of knowledge show, and teach us in her ways to go.  I am lost and this kind of lostness is compassless chaos, borderless prison. Promises of a way … [Read more...]

Of Bulletin Boards And Plaster Pillars

It was the Battle of the Bulletin Boards (BBB). Specifically, where said bulletin boards would be hung: front and center in the church lobby or tucked along a far wall, toward the back of the building.Oh yes. the BBB was an epic fight, right up there with battles waged in other congregations over the color of the carpeting in the sanctuary or whether petunias or marigolds should line the walkways this year.The contenders in the BBB included a small group of women who happened to be HGTV … [Read more...]

My Favorite Things, 2012 version

For some reason, my annual "Favorite Things" lists (2010 and 2011) get far less press than those of a certain former daytime talk show personality whose first name rhymes with Bophrah. I don't understand it.And though, as Art Buchwald (whose first name rhymes with both tart and fart) once noted, the best things in life aren't things, I do want to offer you my list...just in case you're in the market for some inspirational ideas of your own.If it is above 60 degrees outside, my thoughts … [Read more...]

The sound of red in your head

When you read those red letter words in your Bible, the ones Jesus spoke, what sort of inflection and emotion do you hear speaking those words to you as you "listen" to the red in your head? In your soul? What tone of voice do you imagine Jesus is using in any given situation?I daresay many of us imagine that his tone is calm, nearly flatline, like an FM broadcaster at 3:00 a.m., whether he is speaking to a single outcast woman at midday, or a herd of angry religious experts. In some sort of … [Read more...]