Late summer reading list

Recently, I've had an opportunity to read a handful of interesting non-fiction books. The first, Keri Wyatt Kent's Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life, was a wonderful treat to myself. The next three were review copies offered to bloggers by publishers. The books have taken me from contemplative life to life between the sheets, from a theological throwdown to a challenge to rise above the rabble of pop culture.Read on to find out which one of these books I didn't like one bit.Listen: … [Read more...]

Suffer the little ones…

During our search for a church some time ago, we landed for a season at a small congregation that had been a part of the community for about 20 years. The people seemed friendly enough, the corporate worship was solid. We appreciated the family feel of the place, and hoped we might have found a good fit.My first clue that something was terribly wrong was when I volunteered to help in the nursery. I was a newcomer to the church, so no one knew me beyond those little generic lobby conversations … [Read more...]

Heading home via Deuteronomy 8

Imagine being a thirty-something who'd spent your entire life living a nomadic existence in the desert. You'd played on the hard-baked sand as a child. You'd nursed your babies in a tent pitched next to a lone barren tree. The repetition of a lifetime manna-diet mirrored the bleached, unchanging environment in which you'd laughed, loved, lived.And worshipped: your Sabbath rest the only punctuation in an unchanging march of days through an unchanging terrain toward...Maybe you'd forgotten … [Read more...]

God’s recycling program

"I'm sorry, but there's no room for you in the program here," my advisor looked up from a stack of papers centered on the desk in front of her. "If you're convinced you want to pursue this teaching certification, there are other colleges you might consider if you're willing to transfer out of state." I bit the inside of my cheek, willing myself not to burst into tears. This deadbolted door was not not the way things were supposed to happen. The deaf … [Read more...]

Up North Tour Guide?

When we first moved to Wisconsin in 1995, we had no idea how deep the pull of "up north" had on the psyche of the entire state. People didn't have to say the name of a place. They'd just get a misty look in their eyes and say things like "We're going up north this weekend" or "I'm heading up north to hunt as soon as I'm off of work Friday." Only happy things apparently seem to everyone who headed "up north". It had the aura of a giant clubhouse where only those who'd been grandfathered in by … [Read more...]

Twofer book reviews

It's been a while since I've posted a book review. I'm typically a blazing-fast reader, and finished one of the two books I'll be reviewing today in a couple of nights. But N.D. Wilson's Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl forced me to suspend my Evelyn Wood-style speed-reading habits in favor of the kind of slow savor I reserve for stunning, poetic writing. I don't downshift into first gear very often as a reader. Wilson's arresting, lyrical prose left me no other option.Wilson's artful exploration of … [Read more...]

Primary-colored promises

I admit it. I love the sight of school supplies making their yearly center-stage appearance. Blank pages and unsharpened pencils await their call to duty for everything from the circle-stick-hook of a wobbly first ABC on through spelling tests, crush notes, algebra equations and first-day essays that always begin, "I spent my summer vacation..."School supplies are primary-colored promises: something magical will happen if I open a box of brand-new crayons. I even wrote about my yearly Crayola … [Read more...]