Midweek update from Jerusalem

Some have asked how this week's news about Osama bin Laden has impacted life in Israel. It has been front-page news, but there is so much happening here that the event doesn't have the same impact that I'm sure it's having in the U.S. The Caspari team has kept me busy this week doing office-type tasks. Today, I entered data base information all day as they're cataloging back issues of magazines and journals in the library. The work reminds me of my old Trinity Bookstore days, but without the … [Read more...]

Jam-packed 24 hours/Day 1

I've been here in Jerusalem for 24 hours or so, and here's what I've experienced so far:I didn't take this picture, but this is pretty much the scene that greeted me.- An angry mob of about 80-100 ultra-Orthodox Jews standing at an intersection about a half a block from the guest house where I'm staying. Apparently, they camp out there on Saturday afternoons and yell at cars and non-Orthodox pedestrians for violating the Shabbat rules. Occasionally, these noisy protests have become violent, … [Read more...]

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...]