The Shepherd’s Shepherd

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I have always been taken with the phrase “a man’s man.” There’s something about the word repetition that makes it catchy, though its meaning confused me for awhile. “A man’s man” seems to be a man who fulfills some people’s basic stereotypes of masculinity: likes hunting and fast cars, loves deep sea fishing and most […]

Hold On

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I have always struggled with Jacob. Here I am, trying to teach my children about the fruits of the Spirit, about the Beatitudes, about the golden rule. And then I read about Jacob. Jacob steals his father Isaac’s blessing from his twin brother Esau by tricking Isaac. Esau, of course, is very angry, and Jacob […]

Waiting for Figs

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September 20, 2014 was not an easy day for me. I was going on six months since being diagnosed with clinical anxiety, and I’d been struggling especially with social anxiety. Over the summer I had a panic attack at a conference dinner that I attended with my husband and several of his colleagues. I spent […]

Elevator Speech

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When I was seven years old, I lived in an apartment building with fifteen floors. I used to spend hours on the elevator, talking to whoever came in. I’d greet them and take the few minutes before their stop to learn their name and what they had done that day. Then I’d tell them whatever […]

Gerbers, Gushing, and God

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We recently had to replace a very old toilet in our home. When the plumber, Trent, reviewed my options for which new models to choose from, he was non-committal. “This one’s okay; this one’s pretty good, except the neck can cause problems; this one has a fancy handle if you like that.” Then he came […]

Complete Your Purchase

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I love online shopping. I love sitting down at my computer and thinking about what it is that I want—a pan, a pair of shoes, a particular craft for my kids—and knowing that, with the power of the internet, I can find exactly what I’m looking for. I love reading reviews, comparing similar products, googling […]

A Widow in White

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I attended an amazing funeral in May of 2008. It was for John, the music minister of the church I attended in college. This man was a beloved member of our church community, as well as a tremendous musician and worship leader who had brought many people into God’s presence with his talents. John’s funeral […]

Feeding Body and Soul

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Our Old Testament reading this week is the familiar story of Hannah praying for a son. She prays with such fervor that Eli, the priest, says to her: “How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine.” Hannah responds, “Not so, my lord. I am a woman who is deeply troubled. […]

Solomon’s Dream

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I have struggled with patriotism since I was ten years old and actually started living in this country. Before that, living in Hong Kong, I thought of the United States as fondly as a child living in a foreign land can. I savored overpriced Oreos from Evergreen, the American import shop down the street from […]