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Religion

  • Lessons learned at the bedside of one who is dying

    It was a month ago, when the phone rang and Caller ID indicated a number from South Carolina. I knew it would not be easy news to hear. The caller began with a number of questions, niceties to smooth the way for the tearful content to come. It reminded me of moments in Jesus’ life when he was confronted with the pain of passing life. “My servant is ill … my son is dying … my brother is dead … my child is desperately ill.” Those were the cries he heard. Those were the needs to which he attended.

  • Imitation is the highest form of praise

    I can remember being greatly perturbed ... well, angry actually ... as a young child when my younger sister imitated me. I wanted to be an original, one who stood out uniquely in my world. And there she was, mimicking my every move. Naturally, I voiced my complaint loudly, only to hear my mother replying, “Imitation is the highest form of praise.” Comforted little by that observation, I grew more deeply annoyed with the mirror image who was following me everywhere.

  • All god’s creation is very good

    The theme for World Day of Prayer 2018 is “All God’s creation is very good.” Seven women represented seven different cultures, languages, and heritage in the South American country of Suriname, previously known as Dutch Guiana. Interestingly, seven is the biblical number for perfection. And creation, including the day of rest, is described as a seven-day event. There has to be something mystically providential in the data. At least, I think so.

  • Lent is a time to rediscover God in prayerfulness

    Psalm 105 begins with a “forbidden” word: ALLELUIA! This is something Roman Catholics have been taught. Carefully trained to avoid announcing our alleluias until Easter arrives, it is an instruction likely having more to do with our need to be sober about our praying than to recite somber prayers. Save your joy until Easter and you’ll savor it all the more. This is apparently the underlying message. 

  • Resolutions are never really resolved

    The New Year is already nearly two months old. So are the resolutions made with great verve and grim determination, only to be subject to procrastination or disillusion. Now, the season of Lent emerges for all of us “second-chancers.” We are given a new opportunity to be transformed into who we really are —if we will receive and accept the gift of prayerful time.

  • Make room for the new

    Typically, resolution-making is both the aim and onset of each new year. Even more typically, both aim and onset have already grown old, weary and have succumbed to procrastination by now. And … we are already in the midst of Lent when resolve is ready to be bolstered. This is a mighty combination that cannot be easily ignored or dismissed without consequences. Perhaps my words are strong because my admission of guilty inactivity is painful.

  • Lent is a desert rainbow of remembrance

    When Lent arrives in the throes of springtime, I have a hard time with its accompanying theme of passionate suffering. New life sprouts around me, especially in the southern climes where warmth leaves late and returns early to soothe arthritic bones. The paradox of pain in the midst of rising spirits is a hard pill to swallow. I want to concentrate on the green leaves peeping out from their cold dirt hibernation, forget winter and enjoy springtime’s slide into summer. Lent has no place in those plans. Yet, here it is.

  • When a movie is more than a movie
  • Learning to serve empowers serving to learn

    From the time I was a little girl, I have been intrigued with the multiple ways one can learn. Long ago, I read “Maida’s Little School,” a wonderful tale of innovative, intentional, experiential learning. The book described a learning process totally foreign to the educational system of the day. Likely, it remains known but rarely implemented today. There are efforts in the Montessori schools and probably other private places, but the vast majority of educational sites appear to be more deliberately institutional than they are daringly experiential.

  • Every viewpoint is a view from one point