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Every Day More Real

The familiar Christmas carol, O, Little Town of Bethlehem, was written by Episcopal bishop and poet Phillips Brooks (1835-1893, whose birthday was this week). In the first verse of this poem, Brooks wrote: This carol is a familiar one. Phillips Brooks is probably less familiar to most people. He was born to a Boston family […]

A Hill Far Away

Because this is the Season of Advent, some people might find it unusual for me to write about a completely different pivotal moment in Jesus’ life … the Cross. Yes, we celebrate the birth of Christ with gift-giving, acknowledging the extraordinary Gift of God coming to earth in the form of a man who was “tempted in all things […]

L’Enfant Repose

As someone who loves music, I always welcome the songs of the season … but by the time Christmas Day arrives, I’ve usually reached my level of tolerance. Radio stations go 24/7 with various renditions of Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town and Jingle Bells. Last weekend when I was out on errands, I tuned […]

Watcher of Men

Life is warfare. At least that’s how Job looks at it in Job, Chapter 7. He’s embattled. He perceives that the forces of the Universe have arrayed against him, one small and insignificant human being. I think the Blake image below is an evocative piece. Job so clearly turns his bewildered eyes heavenward, his palms […]

Sweater Odd-iquette

Driving in town today, I noticed a sign for a local boutique that advertised “Christmas Sweater Sale 80% Off.” The image that immediately came to mind was of something hideous, a combination of green and red and white (and maybe blue) with cartoonish figures and gaudy objects protruding from the weave. You know what I’m talking […]

Eight Day Frenzy

Here’s a news flash for readers who’ve been hibernating in a cave somewhere … the shopping season is upon us. Should I say THE Shopping Season? Or perhaps The SHOPPING Season? Anyone with an email account has no doubt been suddenly besieged (as I have) with a flood of new and tempting messages hawking this […]

Joy In The Journey

With the celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday behind us, many people turn their attention to Christmas shopping and the numerous tasks at hand which can no longer be postponed. For me, my attentions don’t immediately gravitate to shopping and presents (though that will come). At this time of year (more than at any other time of […]

The Wait Of Silence

Looking for a post about silence? Allow me to explain about an unabated, extended silence … nearing its eighth year. First, let me introduce to you a twenty-something young man (first guy on the right, in this 2005 picture at left), seemingly happy and carefree, attending (at that time) a nearby university. The photo shows him […]

Cozying Up To Austen

Earlier this month, I neglected to acknowledge the birthday of Jane Austen who was born December 16, 1775. (Shame on me for overlooking her!) As an English novelist, Austen’s name is a familiar one to almost everyone who enjoys period fiction. Though her books are usually categorized with the Romance genre, I think her books […]

Hope Deferred

Every Christmas is a merry one! Spending time with family members who − during the rest of the year − are scattered far and wide, provides us time to love on grandkids, to catch up on some of the challenges and joys and struggles of the past months, as well as to recall, to laugh […]

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