I've been blogging since 2006, which I estimate is equivalent to at least a half a century in Internet Years. A lot has changed in my life during that time (address, job, church, family, car, pet), but every time I drive down Route 41, I remember that there are some things that never change - The Full Moon Restaurant, open for business twenty-four hours a day.In honor of my 300th post on this blog, here's a repost of an entry I wrote way back at the start of theparablelife about one of my … [Read more...]

Deconstructing the platform?

This exchange between Jesus and the disciples, found in Mark 8:27-33 grabbed my attention tonight. In this era when "ministry" often consists of platform-building and brand-creating, I noticed how Jesus chose to respond during one of those time-stands-still moments when he could have told his disciples to use the planks of his ministry to build him a really snazzy Messiah-sized platform... The group was walking, talking, perhaps, in clusters of two and three as they hiked the Galilean hills … [Read more...]

Book review: All Nature Sings

At first glance, you might think that Carol Rottman's All Nature Sings: A Spiritual Journey of Place (Credo House, 2010) is a pretty coffee table book. Leaf through the 160 pages, and you'll see dozens of arresting images of the flora and fauna (and occasional critter) surrounding her rural western Michigan property.But settle into a cozy chair, and read a chapter or two of this lovely book. It is both exploration and reminiscence, written by someone deeply rooted in the land on which she and … [Read more...]

Book review: Embracing Your Second Calling

When I was in sixth grade, a teacher divided the three or four classes by gender. One of the teachers came into the girls' room and gave us a talk about our changing bodies and a sample box of mattress-sized Kotex sanitary napkins. It wasn't quite the rite of passage at which other cultures seem to excel. In fact, it wouldn't have qualified as a celebration of any kind. It was simply an awkward info dump with a lovely parting gift, but at its state-mandated minimum, at least the education day … [Read more...]

A legacy of love

My dad Harry Marks, circa mid-1950's or so, with his mom (my grandma), Leah Marks. She was generous and loved my sister and I with an intensity I understand now that I'm a grandma. The last time I saw her alive, she had taken a bus all over Peoria, IL in search of ingredients to make me strudel. She never learned to drive, but she wasn't going to let that stop her from searching out golden raisins for her oldest granddaughter's favorite treat.  My dad, with two of this three grandchildren. … [Read more...]

Forgive and surrender; forgive and remember

I hadn't seen her in about fifteen years, but last Saturday morning, we picked up right where we'd left off. Our family's departure from the church we'd both attended and our subsequent move to WI pushed our once-active friendship into a dormant state. I was so surprised to click on an e-mail from her a couple of months ago. "I found this old e-mail address from you and thought I'd try it," she'd written. I could hardly believe it when I saw her name - and, after a few e-mail exchanges updating … [Read more...]

No such thing as coincidence?

Has something like this ever happened to you?- My Bible reading plan just started me reading the Gospel of Mark.- They've just begun preaching through the Gospel of Mark at church.- I've just begun a freelance writing assignment that has me working through the Gospel of Mark. Some would dismiss this confluence of Scripture study focus in my life as a coincidence, but I think that by doing so, they silence the whisper of God. There's a materialistic, pragmatic way of thinking about these events … [Read more...]