Firecrackers and Epiphany

Firecrackers pop, pop, popped. Young men on horseback rode down the street in groups of three whooping and shouting. A festive mood hung over the small Puerto Rican town our taxi driver drove through en route to the airport. It … Continue reading

New Years and Resolutions – Do You Make Them?

The start of a new year is like an odometer rolling to the next ten thousand mile marker. There’s a big number followed by a slew of zeroes, and you don’t know where you will travel before the next rollover. … Continue reading

How Do You Handle Surprising News?

The angel Gabriel plays the combo messenger/home pregnancy test role twice in the opening chapter of the Gospel of Luke. First he visits the aged priest Zechariah when he’s serving in the temple and tells him he and his barren … Continue reading

Over the Hill and Then Some – The Pluses of Being on the Back Side of the Hill

Turning forty is a milestone birthday, the first of the dreaded biggies ending in 0. Greeting cards and decorative paper napkins don’t ease the pain: “Happy 40th! You’re Over the Hill!”  Friends still in their thirties rag you for being … Continue reading

Opening Doors to Pass the Time

When we were kids, my younger sister and I pulled back the numbered paper doors on the Advent calendar at breakfast. To prevent daily squabbles, one of us had the odd days, the other the even. The doors were hidden … Continue reading

When a Piece of Art Won’t Let You Go

It wasn’t Magritte’s paintings of bowler-hatted men, the pipe that isn’t a pipe, or the steam locomotive puffing smoke, suspended in air, emerging from the walled-in fireplace that pinned my feet to the exhibit floor like a butterfly in an … Continue reading

What’s on Your Spiritual Bucket List?

For the first twenty, thirty years of adulthood, life’s potential fans out to a limitless horizon. Your body still does what you tell it to do, and life’s vagaries haven’t rung your doorbell yet. The list of what you can … Continue reading

Is the Church a Hospital, a Museum, or Both?

“Church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners.”  Morton Kelsey Brennan Manning cites this familiar quotation in The Ragamuffin Gospel, where he expounds on the need for humility in order to receive the amazing grace offered … Continue reading

Walking in the Apostle Paul’s Footsteps in Greece

For two weeks I walked on the same Roman roads where Paul walked, cruised the Aegean Sea where Paul sailed, and island-hopped to the locations I normally skim over when reading the book of Acts. For two weeks I followed the … Continue reading