Reflections on the Journey

Trusting God When the Plan Doesn’t Make Sense

Have you ever noticed we don’t know much about Joseph, the man God chose to be the earthly father of our Lord? The opening two chapters of Matthew’s gospel is the only place in Scripture where we read anything about him personally, without also reading about Mary. So, when I read these chapters during Advent, I want to give the account of the man to whom God entrusted his son more than just a...


What If I Don’t Feel Thankful?

Scripture abounds with commands for us to give thanks and offer praise to God. In fact, David, the psalmist declares that God is enthroned, or lifted even higher, by the praises of his people. But what if I don’t feel thankful? What if the circumstances of life have left me feeling so dry that praise is the farthest thing from my lips? Psalm 100 reads like a primer on giving thanks. One of...


How Can I Manage Fear

If you’re like most of the world today, the question how can I manage fear lurks stealthily in the shadows of daily life. Between pandemic, worldwide recession, and threat of global war, every day offers up sufficient opportunity to flex our fear muscles. Onto these worries we pile our fears for our professional security, and the health—physical, emotional, and spiritual—of our closest family...


Of ash trees and fireflies

Morning prayer begins as always, coffee in hand, legs tucked under. Cocooned in the worn down of the sunroom sofa I close my eyes. Without seeing, I sense the gentle sway of the ash tree’s branches towering over my garden. The sunlight flickers, waxing and waning with each playful movement the leaves make in their morning dance. Not even the heavy, humid Philadelphia summer air can stop these...


What Does God Say About Our Desires?

This is the time of year when I’m neck-deep in desire. The four weeks of Advent offer us an extended invitation to prepare for the coming King by noticing the stirrings of our hearts. The quieter we allow ourselves to become, the deeper the vein of desire we mine. Flipping the desire coin over, we find expectation embossed on the other side. The truer our desire, the greater our expectation...


Embracing Desire—The Surprising Gift of Advent

As soon as the Thanksgiving festivities draw to a close and the house empties out again, I begin preparing my heart and home for the next celebration. Carefully I remove the fall decorations and some of the décor that marks “ordinary time” to make room for the myriad decorations I put up each year for Christmas. The rhythm of my efforts at decking the halls keeps time with the Christmas music...


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