Oprah’s worst-dressed audience member

You're probably aware that Oprah is broadcasting the final few shows of her program's last season. The ABC affiliate in Chicago rebroadcasts her show at 11:05 p.m. each night, and because of my ongoing midlife sleep battles, I have seen some of the programs of this final season. She's a fascinating personality, and though I can't affirm some of what she preaches, I also can't deny her sister-girlfriend relateability or her epic generosity. I am way late to the Oprah party. I had the … [Read more...]

Watch and pray

The disciples experienced all kinds of amazing weeks with Jesus, but none of them were anything like the week they headed into Jerusalem just before Passover. The crowds up north, in Galilee, clamored to get near Jesus because they hoping to see a miracle, or they were enthralled by his teachings. The people of Jerusalem greeted Jesus though they were welcoming a king to town. Their hope-filled celebration turned to ice as Jesus publicly and frequently challenged the beliefs and motivations of … [Read more...]

Sunrise, sunset

When I got married, my parents walked me up the aisle to the song Sunrise, Sunset from the movie Fiddler On The Roof. We selected the song as a way to honor my family's heritage. Since I've become a parent, I have not been able to listen to that song without becoming a weeping mess. Remembering my own parents is a part of it, but the bigger part of it is the way the lyrics capture the stunning speed with which time passes. Jacob, age 8 (1993) creating something wonderful.Jacob, age 24 (2011) … [Read more...]

Sur la table

Last weekend, my dear friend Meg and I facilitated a directed silent retreat. One of the passages of Scripture on which we focused was possibly the most familiar of them all - Psalm 23. Familiarity does not equal true understanding. I am convinced you could spend a lifetime meditating on a few familiar Bible passages and have barely scratched the surface of what is there. These are eternal, transforming, living words, given us by the Living Word.I was sitting alone in our meeting room when one … [Read more...]

This is what happens when I search for free books…

So I finally broke down and bought a Kindle. I'd been resisting the purchase because I love the idea of a physical book, and because a lot of my reading comes in the from of free books I read in order to review. With some upcoming travel on the horizon, I realized that one little device would be a lot nicer to carry than 35 pounds of reading material. More than one person told me that I could get all kinds of free or cheap books for the Kindle, so I finally bit the bullet and pulled out the … [Read more...]

When not praying is prayer

Author Margaret Feinberg has been blogging during this season of Lent about what she's given up during the 40-day observance. No, not chocolate or facebook. She's given up prayer.  Her provocatively-titled vow is really more about getting out of the habit of talking at God than it is abandoning communication (and communion!) with him.  It triggered a memory of one of my own journeys - yes, the plural is meant to be there - through prayerlessness. Mine had to do more with fear of … [Read more...]

Looking in the mirror at high noon

I had one of those slap-upside-the-head Bible reading moments a couple of days ago. The ones where you're reading words out of habit, and suddenly, blam-o! The Hound of Heaven ambushes you, and with no warning, you're having a holy "have a good look in the mirror at high noon" moment. I was reading Romans 16, which is mostly a list of personal greetings from Paul and team to the Church in Rome. There are some instructions and a beautiful benediction in the chapter, but the bulk of the language … [Read more...]