Every year I write a Christmas Eve Reflection. Usually it's in a fully decorated home with Christmas music playing in the background. It's written in the midst of the frenzied joy of Christmas in the West and I usually have presents to wrap and stockings to fill. This year I write it from the sunshine … Continue reading Christmas Eve Reflection from Thessaloniki
The peach looked beautiful. It had the feel of a peach that was ripe but not too ripe and it smelled perfect. Inside it was rotten to the core. I discovered this as I was cutting it into slices. So beautiful on the outside, so rotten on the inside. How like the United States, with … Continue reading A Friday Prayer
Oh God of the displaced and exiled, Hear the prayers of those in limbo. Wipe the tears of mothers who parent children without a home. Feed those who are hungry; keep safe those who are in danger. Give strength to the helpers and the healers; to those who work tirelessly for justice. Give us the … Continue reading God of the Displaced and Exiled
If you were asked to draw a picture of mercy what would you draw? How would you take the tools of pencil and paper and use them to craft a concept like mercy? Would you draw an event in your life; an event where you were shown mercy and after that you would never be … Continue reading How Do You Draw Mercy?
The insistent ring of the alarm. Heavy eyes, still swollen partially shut with sleep. Awareness that it is Tuesday, and I must wake up. The slow methodical movements of my body on autopilot knowing what has to be done to go from sleepy-eyed to one of the many productive people rushing through mass transit to … Continue reading A Shared Umbrella
“Evil is real - and powerful. It has to be fought, not explained away, not fled. And God is against evil all the way. So each of us has to decide where we stand, how we're going to live our lives. We can try to persuade ourselves that evil doesn't exist; live for ourselves and … Continue reading Evil is Real – So what do we do?
“In the end, people don't view their life as merely the average of all its moments—which, after all, is mostly nothing much plus some sleep. For human beings, life is meaningful because it is a story. A story has a sense of a whole, and its arc is determined by the significant moments, the ones … Continue reading Life as Story
Every September, when cool breezes off the Nile River replaced the sweltering heat of summer, the expatriate community in Cairo, Egypt would reunite. Most employers planned a variety of activities to introduce any newcomers to Egypt in general, and the gigantic city of Cairo in particular. Our employer, the American University of Cairo, put together … Continue reading The Story of a Christian/Muslim Friendship – a Guest Post
I speak up for refugees, immigrants, and Muslims on this blog. It's right that I do so. I see, read, and hear fear about all of these groups from a variety of people. But today, I am speaking up for those from my own faith tradition who face persecution: Christians. An organization called Open Doors … Continue reading Persecution of Christians: Real and Stable
I called my mom before the election with one specific question: "Mom, when did American politics get mixed up with Christianity?" I really wanted to know. I didn't grow up in the United States and throughout my childhood, my parents voted via absentee ballots. I remember political discussions about the U.S. taking place every four … Continue reading Rambling Thoughts on Confronting an Idol
Readers, I am at A Life Overseas today talking about how God is at work in places where we go -- and because of this, we can relax. In August of 2015 I had the privilege of going to the Kurdish area of Iraq to work with refugees. On my first day there, I was traveling … Continue reading A Life Overseas – Relax!
Last night we had dinner with some new friends. We have been connecting online for about two years, and finally had the opportunity to meet. The conversation turned toward politics. Jenn talked about reading a book where the author surmised that Jesus was more liberal than the liberals and more conservative then the conservatives. … Continue reading The Shallow Identity of Party Affiliation
Pondering Privilege - Toward a Deeper Understanding of Whiteness, Race, and Faith* by Jody Wiley Fernando could not come to us at a better time. As media and newsfeeds fill with images and stories, many of us who are white really want to know how to do things better. Many of us, as uncomfortable as it is, … Continue reading Pondering Privilege – a Book Review
Frustrated, I stood outside a movie theatre. I had two extra tickets to a show, completely free, no strings attached. Two tickets on opening weekend of a show everyone was talking about - everyone wanted to see it. My daughter's two friends had been unable to attend, so rather than let the tickets go unused, we found … Continue reading Simply Grace
I am on the mailing list of a large mosque in the Roxbury area of Boston. While Egypt's minarets give us a journey through history and Turkey boasts Ottoman style mosques, the mosque in Roxbury is modern. It sits across from Roxbury Community College, its dome and minaret smaller than those in the Muslim world. I've … Continue reading A Challenge to Christians During Ramadan
As I walked out to our car yesterday morning, I saw a sparrow in the driveway. The sparrow wasn't moving and I worried that it was injured. As I walked toward it, it fluttered away slowly. If a sparrow can limp, it was limping. It was obvious that something was wrong. But it fluttered … Continue reading Season of the Injured Sparrow
It's early morning in Cambridge. Light is beginning to creep into the living room where I sit, coffee beside me and Bible on my lap. Outside the window, spring hesitantly makes herself known. Like a small child performing, she is first shy but with each passing moment she becomes more confident, finally bursting out with … Continue reading Ready to Face the Day
---For those who Celebrate Good Friday and for those who don't! Newly arrived humans lived simply and they related to God personally. He would show up at their house in the evenings and hang out with them. I imagine they talked about their days, the wonders of the created world, how they really felt about … Continue reading Good News on a Good Friday