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    Lectio Divina – An Ancient Practice Revisited

    Last week during a conference a small group of women met to pray for the meetings being held in tandem to our prayer meeting.  At the beginning of the meeting I was asked to do “lectio divina” with the group. I explained the practice and proceeded to lead the group in a reading from II Corinthians 4:7-10, 16-18. I followed a standard “lectio divina” order. The group was quiet; the scripture penetrating. At one point I could hardly continue reading because of the impact the passage was having on me the reader. We finished and sat in silence, then one of the women broke the silence by simply saying –…

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    The Need for Reconciliation

    The senseless killings and violence in our nation confirm the uncertain, chaotic time we are living in. Our minds are flooded with questions: What am I to do? How am I to think? Who do I look to for direction; how do I interpret the violence and the injustice? What is the root? From the images and specific messages of the last few days we have a window into the chaos. We are invited to listen, to pay attention, to be informed and open. In the midst of our confusion, disruption, disillusion, fear, anger, grief and sadness can we stop, as Christians, and take some deep breaths. Focus back on…

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    “Together, We’ll Get Through This” and Other Soul Reflections

    Steven Curtis Chapman’s new video release, Together (We’ll Get Through This), captures the realities, faces and images thus far, of COVID-19. The lyrics offer a compelling trajectory of hope in persevering together. Listen to it as soon as you can and be encouraged. The sudden onslaught of this virus and subsequent quarantine came with the words—take cover, shelter in, wash your hands, wear a mask. It also came with new fears, confusion, strange feelings, unfettered emotions and an odd kind of inertia. We found ourselves enmeshed in the sheltering in, the shut downs and closures; no access to loved ones in nursing home, obsessive hand washing and face masks; high…

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    Preparing Our Souls for Advent – An Advent Primer

    Anticipating Advent in the midst of the clutter, noise and anxiety of the current cultural pulls is an invitation to shift and prepare our souls for celebrating the coming of Christ—Emmanuel—God with us. The word “advent,” from the Latin adventus (Greek parousia), means “coming” or “arrival.” The Advent Season is focused on the “coming” of Jesus as Messiah (Christ or King). Christian worship, Bible readings, and prayers not only prepare us spiritually for Christmas (His first coming), but also for His eventual second coming. Rich in symbolism, the Advent season allows the church to experience the joy, expectation and complexity surrounding the coming of the Messiah and to ponder its…

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    The Trinity—A Glorious Reality

    “I love the Father. I love His Holy Son. I love the Spirit. I love the three in One. For He created me, redeemed and set me free. Praise Him, praise Him, praise Him." I was unaware, while singing this catchy song in the form of a “round” growing up, that I was singing some very important words about a deep theological reality. Nor did I know that many years later this profound, but simple song would surface as an opening sentence for a blog on The Trinity. In considering the historical development of the Trinity the word trinity is not found in the Bible, but is a theological word…

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    Staying Rooted in the Midst of Rootlessness

    In an ever-changing culture that seems anchorless and chaotic with no moral compass, this rootless tree on Highway #290 en route to our town, grabs my attention. In its rootlessness is a metaphor that speaks of the end result of living without the soul nourishing awareness of God and His Presence. With no anchor or guidance cultural impact is very disconcerting, scary depressing and hopeless, especially if you only focus on the dead tree. God never intended for His children to be rootless – alone, no life within, no access to growth.He provided all we need to be well-rooted and stable in the midst of cultural rootlessness. Roots are important…

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    Celebrating and Remembering our Freedom – July 3, 2019

    On July 4, in 1776 the delegates to the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence. With that signing our country was born. Today we celebrate America’s birthday. What are we celebrating and why should we remember? At a time when civil discourse is no longer assumed and disruption of basic rights is prevalent and frequent, it is well to consider and reaffirm the primacy of religious freedom to American democracy and celebrate it. On June 25, 1988, another document was signed, the Williamsburg Charter to celebrate and reaffirm the First Amendment Religious Liberty clause and mark the 200th anniversary of Virginia’s call for the Bill of Rights. It was…

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    Why Silence?

    Silence, like the practices of Sabbath and slowing, offers an exit ramp to get out of the fast lane – a chance to press pause, take deep breath-break, renew, restore, be still and get quiet. On the spur of the moment Friday afternoon, a young mother of three young children, also a teacher of preschool, called me. She blurted out when I answered the phone – “I need some silence!” She then asked if she could come to our guesthouse and just sit in some silence alone. Her husband would keep the children. “I can’t even think; my head is spinning.”   Silence, an across the board need, is necessary to…

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    Ash Wednesday

    Today is Ash Wednesday…what is it and should I participate? This day of repentance and returning, which for many in the Western church marks the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period of fasting before Easter following the example of our Lord who spent 40 days in the desert to fast and pray (Matthew 4:1-11).  It is also known as the “Day of Ashes,” so called because on that day at church the faithful have their foreheads marked with ashes in the shape of a cross. In the Old Testament ashes were used for two purposes: as a sign of humility and mortality and as a sign of sorrow and repentance…

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    Why Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

    According to the market research firm IBIS World, Valentine’s Day sales reached $17.6 billion last year, 2014, and this year’s sales are expected to exceed that figure. February 14 has catapulted into a lucrative opportunity for the sales community. Tangled up in the legends and history of this holiday is a remarkable story. The legend: Saint Valentine was a Roman Priest at the time of the rule of Emperor Claudius- a persecutor of the church. Valentine lived and ministered against the backdrop of a very permissive society where there were no boundaries or strict codes morally. Polygamy would have been more popular than one man and one woman in a…