Can These Bones Live?

Some in shriveling churches have prayed a form of Ezekiel 37:1-14 for their congregations. The prophet Ezekiel was given a vision of dry bones, and as he spoke in God’s name over them, God supernaturally reassembled them into a vibrant living body. God told Ezekiel that the vision was about the return from exile of the revived Chosen People to the land he’d given them. The appropriation of these words in prayer over a failing local church tends to signal the congregation is in its final stages of … [Read more...]

5 Yiddish Words For Christians: Video

English is sprinkled with a few Yiddish phrases. Go to Einstein's Bagels, and you use Yiddish to order a bagel and a schmear of cream cheese. If you trip over a crack in the sidewalk and call yourself a klutz, you're using a Yiddish word to describe your clumsiness. 1970's sitcom characters LaVerne and Shirley used the words schlemiel and schlamazel (inept and unlucky) in their opening credits, though neither woman was remotely Jewish.Sometimes a Yiddish word is just what the doctor ordered. … [Read more...]

10 Favorite Time Travel Flicks

I've spent a lot of time in the last two years thinking about...time. Though I've focused on Jewish and Christian calendars during the writing of Moments & Days: How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith, I also did some reading on the nature of time itself, a mind-blowing topic.When my finite brain got a little too overheated from thinking Big Thoughts about theoretical stuff, I would go organize a junk drawer or something. I also realized an entry-level way in which many of us ponder … [Read more...]

Requiem for a BFF

Being the new girl in 8th grade was like walking over hot coals every day. All the other kids were a part of established cliques. Hormones and insecurity are a double rip tide that pulls under all but the strongest and most resilient of us during middle school.It was a life preserver to have Karen draw me into her circle of friends during a ski trip. Her clique wasn’t “cheerleader popular”, but they were a pretty cool group. As time went on, we cycled between being besties and drifting from e … [Read more...]

Unintended Consequences of the Jesus Movement: The Big Decision

Earlier this year, I launched in this space an occasional series looking back on the unintended consequences of the Jesus Movement. I've explored topics including our hand-clappin' praise songs, the Rapture, our voting habits, and our worship services. Today, I'm picking up where I left off by talking about something that's not a news flash to most reading these words: the Evangelical focus on decisions for Christ, often at the expense of discipleship. This impulse wasn't new to Evangelicalism. … [Read more...]

Review: Ruined

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 18% of women will be raped at some point during their lifetime. Most victims are acquainted with the perpetrator. The Centers for Disease Control says stranger rapes account for 12.9% that number.Ruth Everhart and four housemates were held hostage and assaulted by two armed strangers. Her memoir, Ruined (Tyndale, 2016) describes her journey from victim to survivor. She was a college student at Calvin College at the time of the rape, and offers an … [Read more...]

S’mores And Much More

Last year, when some incredibly generous friends offered my husband and I the gift of a trip to join them for family camp at InterVarsity's Cedar Campus, we had no idea what to expect. Would we be making lanyards and practicing our archery skills? I last attended summer camp in 1975.These friends had attended family camp at Cedar Campus for more than two decades, and spoke warmly of the gracious maturity of the people and the unspoiled beauty of the place. We packed bug spray, sleeping … [Read more...]