An Ode to the Saint James Devotional Guide

When my husband and I went to our first home school convention in 1992, we expected to discover curriculum and how-to’s. My husband picked up a sample of a devotional booklet from an exhibitor on our way out the door at the end of the day. In a sea of vendors hawking brightly-colored curriculum promising academic success and spiritual bulletproofing to prospective home school families, we nearly overlooked the modest table from a group calling itself The Fellowship of Saint James.Frankly, I t … [Read more...]

From “Tradition” to “Sunrise, Sunset”: Fiddler `N Me

Selling the idea of a musical about the pogroms in Russia at the turn of the last century must not have been easy. Imagine the first time the creators of sat down across the table from a potential investor and tried to sell the idea. "So there's this Jewish milkman, poor as dirt, and he has these five daughters. The three of marrying age make choices that move each away in progressively greater ways from the milkman's faith and traditions. And then the whole family gets kicked out of the town in … [Read more...]

How I’m Learning To Love God With My Mind

My Jewish parents used to tell me that the one thing “they” couldn’t take from me was an education. As I grew older, I learned that the “they” to whom my mom and dad referred were the various Gentile groups who’d persecuted the Jewish people for millennia. Though they were in no way academics, my hard-working parents did teach me that there was immeasurable value, if not virtue, in the act of learning.I was a bookish kid, and after I came to faith in Jesus in my mid-teens, I brought my hunger … [Read more...]

Corporate Worship Analysis-itis

I don’t know how to go to a church service anymore.I spent a lot of time during the 1990’s writing and occasionally producing skits for church services, as well as a few full-length plays. These bits of spiritual theater were once known as “chancel dramas”. With the advent of the seeker service, they became a way for service producers to highlight conflict, questions and spiritual awakening in story form. My writing eventually led to producing church services for a mid-sized non-den … [Read more...]

When Running Away To Join The Circus Is Not An Option

When I was a kid, I was in a giant hurry to be a grown-up. The day after my birthday, I was already telling people I was almost the age I'd be on my next birthday. I think I got my driver's license on July 7th, 1975. If the DMV was open on July 4th (a Friday, and the date of my 16th birthday) or the weekend following, surely I would have gotten it three days earlier. I couldn't wait to vote, drink, sign a lease, bounce a check, and buy a major appliance.Sometimes, being an adult is pretty fu … [Read more...]

Confessions Of A Media-Protective Parent

If my memory holds and my body lasts into old age, I’m pretty sure I’ll still be able to sing all the words to Led Zeppelin’s 1971 hit, “Stairway to Heaven.” My kids, on the other hand, may have the lyrics from the CDs of Rebecca St. James and Delirious? tattooed into their long-term recall. My husband and I both grew up in non-Christian families and wanted to give our three children a different upbringing, so we home-schooled them. We watched Disney movies—which made us too liberal for some of … [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...]