Book review: Deeper Into The Word

As the year's odometer is about to roll over (hello, 2012!), you might be considering a new devotional. I've used a variety of devotional books over the years, and have even contributed to a couple. Most follow a pretty standard format: a Bible verse or inspirational thought, a short meditation on the passage, a prayer. The best devotional tools serve their intended purpose of nudging readers Godward.If you're interested in devotional material that nudges you a little farther and goes a couple … [Read more...]

Who read Scripture during your church service this morning?

Should women be permitted to read Scripture aloud in a church service?Probably for many of you reading this, the answer would be a simple yes. Neo-Reformed church leader and uber blogger Tim Chailles delivers an emphatic "No!" in this post.  In his congregation as well many others in both fundamentalist and neo-Calvinist camps, including this one, only male leaders are permitted to read Scripture: Because of the importance of the Word of God, at Grace Fellowship Church we ask certain members … [Read more...]

Some people are meant to stay behind the scenes in life

It should be obvious to anyone who meets me that I am a graduate of the Wendy Ward Charm School program.Key word: should.Reality: No one will ever mistake me for either Miss Manners or America's Next Top Model. Wendy Ward fail.Two things from my sojourn in the Wendy Ward program have stuck with me through lo, these many years. The first is the fact that I learned to do a runway-perfect 3/4 pivot turn. Not exactly a skill I rely on in daily life. Or like, ever. Something tells me if I … [Read more...]

Marking time with God

I'm posting this in hopes that maybe one of you can offer some insight to my calendars quandry. Plural intended.I'm not wrestling with the 365-day, 12-month calendar hanging on my kitchen wall and filling the pages of my Day-Timer. The calendars that don't make sense to me are the calendar marking the cycle of feast and fast observance prescribed in the Old Testament and the calendar used by liturgical churches to mark the Christian year. Jesus celebrated the former, but within a few hundred … [Read more...]

A simple gift for you this Thanksgiving

'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free / 'Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be / And when we find ourselves in the place just right / 'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.Click and enjoy the haunting voice of Allison Kraus on this lovely Quaker melody, accompanied by Yo Yo Ma.  … [Read more...]

Backed into a corner?

Being backed into a corner brings clarity.When you are fighting for your life, that punch list of Thursday afternoon errands (Grocery store: Eggs, toilet paper, broccoli; Dry cleaners: pick up winter coat; Office Max: Business envelopes; Make dentist appointment) is nothing more than ephemera tumbled into a northwesterly breeze. The corner - no visible exits, no trap doors, no possible way out - strips life down to its essence. Who are you? Who is your God/god?In the last week, two people … [Read more...]

Invisible no more

When we first met Carlos 9 years ago, he was working as a busser in a Mexican restaurant. He didn't have papers, but he did have our daughter's heart. The two married, and after a couple of years, they began the long process of getting Carlos a green card, and then applying for U.S. citizenship.Today, Carlos completed that journey. He is now an American citizen.In my second book (Uprooted: Growing a parable life from the inside out), I penned a narrative using elements of Carlos' experience … [Read more...]