The Ante-Magnificat


I don’t celebrate Christmas. Not really. And I don’t say, “Put Christ back in Christmas,” because I don’t believe He was ever there. At least not in what our culture has come to know as Christmas. But before you paint me with pine tar and turkey feathers and run me out of town on aContinue reading “The Ante-Magnificat”

The Other Side of the Gospel


I recently read the compelling testimony of Rosaria Butterfield. Once an outspoken liberal lesbian intellectual, she put her trust in Jesus Christ and her life was transformed. She cites a passage in John 7 that made a deep impression on her as she listened to a sermon on this text: “If anyone’s will is toContinue reading “The Other Side of the Gospel”

Make Yourself Comfortable


It’s MESSIAH time again, as it is at this time every year. I usually begin listening to Handel’s monumental work in early December, and play it many times before Christmas. It has been part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I have most of it memorized. I never tire ofContinue reading “Make Yourself Comfortable”

The Essence of Grieving: Embracing Suggestions


Did you ever notice that when you get sick, everyone you know becomes a doctor? “You need to drink lemon water every morning. And make sure it’s warm.” “Your body is too acidic.” “I’m taking a supplement that really helps me with that.” “You need to drink less coffee.” “You need to drink more coffee.”Continue reading “The Essence of Grieving: Embracing Suggestions”

On Dirt, Grass, and Human Stupidity


When we lived in Atlanta, a group of our Homeowners’ Association members rented an aerator one Saturday and went to town on our yards. As were were working, an Asian man–a newcomer to the USA–stopped by to watch for a few minutes. “What are you doing?” he asked me in heavily accented English. “We’re pokingContinue reading “On Dirt, Grass, and Human Stupidity”

The Essence of Grieving: Embracing Sympathy


“I know how you feel. My dog died when I was eleven.” I just read an excellent book by a man who has lost two wives, and included at the beginning of each chapter is a list of things to say or not to say to someone who is grieving. The opening sentence of thisContinue reading “The Essence of Grieving: Embracing Sympathy”

The Essence of Grieving: Embracing Scripture


We were in the Ottawa General Hospital waiting for the oncologist to arrive for our first scheduled consultation. We were scared. We were about to talk with a man we’d never met about a treatment we’d never experienced for a disease we’d already encountered. We were in this together–cancer is not a private affliction–and weContinue reading “The Essence of Grieving: Embracing Scripture”

The Essence of Grieving: Embracing Steadfast Love


Hesed. “There may be no more significant Old Testament description of how God relates to His people than this Hebrew word hesed. I argue that the best translation of this term would be “loyal love.” God loves His people genuinely, immutably, loyally. Both the love and the loyalty are, of course, tightly bound together. ThatContinue reading “The Essence of Grieving: Embracing Steadfast Love”

The Essence of Grieving: Embracing Sickness


Most people don’t like to be sick. Oh, there are those for whom “How are you?” is a question, not a greeting–a question to be answered in gruesome detail (regardless of how close to mealtime it may be,) the response buttressed with medical statistics, lists of practitioners and drugs, and perhaps the occasional offhand referenceContinue reading “The Essence of Grieving: Embracing Sickness”

The Evolution of Perspective


Today was a good day. I accomplished a lot, filled my house–even the garage–with good music, and succeeded in doing something I’d never done before. My wife was a superb manager of our home. She was a frugal, canny shopper who didn’t drive all over town looking for bargains, but still fed us very wellContinue reading “The Evolution of Perspective”