Tag: Lent

Life and Death in Spring and Lent

As the bursts of color take over Tennessee and we enjoy the warmth of 70-degree afternoons, we are also in a liturgical season of reflection and preparation. It’s a binary spell that can mess with your head if you let it. This week, however, my family is also experiencing loss. My grandmother passed away over the weekend, and though we… Read more →

Two podcast suggestions for Lent

For the past few years my Lenten practice has been to give up fiction and read spiritual/religious/vexing nonfiction instead. It’s not the biggest challenge in the world because I love reading in all forms, but it helps me center my thoughts for the duration of Lent during times I’d rather be lost in another realm. I’ve already read Searching for Sunday… Read more →

Book Review: Searching for Sunday

If this reads like a break-up letter, that’s because it is. Rachel won’t receive it, and that’s fine. Her pool of fans is large enough, so she won’t notice me quietly slipping out the back door. My first experience with Rachel Held Evans was with her first book, Evolving in Monkey Town, and it was a breath of fresh air.… Read more →

CS Lewis Doodles

For those of you embarking on a spiritual journey for Lent, I want to suggest a delightful YouTube channel you might enjoy, particularly if you appreciate the works of C.S. Lewis. I have no idea who’s behind the channel or what prompted this person to share essays and book excerpts from C.S. Lewis in doodle form, but I’m pleased as… Read more →

Book Review: Heretics: The Creation of Christianity from the Gnostics to the Modern Church

To be a heretic in earlier centuries – that is, to denounce a proclamation from the church at-large – was worse than aligning yourself to another religion entirely. Better to be a Muslim or Jew than to be a self-professed Christian who believed something other than what The Church was teaching. Man, talk about living in the tension! Heresy was less… Read more →

Update on Lenten reading

For Lent I give up fiction in exchange for theological books – works that make me question and wrestle with matters of faith and scripture. This may not seem like a true sacrifice compared to life-and-death sacrifices other people make, but it’s not meant to. Swapping fiction for nonfiction is next to nothing, after all. However, this is a Lenten… Read more →

Lent Reading 2016

A few years ago, when we joined a Presbyterian church, we began acknowledging the liturgical calendar. Beforehand, we had Christmas, Easter, and, depending on the church, a loose reference to Palm Sunday. Now we view these holidays as part of a larger tradition that incorporates four weeks of anticipating the birth of Christ (Advent) and the 40 Days leading up to Holy Week… Read more →

Dissecting Contemplative Prayer

Having finished Flannery O’Connor’s Prayer Journal, I’ve moved on to studying contemplative prayer during this season of Lent. Not once have I experienced centering prayer before, so even the concept of it is new to me. I’ve already picked up Thomas Merton’s Contemplative Prayer but I chose instead to first read Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr. I’ve already underlined nearly half… Read more →

Lent Reading 2015

A few years ago I started observing Lent, but instead of giving up meat or coffee or carrots (which Jackson said he was giving up for Lent), I decided instead to take these forty days and immerse my brain in study. I pick a subject (or a subject picks me) and I read a selection of books that will stretch or… Read more →

Full Body Experience

This is how  Sara Miles, author of City of God, describes Ash Wednesday. This service… reminded me not to over-spiritualize the problem of mortality. Ash Wednesday was calling me back to worship God with my whole body — lungs, thumb, knees, eyes, tongue — and to admit that body’s inevitable failure. And it reminded me that I was no different… Read more →

Time to get serious.

There is much to do in a short amount of time. Stories and short films to be written, Zoology to finish, miles to run. Closets to go through, things to donate, bathrooms to deep clean.  The basement is embarrassingly untidy and I’m nearly ready to prep the garden for planting. (As soon as Old Man Winter takes a hike…) And… Read more →

The Book Fairy

First of all, Jeremy has the flu. I thought it might be strep, but after that test came back negative our doctor swabbed him for the flu. The poor kiddo is feverish, flush and coughing. He and Salem are currently snuggling. When the doctor asked if we needed a note for school I gave him a funny look, to which… Read more →

On improving my flexibility

There is a double meaning in that headline, so hang on tight. I’m in the middle of a running sabbatical brought on by shin splints. I’ve never had shin splints before so I was hesitant to label my lower leg pain as such. But after consulting my chiropractor about it (and making sure nothing was fractured), she confirmed that it… Read more →

To dust you shall return.

You know when your mom wanted to get your attention so she’d grab your chin, turn your face towards hers and look you square in the eye? You knew she was about to say something super important or correct you in a really big way. You’d get still and look back at her with a mixture of curiosity and fear… Read more →

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