Review: Return Policy

Michael Snyder's Return Policy (Zondervan) follows the stories of three people who'd never typically connect with one another, much less change each other's lives: Wally, a burned-out, grieving novelist; Ozena, a single mom of a special needs child and customer service rep; and Shaq, a homeless man with a serious case of post-traumatic stress disorder. An unseen Hand much more powerful than the pain these ordinary people carry brings the three lives together in order to craft healing from each … [Read more...]

Until death do us part

It was the 1970's, and as a refection of the times, we wrote our own vows for our wedding. I have copies of what we promised each other that warm Sunday afternoon, but for the life of me, I can't remember a syllable of what either of us vowed that day. It is a good thing that God remembers not only our words, but the intent of our hearts.After 30 years together, Bill and I both agree that the classic vow captures every facet of what it means to be married:" have and to hold from this day … [Read more...]

Fire from heaven

"As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?" (Luke 9:51-55)They'd not only seen Jesus do miracles, they'd done them in His name as well. … [Read more...]

Review: A Million Miles In A Thousand Years

When I first began working at the Trinity Bookstore in 2004, Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz had been out for a few months and was just beginning to catch on via the best advertising of all, positive word-of-mouth. I grabbed it off the shelf, read it, lovedlovedloved it, and foisted it on all sorts of unsuspecting customers and fellow staffers. Miller's irreverently reverent, messy journey and distinctive writing voice resonated with me.It resonated with hundreds of thousands of others. The book … [Read more...]

Day of atonement prayer request

The holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, begins at sundown tonight. (You can read God's prescribed order for the day here.) On the tenth day of the seventh month, the high priest would disappear behind the curtain leading into the Holy of Holies to intercede for his people. Only on this day each year could the priest come before God on behalf of a repentant people to seek absolution of the previous year's sins against Him and one another.I remember the shock I felt this first time I … [Read more...]

What am I missing?

What makes the Church dangerous? In no particular order:1. Love2. Rabid intentionality about reflecting the risen Christ in deed and word, in that order3. Signs and wonders4. Communion5. Meaningful spiritual friendships6. Learning put into practice7. Prayer8. Its children and teens9. Gracious countercultural lifestyle10. Corporate worship as the starting line11. Generosity12. Service/justice13. Mess14. TruthThe more of the above-listed dangerous things that exist in a local congregation, the … [Read more...]

Two reviews from the top of the stack…

Philip Yancey's introspective, wise writing has been both a mirror and a pair of binoculars in my life. The reflective nature of his work has forced me to take a good look at myself in Disappointment With God; the binocular view of the struggles of others in Pain: The Gift Nobody Wants. But the truth is that most all of his beautifully-crafted writing is both mirror and binoculars. I've been a fan since his days writing for Campus Life magazine in the 1970's.Grace Notes: Daily Readings With A … [Read more...]