A Perspective on Thanksgiving

My friend in Beijing, China sent a greeting today and thanked me for her first and last “warming and touching” Thanksgiving celebration she experienced with my family many years ago. As she goes on “compliance leave” from work for a week, I try to imagine November without Thanksgiving, without a fresh reminder of the faithfulness…

Two Amish Farmers, A Hegelian Hipster and the Death of God

It was a lazy small-town Saturday in Tennessee, so I expected to meander through the day with nothing out of the ordinary happening. I certainly did not expect an encounter with a Hegelian hipster and two Amish farmers, a fitting metaphor for our times, but such is our journey; the unusual has become usual in…

The View from Where I Sit

As Faulkner said, writers need three things – experience, observation and imagination. Focused observation tends to improve my writing, but that’s not why I do it. I enjoy jotting down my surroundings and the inner workings of the soul, observing them through the lens of truth, because I am fascinated by the world in which…

Empty Chairs

  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a theologian who was murdered by the Nazi regime, stated: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” When we were in Krakow, Poland once, we visited the “Plaza of the Heroes of the Ghetto”,…

Shaped by Words: The Daily Adventure of Reading

Words, when taken to heart and acted upon, move from the stratosphere of ideas into life-changing reality. We live in a world of images, but moreover, in a world of words whispered or shouted in our minds from waking to sleeping, even stirring us in our dreams. All the more reason we should be deliberate…

Valentine’s Day (Not) in Black & White

In Saudi Arabia, the virtue and vice squad raids stores on the eve of Valentine’s Day and seizes symbols of love. They ban all things red, heart-shaped and Valentine-related – even teddy bears. Roses can only be found on the black market. The reasoning behind this is the idea that the holiday promotes immoral relationships….

The Impact of a Willing Heart

The Ukrainian portion of the Carpathian mountain range is rich with wooded slopes, wild beauty and green upland pastures.  When you venture deep into the Carpathians, you feel as if you have gone back in time to a simpler era with embossed tin-roofed farmhouses, horse-drawn carts carrying bails of hay, and babushkas herding goats and…

What is a Christian?

CNN is airing an Anderson Cooper special entitled “What is a Christian?”, and since it is the Easter holiday, it is a timely topic for consideration. There can be a great deal of confusion surrounding Jesus Christ and what it means to be a Christian. There is even supposed to be a controversial chocolate sculpture…