Every once in a while, I sign up for a religiously-based online course. A few years ago, I did one on Benedictine practices. Because it was done during Lent, it was largely focused around Lectio Divina, a meditative reading of scripture. People would get on the phone call each week and be thrilled that they had been able to sit quietly for 30 minutes and focus on two Bible verses. I privately chose not to share that the process puts me to sleep. Clearly, I was not meant to be
What do answered prayers look like? I thought about this over the past week while my dear friend from seminary was staying with us - along with her three boys (5, 7, 10). Needless to say, being an only child, this was an adventure. I had many questions like: Why are you fighting with each other - you should be happy to have a sibling? Can one plate of food really end up in five different locations? How many times a day should I run a dishwasher before it goes on strike? Three
After having to replace almost all of our kitchen appliances recently, I’ve been thinking about our throw-away culture. As a household, we recycle quite a bit. Dave and I will carry empty soda and water bottles around until we can find a recycling bin. We put most of our paper in the recycling bin. We bring our plastic bags to the food pantry to be reused. We generally need to take out trash only every other week. The exception is when I do some cleaning in my stash room. I'm
How often do you hear the name Emmanuel in church outside of Advent and Christmas? Can you recall it in any of our readings on Sunday or in any Bible Studies you may attend? If we sang O Come, O Come Emmanuel on Sunday, I am most certain I would be met with some questions. Yet, we celebrate with this Emmanuel – this God with us during the winter, every winter. But what about the summer? What about now? Poet Ann Weems says this in her poem We Seem to Forget: What concerns me,
Since I grew up in the Lutheran church, saints were never a big part of my life. But when we lived in Italy, I became more aware of saints and feast days. There were two saints in particular that I took a liking to. One was San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples. Our apartment was about 100 feet directly downhill from the chapel memorializing the spot where San Gennaro was beheaded. It was hard to avoid the twice-yearly festival booths that lined the main road through town.