Category Archives: Meditations

The Hollow World of “1984”

1984 posterOur theater company, all for One productions, is entering tech week for our upcoming stage production adapted from George Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four…so naturally it’s the subject uppermost in my mind, even on a Sunday.

We’ve had some great conversations as a cast while working on this script. One thing we’ve wrestled with is the hopelessness in the story. all for One does not typically choose to tell hopeless stories. So why are we doing this one?

We’ve identified several aspects of the story which audiences today may relate to:  loss of privacy; the narrowing of language; and revisionist history.  We’ve talked about the fact that other countries–notably North Korea–are already experiencing a hell on earth which is quite similar to the world described in Orwell’s book.  Continue reading

Lessons I Learn From My Granddaughter

for blogShe’s three years old. I’m over fifty. The gaps in our knowledge and understanding are enormous. She is insatiably curious, like the elephant’s child. I love to teach. We are a great pair.

And so naturally, I learn something from her every day.

1. Slow down: Three-year-olds can move like lightning when they want to…but usually they’d prefer to take their time.  I match my steps to hers, so that she can keep up. I stop whatever I’m doing to see what she’s made. I put my agenda aside when she is hurt. It is an exercise in condescension…I stoop to her level, to meet her needs. And I think about God stooping to earth, meeting us where we are, taking time to listen and to care.

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The Value of Repetition

godsbooklover-gravatar991This post is adapted from one I originally wrote over at Winnowing a few years ago. As I’ve begun to practice lectio divina again recently…and since I have a three-year-old at home who loves to hear or see stories over and over and over again…I decided that this piece might be appropriate for today. If you read to the end, you’ll also see a tie-in to my Wednesday post on using sacred music for spiritual growth. 

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lectioIn order to meditate on a verse, one reads it slowly, several times, with pauses in between. This is the ancient practice of lectio divina (sacred reading). In order to memorize, one does much the same thing, though sometimes there is less emphasis on really getting at the meat of the meaning, and more on just learning the words. This will ring especially true to anyone who has ever crammed for a test…and then promptly forgotten every fact in the instant of handing the completed exam back to the teacher.

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Surrendering My Doubt

BethesdaThe invalid lay on his bedroll, looking at the pool where–allegedly–one could receive healing. His eyes were blank–not thoughtful, certainly not hopeful. He stared at a familiar scene, indifferently. Thirty-eight years of this view had bred a leaden acceptance.

This was home. Nothing would ever change. His family had dumped him here–they didn’t stick around to make sure he could get into the pool when it was stirred up. He couldn’t move himself quickly enough, and it had been years since he’d even tried.

Then a voice asked, “Do you want to get well?”

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Digging Deeper for Lent, Week 3: Books for Spiritual Formation

godsbooklover-gravatar991This Lenten season, I’m taking a moment in this mid-week slot to recommend resources for spiritual growth. Previous suggestions have included a news periodical with a Christian worldview, and a collection of prayers written hundreds of years ago.

Today I turn to my favorite medium, books–real, hold-in-your-hand books. I have three from my personal library in front of me; each offers a somewhat different approach to spiritual formation.

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me-i-want-to-be-coverThe most recent addition is by an author I have enjoyed in the past, John Ortberg. His 2010 book, The Me I Want To Be, is written with his signature blend of pithy anecdote, biblical insight and practical teaching points, complete with helpful call-out frames (or whole pages) which provide overview or outline of his main points. Its design is eye-catching and its format makes it very readable.

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Two Powerful Little Words

atlantic shoreA new believer loves the Lord and sees how much her life has improved since she dedicated her life to Him. But still—there is the old tidal pull to addiction, and she is slipping further and further out to sea again. Is there a force great enough to tow her back to shore?

A Christian couple, with children, is separating–perhaps forever. No biblical grounds. The issues are complicated, but infidelity is not one of them. Can they find the selflessness and humility needed to move forward together?

A loved one is mentally ill, but it is not a disorder which visibly impairs his ability to function. Mostly it damages his relationships, including one with his own child. Will he ever see that he has a problem? Will he want to get help if he does admit the need?

roadblock signsThree real-life situations. Three seemingly-insurmountable obstacles. And yet hope is there, in the form of two little words: “But God…”

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Digging Deeper for Lent, Week 2: Puritan Prayers

godsbooklover-gravatar991I am using the Lenten season of the Church year to present a series of varied resources for spiritual formation. Last week I highlighted an excellent print and online news publication which is extremely helpful in developing/maintaining a Christian worldview.

This week, I’d like to introduce you to a body of work which exists in several formats. It is at least a couple of  hundred years old… and I just discovered it a month ago.

I have to give a hat tip once again to The Park Forum’s devotional blog, 843 Acres, which reprinted one of these extraordinary prayers and noted its source as a book titled The Valley of Vision. This book is still available in paperback and hardcover, both from Amazon and Christianbook.com.

Valley of Vision

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The Lenten Season: “Receptivity”

potterToday, with one eye on the clock which has robbed me of a precious hour, I am sharing a thought-provoking devotional post from 843 Acres, on viewing our lives as a work of art “in progress”…

So far from demanding of the Lord, “What are You making?” (see Isaiah 45:9), we can choose to submit ourselves to the brush, to the wheel…and wait. Such receptivity requires contentment and trust, two excellent character traits to cultivate during this season.

Here is the devotional–the emphasis is mine.

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