Introducing: Long Days Of Small Things

When writer-friend Catherine McNeil told me she was writing about the spiritual formation embedded in the baby-toddler-preschooler years, I was anxious to read what she had to say. I well remember discovering that the discipleship model I followed before I had children (hours of uninterrupted Bible study, reading, prayer, and service to others) needed an overhaul when my children came along. First, I needed to exorcise the notion of "uninterrupted" from my thinking. Second, I needed to assign … [Read more...]

Review: Deliberate Acts of Kindness

What do the person running the church nursery, the senior running the register at the local St. Vincent de Paul thrift store, and the person unloading canned goods at a food pantry all have in common?They are all volunteers, drawn into service by a desire to make a difference in someone else's life. The motivation may have a spiritual component to it ("God had done so much for me, I want to use my time and talents to pass on his love"). It may flow out of a wish to pay it forward, the "it" … [Read more...]

Review: Of Stillness And Storm

My husband and I once had a pastor whose wife had never signed on with her husband's calling. She married a businessman, not a downwardly-mobile spiritual entrepreneur who had meetings 4 nights a week and dealt with congregational crisis what seemed like 8 nights a week while she was left to function as a single parent to their three young kids. She stood by his side gamely, but his calling took a toll on her during the years we knew her. When I think of her face during those years, it is of a … [Read more...]

Reflection: The Sound of a Million Dreams

A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way? – Proverbs 20:24 I worked at a college for five years and developed friendships with a few students that extended beyond their graduation day. As a result, I was part of the lives of a couple of them when they had what has been dubbed the "quarter life crisis". The big dreams and plans of their college years crashed headlong into the painful realities of young adulthood - a young adulthood filled with big co … [Read more...]

The New Christian Zionism: A Review

For decades, it seemed that there were only two basic options in the Church when it came to discussions of Israel. The first, dispensationalism, objectifies the idea of Israel both now and in the future, and requires elaborate charts and the entire fictional Left Behind canon to unpack. The second, supercessionism, says that the Church has replaced Israel. The first two-thirds of the Bible, the Old Testament, becomes nothing more than a long preamble to the “real” salvation story, and the pro … [Read more...]

What Are You Reading? January 2017 Edition

One of my go-to questions of both friends and new acquaintances is, "What are you reading?" It's really another way of asking, "Who are you hanging around with these days? Maybe I can hang around with you guys, too." I'm always looking for book recommendations. As you can see, I'm a little light (as usual) in the fiction department, so feel free to leave your recommendations in the comments section below.Maybe you're in the market for a book to add to your stack, too. Here's what I've read … [Read more...]

New Treasures And Old

When I was in third grade, I wrote an A++ essay about Leonard daVinci. My teacher, Mrs. Sweet, invited me to come to a night school class in which she was enrolled so I could dazzle her peers with my powerful insights about the artist/inventor/Renaissance man. In my memory, she had a reaction to my brilliant writing similar to this one. (No doubt the real reason she brought me to her class was because she had to do some sort of presentation about curriculum design or writing instruction, and I … [Read more...]