Our individual God

Last year, I read through the New Testament in Spanish to help learn vocabulary. The Olive Tree App has a helpful feature where you can parallel two Bible versions at once. I could glance at the English side anytime I didn’t understand. Spanish doesn’t have rule breakers like English, so if you can pronounce the alphabet, you can pronounce words. But, sometimes it was easy to say the words and let my mind wander, since I can’t think in Spanish yet. I often had to pull back and start a section over. This forced me to focus differently; word by word, and to foster comprehension instead of just make sounds. I started reading to decipher what the text said, instead click to continue reading…

Your new one main thing—kindness

I hope this post finds your inbox. Subscribers haven’t received notifications for the last two weeks, but I think I have it fixed. Advent is over. I have a pleasant memory making an advent-wreath as a child. Other than that, it’s never been part of my tradition. But I might change this because I grow fonder of the practice each year. The contemplation of preparing for God’s arrival on earth is like singing the Songs of Ascent during the trek to Jerusalem. It prepares a pilgrim for the encounter. And it seems like every time a human in the Bible has an unexpected encounter with heaven, the angelic being needs to say “Fear Not,” and tell them to stand back click to continue reading…

The petri dish of your mind

We did an experiment in high school biology with a Petri dish. The instructions were to take our dishes to benign places in the school, leave them for 30 minutes, seal them and wait. Then we’d be able to view airborne microbial contaminants in our building. My teacher droned on, for a significant portion of the class, that if we walked down the hall with the dish open or left them next to the toilet—he would know. I was well past the point of believing things adults told me. By then, I’d discovered enough omission of truth to want to check for myself. So, I skipped down the hall with my dish opened, swirled through the bathroom and set it click to continue reading…

Stand in the wild

I don’t love to obsess about the tenths of grams in recipes or worry over liquid measuring versus dry measure. I’d rather cook quickly than precisely. Raising kids on a single income also meant improvising with what I had available on hand. So I substitute and wing it rather than fret. I am a believer that stress ruins more meals than procedure or ingredients. I use recipes, but now that I cook less often for fewer people, I realize my recipes were subconscious through repetition, more than intuition, like I previously believed. I say this because things I used to make without a thought will flop half the time now, unless I pull out notes and double check. Fortunately, I click to continue reading…

The hevel that you know

Tomorrow is the second Tuesday in November. I find myself happy that 2023 is not a presidential year. We hopefully have 12 more months before another civil war reenactment, where brother rises against brother and son against father. Maybe it’s our country’s legacy to fight our family to the death over state’s rights and racial inequality. I’ve always considered it a duty to vote, even though I was pretty young when I first heard Stalin’s discouraging quote about the one who counted the votes deciding more than the one who cast them. It still felt very American, since some countries don’t have an opportunity to think about their preference for one overlord more than another. However, I often treated voting click to continue reading…