November 28, 2014

Advent is coming. And, given that the word “advent” is derived from the Latin term adventus, which means “visit” or “coming,” one might well speak of the advent of Advent, the imminent coming of the Christian season of Advent. Many people I know – including me – feel eager about the approach of Advent, much as we might feel about the pending visit of a dear, old friend. Yet, many others among my friends don’t really care that Advent is… Read more

November 27, 2014

We have much to be thankful for, but we’ve also experienced loss this year – as individuals and a society. At Art House America, Dyana Herron writes about some of those things, including the shooting at Seattle Pacific University this year: Now, for the next few hours, I was truly without a home, in transit between one place and the next, surrounded by people in the same situation, either beside me on the ground, or above me in the air:… Read more

November 27, 2014

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:18-20 Thanksgiving dinner is one of my favorite meals. I suppose it has something to do with nostalgia, happy memories, and a chance to… Read more

November 26, 2014

A lovely post at Relief by my friend Jill Reid about the poetry of loss and redemption: A few months ago, I stood in the cold corner of a funeral home with a twenty-one year-old college student whom I have come to love and admire very much over four years of teaching her. Just a day earlier, she was taking notes in her English literature class. Now, she was standing near the casket of her mother, killed on impact in a… Read more

November 25, 2014

Over at The High Calling, David Rupert thanks God for his crummy job: I sense that I’m not alone. During the recession my friends went from the rolls of short-term unemployed to long-term. Others were underemployed, finding work as temps or part time workers, benefits trimmed or stripped outright. Others had to do way more with way less. We are still recovering. Rather than let my employment challenges drag me down, I’ve decided to take back the workplace for God’s glory,… Read more

November 24, 2014

I’ll never forget something I heard at the baccalaureate service that was part of my graduation from college. As I sat in the Memorial Church of Harvard University, the President of Radcliffe College (part of Harvard) said something like, “The baccalaureate service is a traditional ceremony of thanks and praise.” Wow, I thought, that’s surprisingly good! But then the President continued, “So, on this day, we keep the tradition of baccalaureate by thanking you for being part of this university… Read more

November 24, 2014

I don’t know if you caught it in the news, but it turns out the Hunger Games films inspired a protest in Thailand – against the government: Months later, with Mockingjay, Part I, the newest Hunger Games installment, out in theaters, the galvanizing symbol is back in the news. On Wednesday, five Thai students were detained for using the salute during a speech by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha. According to the Bangkok Post, the five, who were wearing anti-coup apparel, were pulled away by military police. Parroting the… Read more

November 23, 2014

For several years, it has been my history to put up a bit of Thanksgiving history a few days prior to the holiday. So, once again, here is my version of a brief history of Thanksgiving. Several years ago I asked my six-year-old nephew, “On Thanksgiving, to whom do we say thank you?” He quickly responded, “To the Native Americans.” (No, I’m not kidding.) “Do we say thank you to anybody else?” I queried persistently. “To the Pilgrims.” “And to… Read more

November 22, 2014

In just a few days, Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Yet for many of us, the actual holiday is so full of activity that we have little time for intentional, extended giving of thanks to God. So, as has been my tradition for many years, I am putting up several posts in anticipation of Thanksgiving Day in order to encourage my readers to let this be a season, not just a day of gratitude. When you think of Thanksgiving, what… Read more

November 20, 2014

One of the popular tourist sites in Prague is the so-called Lennon’s Wall. I stopped by this shrine a year ago while in Prague while visiting my son, who was studying in the city. For over thirty years, graffiti has covered this wall, much of it in honor of or reference to John Lennon. In the 1980s, many of the contributions to the wall criticized the communist government of of what was then Czechoslovakia. But, according to the Prague Post,… Read more

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