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… 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… 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… 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… 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… Read more

Not what you think it means

A few posts ago, I reviewed a book about Communion. I just received another volume on the topic that I’ll be reviewing for Englewood Review of Books. And in the midst of it all, I wrote a short devotional about the Lord’s Supper for the next Caspari Center newsletter. I’m reposting it here with a prayer that it will give you a fresh understanding of the Communion word “Remember”,Remember…There were about 25 teenagers chattering with one another in the activity… Read more

What’s that dirt on your head?

Though Lent is a somber forty-day period of the Christian year given to fasting, reflection and acts of charity, here’s a story that will probably give you a smile – and serve as a reminder that those observing Lent need to interpret the practice to a watching, wondering world:I was immersed into Gentile culture for the first time in eighth grade after growing up prior to that in a predominately Jewish neighborhood. In the hallway at school on Ash Wednesday,… Read more

Book review: The Sacred Meal

A few weeks ago, I reviewed a book about spiritual pilgrimage from Thomas Nelson’s Ancient Practices series. Thanks to Nelson’s blogger review program (which they’ve dubbed “Booksneeze”, a cringe-worthy name if ever there was one), I had the opportunity to read another title in the series. This time, it was Nora Gallagher’s The Sacred Meal, focusing on the sacrament of the Lord’s supper.Gallagher, a lay minister in the Episcopal church as well as a noted author, brings her powers of… Read more

February newsletter

A devotional, an invitation, a contest and an update – here are highlights of my recent newsletter: Home again?         If you’ve ever returned to your home town after a being away for a few years, you’ll discover that there’s truth in the old adage “You can’t go home again”. It’s not just that someone built a Walgreens where your favorite old health-code violating dive of a burger joint once stood. Your life experiences while away from home have… Read more

Saturday afternoon time travel

A fun but surreal moment:I took my seven-year old grandson to Mickey D’s yesterday. It’s kind of a tradition for us. Cold, damp late February days mean that the indoor playground is the hottest ticket in town. There wasn’t an empty table in the joint. Gabriel and I stood in the center of the room for a moment, he chomping at the bit to hit the slide, me hoping that someone was about to vacate a seat.”Hey, you can sit… Read more

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