Book review: Who Owns The World?

Who Owns The World? The Surprising Truth About Every Piece of Land on The Planet is an encyclopedic accounting of land ownership on our globe. It is packed with fascinating facts: Did you know that Queen Elizabeth owns 1/6th of all the land on earth? Did you know that the largest private landowner in the U.S. is Ted Turner, who owns 1,800,000 acres of land? (Yes, all those zeroes belong in that number.) Have you ever heard of the British Indian Ocean Territory, a land area of 14,720 acres which … [Read more...]

I got the volunteer blues

I originally posted the basic content (below) during 2007 - and have tweaked it a bit for 2010. I love to volunteer to help, to serve, to minister, to use the gifts God has given me to bless others. You'll note that the word "volunteer" is a verb in this sentence.  I hate to be called a volunteer. Noun.  When I was on staff at a mid-sized evangelical church, we spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to fill slots on our org chart, especially in the children's ministry, … [Read more...]

I need Thee every hourMost gracious Lord;No tender voice like ThineCan peace afford. I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;every hour I need Thee....Please pray for health and safety for the beautiful people of Haiti - and for wisdom for those organizing rescue and relief (and eventually, rebuilding) operations in the country.And give what you can, to a charity or ministry you know is trustworthy. … [Read more...]

Come, Lord Jesus

A friend asked me if I wanted to join her at a night of corporate worship at a church a decade ago in a nearby town. My friend and I were "church nomads" at that point, and we both missed the dynamic of gathering with others to worship. Neither of us knew anyone at the church, and I think we both expected a couple of hours of singing. The end.As we walked into the church building, there was a palpable, nearly overwhelming sense of the nearness of God. This sense of simultaneous exposure and … [Read more...]

Strange place to plant a family tree

Open the Gospel of Luke, right there in chapter one and begin reading. The physician-scribe throws us right into the middle of the action first with the warm-up of the dramatic events surrounding the birth of John the Baptist and then the history-splitting incarnation of the Lord Jesus. Luke has penned a real page-turner!A hinge of sorts happens in chapter 3, as the cousins come together in the river. Jesus asks John to baptize him, and eternity invades finite space and time:"When all the people … [Read more...]

Boundaries or brick walls?

My husband and I had visited a church a few times, and invited the pastor and his wife over for a meal after having some pleasant post-service chat with them both. We told them we were looking forward to learning more about the church as well as enjoying a relaxing evening of conversation.It was fun to swap child-rearing and ministry adventure stories with them. We'd travelled some similar roads, and we shared a lot of laughter through the evening. But as the evening was drawing to a close, the … [Read more...]

2009: Black Belt in klutziness

The week between Christmas and New Years is filled with all manner of "Year In Review" lists. Biggest news stories, worst movies, best books, that sort of thing.My own 2009 list is a little more...uh...specific. When I think of this year, the list that's easiest for me to make is that I managed to experience regular doses of high degree klutziness in almost every arena:(1) February - Got lost alone in Jerusalem, wandering like an Altzheimer's patient for nearly an hour while trying to find … [Read more...]