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Religion

  • Aching hearts need time and remembrance for healing

     The phone rang on a Sunday morning. I grabbed my cup of coffee, thinking it would be a daughter calling to share news, views and gulps of laughter as we typically do on weekends. I was correct, to a degree. However, the news to be shared would not evoke laughter. My daughter phoned to tell me that her sister, my eldest daughter, had died earlier that morning.

  • Finding God in the reality of television

     

     

    Hubby Dear teases me about my television viewing. He finds my choices both amusing and confusing. In a way, so do I. Upon reflection, however, there does seem to be a method to all my madness. There are reasons for my options.

  • What does freedom look like? Who bears the face of freedom?

     In the past number of weeks, the media have called our attention to a variety of atrocities. Heading the list is the mass kidnapping of nearly 300 young Nigerian schoolgirls by the militant Islamic Boko Haram. Not far behind are the multiple incidents of abuse and murders seen both locally and nationally.

    TIME magazine recently featured articles on date rape, saying America’s campuses are dangerous places for young women. One college town even earned the dubious honor of being named America’s Rape Capital.

  • How I learned the power of surrendering

     I have always had a problem with the concept — more importantly, the reality — of surrendering. It evoked feelings of inadequacy, loss of control, enslavement and acquiescence to the power of another person or situation. I did not like it — not one bit! Searching the dictionary or thesaurus only added to the upset. Words like yield, concede, capitulate, crumble, cave-in, throw in the towel and forfeit were offered as definitions. None of them eased my sense that abandonment would be wrenching.

  • Naming the 10 most influential people in my life
  • The powerful impact of the first Pentecost can be seen today

     Denominations that use the Revised Common Lectionary and follow the church’s liturgical year will have celebrated the Feast of Pentecost as part of the conclusion of the Easter season. Charismatic communities embrace the power of the Holy Spirit throughout the year. Expressed in religious terms or not, believers and unbelievers alike have an affinity for the spiritual.

     

  • Grateful witness: Stories from an enlightening journey

     I received a request to review an unusual book by L.S.L. Noble. It is a spiritual autobiography, an account of “fateful occurrences” the author encountered throughout her lifetime. Interestingly, I completed my reading simultaneously with entry into Eastertide — a time when Christians contemplate the meaning and message of resurrection. This is also a period for unique pondering of reality, the entwining of absence and presence, life and death. My reading of this book seemed more than coincidental. Noble would likely term it “synchronicity.”

  • You’ve got to be carefully taught

     I was happily, well not so happily, attacking my morning exercise on the treadmill with the radio at high volume to distract me from the challenging chore when I heard the announcement. “NPR continues a series of conversations about the Race Card Project where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words.” My attention was immediately caught.

  • Go beyond the shadow of doubt and find life

     So often we have allowed doubt to cast a shadow on our faith. We let it tinge credence with incredulity, casting the gloom of uncertainty upon the grace of certitude — causing distress and dismay to dog our steps and burden our spirits. We are shaken, but not to the core. To try to dismiss doubt summarily — banishing it to the darkest corner we can find — does no good. Somehow it surfaces when we least suspect and we are, once again, ill at ease.

  • What is important is to notice the stars…not to name them

     I cannot recall where I read this message: “The important thing about stars is not the naming, but the noticing.” I only know the statement gave me great comfort. I have often been dismayed over my inability to remember “star facts” gleaned in grammar school. Those were the days when I spent time craning my neck to spot Pleiades, Cassiopeia and Orion and the Dippers, big and small, in the darkened sky over our backyard. I could name them then...I am unable now. However, I suspect I am more prone to noticing them at this stage of my life.