Review: While He Was Away

David and Penna were inseparable, bound together by the intensity of first love. Penna is a quiet 18 year-old outsider and the only child of a mother with whom she has a complex, strained relationship. She connected with David over their shared passion for art, and their all-consuming relationship created a cocoon around the pair, creating a sense of permanence and invincibility as they faced impending adulthood. But adulthood penetrated the cocoon like an IED as infantry member David headed to … [Read more...]

Shalom once again, Israel

Our fifth trip to Israel is nearly done, and it ended with perhaps the most Israeli experience of the journey: when we emerged from the Museum of the Jewish People on the campus of Tel Aviv University, our rental car with all of our luggage in the trunk had disappeared into thin air. There may be nothing more disorienting than standing on the sidewalk and trying to figure out how to say "Dude, where's my car?" in the native tongue.Through the kindness of strangers, none of whom appeared to be … [Read more...]

This isn’t ‘Jeopardy’, it’s Israel

Though I'm not a fan of the genre, the one TV game show I have enjoyed watching on occasion (usually in the company of a senior citizen) is 'Jeopardy'. Contestants whose brains were overstuffed warehouses of trivia about topics ranging from 18th Century European Composers to the Reptiles of South America. Debonair long-time host Alec Trebek's role is to give increasingly difficult answers in a particular category while three contestants vie to ask the right question.Part of our trip to … [Read more...]

A Different Kind Of Mother’s Day Prayer

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families..." (Ps. 68:5-6a) For every woman who will receive a crayoned card made of folded construction paper, a bouquet or a sweetly sentimental piece of jewelry this Sunday, there are many others who need a different kind of gift this Mother's Day. This prayer is for so many of us:O God, the commercials, cards and gifts of this Sunday are a reminder to honor the mothers in our lives. A day … [Read more...]

File under: The More Things Change…

Circa 1985. It is a journal entry. Apparently, I walked out of a women's Bible study that morning.The same sort of stuff I wrote about in this rant still bugs me today. Either I haven't matured much in the last 27 years, or I was onto something.Or both. … [Read more...]

Falling Upward, Chapter 8

I’m blogging through Father Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward: A Spirituality Through The Two Halves Of Life. Even if you haven’t read the book, please stick around and join the conversation here if you’re facing a mid-life transition. Father Rohr offers us all some meaty food for thought.Here are links to my previous posts in the series:  Intro — Chapter 1 — Chapter 2 — Chapter 3 —Chapter 4 – Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 * * * * * * * Chapter 8 is entitled "Amnesia and the Big Picture". Fath … [Read more...]

Festival of Faith & Writing: Ten Quick Observations

Every two years, readers and writers flock to the campus of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI for the Festival of Faith & Writing. The campus buildings bear names like Huizenga, Vanderwerp and Hiemenga, reflecting the deep Dutch roots of the Christian Reformed Church with which the school is affiliated. True story: When I attended the Festival four years ago, in fact, I had a very tall blonde woman with a Dutch surname bend to read my name tag, take a step back so she could eye me up and … [Read more...]


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