Lists, Lists, and More Lists

I love lists. There is something about seeing tidy rows of tasks that makes my world seem a little more orderly, and that makes me happy. What makes me even happier is to see those tasks with a line through them that indicates progress. And progress, like change, is good. 

A few years ago, I had to start making lists of books I want to read, and books I have finished reading, because I do a fairly significant amount of reading. If you don't, and you fear this post is all about how you should, put your fears aside and keep reading. I'm not into telling people to do things they really don't like. Unless it's telling them to stop doing totally wrong things. In that case, stop it. But as far as how many books you get through in a year, don't sweat it. 

I read for ministry, I read for pleasure, I read to study the word of God, I read to grow in my faith, I read to hone my various crafts and I read because I like to learn things. I read in a lot of different genres, so I s…

Lost and Found

I am of the generation that talked a lot about finding ourselves. Women especially, had an identity shift in the last forty years that for most, probably didn't bring the results they were hoping for. Who we think we are isn't always who we actually are, and rarely who God knows we are.

I'm reading Ruth in my devotions right now. A year or so ago, Naomi became a real person to me, after a long hard season of loss and trials. A woman whose name means "pleasant" had become a woman who identified herself to those who knew her in her homeland as Mara, "bitter". She blamed God for her hardship, this life she'd led; leaving her homeland with her husband, who died and left her with two sons married to pagan women, both of whom then died and left her alone, far from home and family. Returning home, one daughter in law leaves her, one proves to be a daughter in love. Yet, she has no hope for a return to pleasant, she and her life are and will be, in her eyes,…

On Eating and Sleeping

I read a blog post recently that said the worst opening sentence in a blog post was "Sorry I haven't posted for a while." If only you include it in a sentence, does it still count as the worst opening sentence?

Except I'm not sorry I haven't posted here for quite some time, because:
I've been posting here, and I've been thinking. I've been doing other things too, but thinking, and specifically thinking about what I do has been a big part of the last few months.

Around the end of every year, I take some time to look back and ask God to give me a report card. As a kid I liked report cards, even though there were usually a couple subjects that looked like the grades belonged on someone else's card and a snarky comment from a teacher (doesn't work up to potential). Yo, math teacher, I spent my whole adult working career doing math, take that. God doesn't make snarky comments when He gives you a report card, so I'm pretty specific in asking ab…

A Shocking Christmas Confession

It’s December, that means if you are in church, you are hearing some version of the story of Christs birth. One thing most messages have in common is the lament that the holiday is isn’t about the birth of Jesus any more. It’s about shopping and not shepherds keeping watch, it’s about busyness and not a baby, it’s about “Jingle Bell Rock” and not “Silent Night.”  
Warning** Shocking Content Ahead
I love almost everything about Christmas that has nothing to do with Jesus.
Yep, you read that right.
The day after Thanksgiving (not before, because that’s just wrong in my world) my husband is up in the roof getting the twelve boxes of lights that go up on the roof. At least one tree gets set up, and the everyday d├ęcor goes into the boxes the all the decorations come out of.
I sing “Let it Snow” and “Santa’s Got a Hot Rod” at least once a day and there are never enough white lights for me.

I love everything about Christmas that has nothing to do with Jesus.
But wait, I’m not done.
I love every…

Not Another Hectic Holiday Post

This week my inbox has been flooded with two types of emails-sale ads from retailers and
surviving the season posts from blogs that I follow. I'm a little burned out on both types. 

First, why do some retailers think you want three emails a day that basically say the same thing? (Loft, I'm looking at you.) I heard you the first time. 

Second, after about the third or fourth post, I'm finding that we all are saying the same thing on our blogs. 

We're crazy busy with shopping, kids activities and bakingWe feel guilty that we aren't enjoying the season moreTake a minute and remember why we are doing all this-JesusThere, I just saved you from reading ten more posts. Now go bake more cookies! 

I kid. In reality, I take a little comfort from the fact that we are all sort of crazy together. I have a couple of friends that start to show some unraveling this time of year and it always makes me feel better because they handle all this kind of crazy much better than I do on a reg…

Thinking and Learning

I listened to a podcast recently where the two hosts were debating the pros and cons of re-reading books. While both had started out being staunch non re-readers, one had recently revised their opinion on it while the other remained unconvinced. I am firmly ensconced in the re-reading camp, sometimes returning to a book shortly after reading it for the first time, sometimes months or years later. Some I re-read with regularity, and the one I read daily is the Bible.
This summer, I had read and journaled my way through the book Acts, for an overview of what our women’s ministry would study over the next year. Then I started the gospel of Luke, reading it while I began to dig deeper into Acts to prepare for what I would teach. Since Luke wrote both books, I wanted to get familiar with his voice, and set the stage for the story that would unfold after the crucifixion. It’s not like I don’t know the setting, but I like the cohesiveness of context, the narrative flowing from one scene to t…

Picture This

If you’ve taken a photo on a cell phone today, you may need an intervention. Several times in the last week I’ve seen articles filled with hand wringing over cell phone use, and more specifically, using them for taking pictures. While the titles of the articles grabbed my attention, after reading them I found myself in almost total disagreement. 
The argument goes like this; if you are stopping to take a photo using your phone, you are removing yourself from real life into sort of a pseudo experience rather than a fully present, personally interactive involvement. Apparently only the instant something happens is of significance, after that, well you're present somewhere else. 
There is a presumption that if you are using your phone to capture a moment, you are removing yourself from that moment in time. Apparently, people who write that stuff are people who seem to forget that the camera was invented long before the cell phone. In 1021 AD an Arab physicist created the pinhole camera…