Remembering Joy On A Day Of Mourning

My dad died on his 64th birthday, 16 years ago.You can't see it in the picture above, but I was 9 months pregnant in the shot, taken just days before I went into labor. On July 19th, 1983, the date of my dad's 50th birthday, I was at Evanston Hospital, laboring oh-so-slowly on the long march toward  the birth of my first child. That little girl did not make her appearance until lunchtime of the following day, July 20th, 1983.My daughter's birthday is a next-door neighbor to this day on … [Read more...]

The Gift Of A One-Track Mind

Every night before dinner, my husband and I stand in the doorway of our small kitchen, join hands and pray. We bless God for his provision, and we pray for each member of our family by name. Each day, there is something new for which to pray on their behalf. We can't help but pray, driven to the Father by his gift of love's dogged persistence.One of my favorite parables is the story of the persistent widow. I first shared my modern take on the story here, then reposted it here. On this … [Read more...]

Pilgrim’s Road Trip #13: Caleb & Joshua’s New Specs

We live as exiles. We’re called to be pilgrims.I am journeying through Scripture, stopping at a few oases along the way, in order to contemplate our exile experience. I’ll also offer some helpful thoughts about how Christ can reshape that identity and reorient our journey so we live as pilgrims. To read earlier posts in the series, click here. * * * * * * * I value the vocation of visual artists. Their essential work jars us to look at the familiar in fresh, sometimes-arresting ways … [Read more...]

Sanctuary Guided Silent Retreat Invite

A couple of weeks ago in this space, I mentioned plans were in the works for a guided silent retreat co-led by my longtime prayer partner and I in Rockford, IL on September 27-28. We've finalized the details, and the link below will pop open a .pdf of an informational flyer about the event. If you live in the area, we'd love to have you join us! >>Sanctuary retreat flyer<< … [Read more...]

The First Church Of The Good Ol’ Days

A few years ago, My husband and I visited a congregation we’d first attended nearly thirty years ago. We didn’t see many familiar faces – not that we would have recognized any of them. Thirty years is a long time, and people change. It is quite possible that a few of those folks from the days from when Flock Of Seagulls songs were in heavy rotation on the radio might have been sitting in the pew next to us during the visit. The majority of the people in attendance were middle-age or older.    … [Read more...]

Should The Church Be In The Marrying Business?

I really wish the Church would rethink her role in the marriage business in this country.(And yes, I chose the word "business" on purpose.)In light of the June 26 Supreme Court rulings about the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 in California, a few more voices joined the small choir of those who suggest that the civil/contractual nature of a marriage partnership is a different matter than that of a spiritual covenant made between two people in the context of their faith … [Read more...]

Summer Reading Snapshots: What Are YOU Reading?

I am a sucker for a free book. I'll admit it. If you click on the sidebar of this blog and look at my "categories" column, you'll see that I've got a long-standing habit of reviewing books in order to feed my free book habit.(You might be wondering if I've ever heard of a place called a library where I can get all the free books I want. Yes, I've heard of it, and the town in which I live has a really good one. I plan on stopping there today, in fact.)It occurred to me that it's been … [Read more...]