• Nothing matches seeing a million-dollar smile

    Usually Hubby Dear offers suggestions for columns — often mentioning three words and expecting me to mull over them to find surprising depths worth plumbing. This time my source was equally surprising.
    I was browsing rows of liquid refreshment in the ABC store. We were hosting friends and had only a diminished supply to offer them. Our stock needed replenishment and I wanted to surprise Hubby Dear by purchasing the supplies.

  • Do we really want to let freedom ring this Fourth of July?

    Recently, thoughts about freedom have frequently popped into my mind.

  • ‘Cutting for Stone’ is a stubborn metaphor for life

    Hubby Dear groans with dismay whenever he spots a tome in my hand. He knows and faces the inevitable: my total immersion in the book. When it is 658 pages long, he’s in for extended periods of silence! Abraham Vergese’s novel, “Cutting for Stone,” proved his perception.

  • Fatherhood is a critical role in life, and fathers deserve tribute

    Fathers everywhere deserve a tribute. They deserve to be honored every day in every way.
    Despite the obvious commercialism of the day set aside specifically to name and claim that unique role in humanity, it is a holy and wholesome thing to pray and say our gratitude to all men who have fathered wholeness, holiness, respect, honesty, mercy, and a sense of justice in all of us.

  • What does it take to move from ‘happy talk’ to happiness?

    Contrary to lyrics of “South Pacific,” it takes more than happy talk to be happy. It involves more than talking about things we like to do. It takes more than talking about the moon floating in the sky or looking at a lily on the lake or talking about a bird learning how to fly, making all the music he can make. Yet, it is all those things that help us to learn the ways and wiles of being happy.

  • L’Chaim is a call to celebrate life rather than worry about dying

    Black Elk said: “Everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the power of the world always works in circles, and everything tries to be round. In the old days when we were a strong and happy people, all our power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood and so it is in everything where power moves.”

  • Do this in memory of me: a Memorial Day inspiration

    Churchgoers in major Christian denominations may be familiar with these words as part of their communion rites. The words strike me as particularly powerful ones. They are words that prod us in many areas of life, areas that are truly ones that empower communion—union with each other in our common humanity.
    Memorial Day is an especially precious time to hear, heed and attend to that command.

  • Pondering Pentecost: What’s blowing in the wind these days?

    There is an unusual feast celebrated in many Christian churches. Bearing the name Pentecost, a name that is strange to many, its celebration simultaneously mystifies and lures us. It is also considered to be the birthday of the church. Special attention and homage is paid to God’s Holy Spirit on this day. This is clear. What remains a mystery is the meaning behind the nomenclature. Who, what, how and where is this entity that some call the Holy Ghost?

  • Learn the heart’s alphabet; rejoice in the language of love

    As we were en route to a lunch date with visiting friends, we passed a county vehicle emblazoned with this entreaty, “A reader today; a leader tomorrow.” Hmmm, I thought, a neat message for our youth. I tried to convey my impression to Hubby Dear. Traffic noise and the deeper concentration needed for travel through the rain made it impossible, so I let it go.

  • ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ haunt us and taunt us

    Movies that test the imagination seem to draw me. I am intrigued by them. I guess their impelling force has much to do with the power found in Scripture and in classical works, power that urges me to an alternate understanding of reality. They are the myths—lies that tell the truth.