Fellowship: Can a spiritual reality draw us together even when we feel miles apart?


If I say the word “epiphany,” what immediately comes to mind? I think of a bright, startling moment of understanding or inspiration. I imagine an unexpected insight in which the contours of a truth once hazy snap into place. Once seen, they can’t be unseen. In this sense, epiphany is revelation—something made manifest to us […]

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When a Blessing Breaks your Heart


“Blessed are you among women, ” Elizabeth ecstatically exclaimed to Mary, but I wonder. In the run up to Christmas this year, I’ve been thinking about Mary, about her experience of motherhood, about what it means to say that she was “blessed among women.” How could a mother who would one day witness the suffering […]

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Thanksgiving for Civil Conversation


Over the past season I might have grumbled, now and then, about the caustic political atmosphere. The demeaning jabs, the alarmist rhetoric, the unhelpful generalizations, and the stereotypes that reinforced prejudice wore many of us thin, to the point that we were tempted to tune out entirely. But Sunday morning, I stepped into a new […]

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Come to the waters: A design for stained glass


When my hope starts eroding, I turn to a river. I want to wash. I want to drink deep. One of the most evocative images in Scripture for me has long been the picture of a river of life flowing from the throne of God in Revelation 22. The waters are unpolluted and clear as […]

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How to visit an art gallery with kids without losing your cool


Looking at art with kids is a way of exposing them to the marvelous diversity of artistic expression and to a range of cultures. A visit to an art gallery or museum can be an opportunity not just to cultivate self-control and attention, but also to nurture creativity and curiosity.

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A Blessing for my Daughter on her Birthday

pencil sketch of my daughter

Blessing is prayer as gift. When my oldest daughter turned twelve, this is the blessing that I wrote to send her into the next decade, the decade of becoming a woman.

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When Wedding Gifts become Wedding Blessings: Memory and Presence


Sixteen years ago today I was staring out a window in Texas watching torrential rains flood the garden where I was supposed to be married later in the day. I learned then, what I’ve learned many times since, that a marriage takes improvisation and the willingness to change course, sometimes at a moment’s notice. We […]

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From curse to blessing: How grace gets the last word


“The last word of the Old Testament is ‘curse’ (Mal. 4:6), and it is meaningful that the opening sermon of our Lord’s ministry commences with the word ‘Blessed.’” —Charles Spurgeon   “What have you got in here?” I ask my son, slinging his backpack over my shoulder. “Did you fill your bag with rocks?” He’s […]

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Breathing room for my soul: How to find rest in the noise of a day?


My eyes flit across the surfaces of things, as if I’m rushing around glancing at scattered pieces of a puzzle without the attention to start finding connections, much less meaning. I can’t still the turning of the world; but I do have some control over the degree to which my mind and soul are carried along with it.
Here are a few things I’m trying in order to cultivate internal stillness.

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A Blessing for Resting and Waking

sunrise copy

May you sleep in the shelter of the shadow of God’s wings, May you wake in the light of his love For a little more than a year I’ve been praying this blessing over my kids just before they drift off to sleep. I turn out the lights, sit on the edge of the bed, […]

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