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A few birthdays ago...two of the beans and me.

Birthdays – always a reason to celebrate

Stolen from my daughter’s Facebook page: [Footsteps in the dark. “Mama, I need to enjoy my last day of being seven!” “Dinah Jane, what time is it?” “6:30.” “I just got Ezra back to sleep. Please go back to your room. You can enjoy your last day of being seven after 7:00.” Well, there were […]

Divine romance

Divine romance

The Preacher performed a wedding on New Year’s Eve. I tagged along, right down the luminary-lined walkway into a fairyland of twinkling lights and joyful people. Not knowing anyone, I simply observed. As he always does, Rick began the ceremony with a joke about a little girl named Suzy who rushed home from school one […]

Follow the pull, run the race

While scrolling online news headlines, taking in the bitter daily dose of shootings, accidents, invasions and economic downturns, I found a news story that reversed my scowl. It seems that every January, in support of the track and field programs at the local school, the rural town of Elkmont, Alabama (population 400) holds a half-marathon […]

Baptism – more than it seems

Baptism – more than it seems

It happened decades ago, but I remember the baptisms of our two children. They went under the water of Echo Lake in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and they came up coated with green algae. It hung from them in strings, like summer tinsel. Their father baptized them both, and he […]

Life’s roads are risky – take Jesus along

The Canadian Prairie has an abundance of long straight roads, usually a pleasure to drive. But numerous white crosses stand beside them, mute testimony to opposite moments. Sometimes the crosses sprout in multiples, chilling reminders of life’s fragility. Nevertheless, most prairie people think nothing of commuting long distances. To work, to school, the lake or […]

Time to confront my Silly Putty

As a child, I wanted to be a fat grandmother. I never knew my grandmothers, but all the grandmas I saw in my primary readers were tidily round – and often shown baking. Cookies. My mother was a tiny woman, but her middle had the texture and shape of a pile of bread dough. She […]

Stop the blame game

Stop the blame game

I seldom get the opportunity to play our church’s lovely new piano – a hybrid acoustic/electric. And after the last time I played for worship, I may never be asked again. I butchered a hymn. A most beloved one, at that. Things went well for the first two or three songs, and through the first […]

What the world really needs for Christmas

What the world really needs for Christmas

What the world needs now, this exquisitely created, heartbroken and bleeding world, isn’t more Christmas spirit. Not even year-round Christmas traditions could fix us. I enjoy them too, but I’m not fooled. We need something far more than tradition, toys, tinsel or treats. At Christmas (and every day) we need what can’t be placed under […]

When Christmas isn’t merry

When Christmas isn’t merry

Merry Christmas. For most of us, those words trip off the tongue at this time of year. But every year, some people have no Christmas jolly. They’re not decking their halls or preparing gifts. Since last Christmas they’ve lost a loved one or several. Their Ho Ho-s and Joy to the Worlds have swirled down […]

Christmas without crazy

Christmas without crazy

“Where are you spending Christmas this year?” I asked a widowed friend. Since her husband died, she has lavished attention on her children and expanding circle of grandchildren. She’s the poster child for involved grandparenting. Adored. Available. Undemanding. And tired. A far-away look came into her eyes. “Somewhere warm. The ticket’s booked.” “With the family?” […]