What’s In The Stack?

Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. -- Mark TwainEven as I've been in book release mode these last weeks, excited to launch my own book into the world, I've been savoring the words of others. During the last few weeks, I've been spending time with the books pictured at right, as well as a couple of more works of fiction not in the shot. Here's a quick review of each:Saints: A Year in Faith and Art by Rosa Giorgi (Abrams 2005) - This gorgeous volume o … [Read more...]

Review: Ruined

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 18% of women will be raped at some point during their lifetime. Most victims are acquainted with the perpetrator. The Centers for Disease Control says stranger rapes account for 12.9% that number.Ruth Everhart and four housemates were held hostage and assaulted by two armed strangers. Her memoir, Ruined (Tyndale, 2016) describes her journey from victim to survivor. She was a college student at Calvin College at the time of the rape, and offers an … [Read more...]

In Search Of A Little Help From My Friends

I'm reaching out to you because I'm looking for a bit of help. My book Moments & Days: How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith releases September 1. I'm excited about helping other believers better know their spiritual heritage and faithfully enjoy our eternal God as we live in finite time. I'm writing today to see if you'd be willing to be a part of my launch team.You may be wondering what a launch team is and why you should consider being a part of it. (Very good questions!)A … [Read more...]

Good Question: Why Is There A Menorah On The Altar?

If anything, worshipping at a liturgical church has enhanced my gratitude for years of Jewish education and synagogue attendance. Studying the two thousand years of Jewish history pre-dating Jesus' birth has helped me appreciate the structure and content of Christian liturgy as well as the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. It has helped me understand how Confirmation could sometimes be characterized as a 'sacrament in search of a theology.' And it certainly enhances my worship experience … [Read more...]

Review – Sensible Shoes: A Story About The Spiritual Journey

Women in their 20's and 30's understand the value of a mentor far more than women of my Boomer generation did when we were their age. For some young women, it may be an experienced businessperson who can coach them through the first years of establishing a career. For others, it may be a veteran mother who can help them navigate the bewildering choices faced by new parents. It's been my privilege to serve as a spiritual mentor to several young women along the way who were trying to figure out … [Read more...]

Read, Reading, Gonna Read

I love a long conversation over coffee with a friend. Before I was old enough to drink coffee, books were my favorite conversation partners and most trusted friends. They still hold a prime spot in my heart. The not-so-good ones give me food for thought, if only to remind me to do something different in my own writing. Good books educate, provoke, or inspire. Great ones do all three.The long weeks of illness combined with the shut-in-life that is late winter in Chicago gave me plenty of … [Read more...]

Review: What Every Christian Needs To Know About The Jewishness Of Jesus

What was first-century Judaism like? How did first-century Judaism help people approach God and draw holiness into their lives? When Jesus, a Jew, thought of God and Scripture and prayer, what kinds of things was he thinking about? By looking at the life of Jesus as a Jewish life, this book seeks to uncover the Jewish roots of Christianity. I want to hear Jesus the way his contemporaries—Jews in first-century Israel and Galilee—would have heard him. I want to understand him the way his Jewish con … [Read more...]