What the Fig Leaf Won’t Cover

Well, the first lesson should be, never, absolutely never engage in  conversation with a serpent. That is where everything started to go downhill. Because where else would Satan strike but at the heart of relationship? And what was Eve thinking?  “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were […]

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Echoes of Babies Never Heard

“Mamma, where are you?” I hear it in my thoughts like light feather snow around me. It drops into my silence and stirs memory sticky and sweet, of little hands that cup my face and turn me to look into crystal pools. Echoes of babies wrap me like gifts. I put them on shelves with […]

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How Wet are Your Feet?

They come, like the Israelites in Joshua 3-4, instructed to stick a foot into the water, and trust God for the next step. Testing, poking and prodding Jesus’ calling on their lives, they show up. Missionary candidates, young men and women ready to brave snakes and spiders, peril and opposition to follow the grip of […]

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There is Always Hope

The hospital room where my twenty-six-year-old daughter lay against snowy sheets grew quiet as a tomb. Her husband sat next to her. He leaned his back against the wall, holding her hand, which was covered with bandages. Tubes pulled at her pale skin. His thumb caressed her palm back and forth, back and forth. Each […]

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6 Questions That Will Center your New Year 

New makes me skittish.  While everyone else revels in the thought of a blank-slate New Year ahead, I’ve always anticipated a new beginning with a bit of fear and dread. When others see possibilities, I’m wondering what will go wrong? I know something is a little wonky in my thinking.  This morning I read Paul’s […]

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Who is that Baby in the Manger?

Every year, of my childhood, the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, Christmas pageant practice began. The characters were the same every year, the players different… …In all the sweetness of Christmas, its magic and traditions, it is far too easy to become trapped by the legend at the detriment of truth. Who is that baby in […]

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Looking for Immanuel in the Christmas that Almost Isn’t

When sparkling lights are only beeps and monitors on a hospital screen.  When money is lean and gifts few.  When a bucket sits next to a miserably fevered child.  When uncertainty shrouds hope ahead.  When relationships shatter like broken ornaments.  When grief pours like cold snow showers.  When it’s the first empty nest year, the […]

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Joseph Did You Know? 

Rows of little feet too short to reach the floor, swung like swing sets on long wooden pews. Lined up by grades, and bookended by teachers, the oldest sat in the back, the littlest in the front.  The rite of pageant belonged to each grade-schooler in our church. From first to eighth, we met in […]

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It is Good to Give Thanks

“I’ll still be here,” he whispered as he climbed back into bed next to me. The sun still slept outside the dark window. Chill replaced the warmth of good-bye hugs, of little arms around my neck, of wet kisses on my cheek. The car door’s final bang echoed in my ears. Like hundreds of times […]

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Train Up A Child

In the small town where I grew up, “turning out” was a big deal. A person turned out right when they got a steady job, got married, had a family, and stayed in the same church in which they were raised. It was the formula hovering over each parent, judging their success or failure. Nothing […]

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