• January 2022

    Deep Roots

    It’s snowing. Way down here in the South, the woods behind my house are whitening in the cold stillness. Mind you, earlier today there was rain and a ferocious wind. The storm came before the calm. As I watched the trees, bending alarmingly and swaying with agitation, I marveled that they held. Their roots, strong and deep, kept them from toppling, and the supple fiber of their branches kept them from breaking. So when the wind ceased and snow began to fall, there they stood, heads high and arms outstretched, to receive the silent beauty bestowed upon them by their maker. Oh Lord, grant that I should be such a…

  • January 2022

    Prone to Wander

    One week into our church-wide fast, I am struggling with the reality that I don’t do this well. There continue to be evidences that I default to comforts and distractions rather than seek His presence. As I look back over the years of this annual interruption to routine, I am aware that I enter into it every time with eagerness and anticipation, only to find that I am more needy than I realized. Why is it I get so comfortable with myself, even my weaknesses and foibles, that I forget to remember who He is? The sad estate of the human heart requires constant prayer and daily cleansing. I say…

  • January 2022

    Slow Down

    Here we are. The beginning of a new year is always so full of hope. For most it is a time to re-evaluate priorities, set goals, and resolve to develop new and better habits. And this is usually done in quick-start fashion. Also, for most, those endeavors lose momentum within a few short weeks. I’m grateful that I don’t rest upon my own resolve for better living. I rest upon the reality that Jesus purchased a better life for me, and I live day to day in the confidence that all the power required to change my heart and my habits resides in His able hands and faithful will. Does…

  • December 2021

    Bread of Heaven

    The house is empty, again. It is so fascinating to me how the brick and mortar seems to expand and contract as family and friends come and go. When they are all here, the house is somehow bigger, and when they leave the house settles cozily around the two of us once again. Our hearts are still full, nonetheless, as we hold onto the treasures of fellowship and the breaking of bread together. We will enjoy the richness of the preceding days for weeks to come and carry the fragrance of them into the New Year. On that night, long ago, there was an expanding of another house, when the…

  • December 2021,  May 2019

    Suddenly

    “And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood near them….” There they were, watching over their sheep, and probably sitting by a fire talking among themselves after a day in the fields, when in the blink of an eye, their whole world was invaded by the heavenly. We’ve heard this story so many times, we can most likely recite it from memory, but how often do we allow for the time and the capacity to imagine ourselves in their shoes, or sandals, as it were? Of course they were terrified. Me? I probably would have fainted dead away. I give them credit for still standing, even though on trembling legs.…

  • December 2021

    Need Indeed

    We are not still waiting for the Messiah. But, it does us good to remember there was a time in the history of mankind when we were. In this season of Advent, we have looked earnestly into the past to see how the world watched and prepared for the long awaited birth of Christ. There were a few who recognized Him when He came, and it was because the Holy Spirit had prepared their hearts for His coming. Hope-filled longing had made room, had carved a place, only He could fill. How would we know we needed Him, if we did not fully embrace the reality of the lack of…

  • December 2021

    Turning and Returning

    There are many, many things in this life worth waiting for. And, if you’ve been with me long, you will have known me to remark upon the exquisite luxury of anticipation. Expecting what will surely come has a way of making room for what is coming. The obvious example is a woman’s pregnancy. The months of waiting, wondering and hoping are part of the process of making room for the new little person. There is a mysterious beauty in the long awaited. The Israelites were in deep longing during the four hundred years of silence. The generations came and went, and in all that time they were faithful to keep,…

  • November 2021

    Sound the Alarm

    I love a nap. Not everyone does, and I respect that. For me, the occasional Sunday afternoon nap is a real luxury. But my favorite is the kind where I am curled up on the sofa under a blanket and I drift off amid the sounds of people chatting in the kitchen while eating leftovers or putting dishes away and children laughing in the other room. This happens once or twice a year during the holidays when the house is full and loved ones are quite happy to let the aging hostess snooze on the sofa while they catch up on the facts and realities of each others’ lives. I…

  • November 2021

    Glad Hearts

    I often feel gratitude that does not become expressed gratitude. And, as we approach the end-of-year festivities and the onset of a new year, I am aware of my need to develop a new and more consistent practice of giving voice to my thankfulness. It matters that the people in my life know how much I appreciate them and why. It matters that I tell God why I love Him. Why is it that human beings are sometimes prone to settle for feeling grateful and miss opportunities to give thanks? Possibly it is poor time management, and we just don’t get around to it. Or, maybe it’s a pride issue…

  • November 2021

    Seriously

    I once shook the hand of Ronald Reagan. When I was a Senior in high school, I applied for extra credit in my Civics and Government class by volunteering for campaign duty during the months leading up to the Presidential election. I logged dozens of hours in the telephone bank by calling registered voters to encourage them to make their voice heard on November 4th that year. As a perk for participating as a volunteer, just a few weeks prior to election day I was invited, along with others of my classmates, to be present at the local airport when the Reagans were expected to arrive for a visit to…