Let it begin with me…

I spend a lot of time online. It is poach-an-egg-on-the-windshield hot outside. Combine the two, and it is entirely possible that my perceptions of today’s overheated rhetoric about the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling upholding the individual mandate in the national healthcare bill may be warped. Today’s polarized rantfest of despair or gleeful celebration (pick one) over this morning’s announcement reminds me once again that our opinions are never just words. Mark Twain said, “Our opinions do not really blossom into… Read more

Piper, Israel and me

This week, Christianity Today’s website featured the first round of volleys between David Brickner, the head of Jews for Jesus and John Piper, author and pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. The question being debated is “Do Jews Have A Divine Right To Israel’s Land?” Here is Brickner’s post, here’s Piper’s response. The question is not merely an academic exercise in Biblical hermeneutics about modern Israel’s divine right to exist. It also speaks to ethnic Israel’s continued existence both… Read more

Parrots Can Not Sing A New Song

Maybe it was the parenting book loaded with cliches written by someone whose oldest child was 6 years old. Or it could have been a Biblegateway.com concordance word search of strung-together topical verses masquerading as a sermon. Or perhaps it was the blog post that was nothing more than regurgitated words the author parroted from his or her favorite superstar teacher/preacher. The content of each was solid enough, I suppose. But in each instance, the speaker’s words came across as… Read more

Short sale by the numbers

It is finished. Thanks be to God. The contracts have been inked, the checks exchanged. We have been released from ownership our Round Lake, IL townhome. We were underwater on the property, and after lots of anguish and consulting with all sorts of professionals (and a bunch of amateurs, who each had opinions to share with us), we decided to try listing the house as a short sale. Our realtor and lawyer both warned us that there were absolutely no… Read more

#11

“Exile, diaspora and pilgrimage.” The words were not much more than a whisper, but the the Voice doing the whispering commanded my reverent attention. The words have been a recurring theme for me during the last few years, but I hadn’t paid them much mind recently. Right before we left for Israel at the beginning of May, they came to the foreground again. When that Voice speaks, I pray I listen. Of course, since the words were little more than… Read more

Falling Upward, Chapter 9

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… Read more

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… 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…. 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… 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… Read more

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