The God of The Details
From The Bottom Up: Finding Gratitude From Below
While the Bible is full of dozens of Hebrew names for God, my favorite title is one that is not found in the Bible at all. One time in a prayer my friend asked God to be “The God of the Details.” From that day forward I have looked for the way God does what only God can. This week it came through an introduction to a 47 year old man named Adrian.
The Blessing of the Bread
I will never forget the time my son was about three and a half. We were barreling towards Christmas and I wanted to be sure his manners were as ready as the Christmas tree was.
We were driving somewhere in the car (the place I find it easiest to talk to him) and I said, “Noah, I want to practice something with you. When someone gives you a gift, what do you say to them?” “THANK YOU” he replied. As the mom of an extremely precocious child I try to always be one step ahead of what may come out of his mouth so I decided to extend the lesson further.
Abundant & Free
Thanksgiving is Thursday! As a good American, I’m planning to eat an enormous meal with gathered family members for which I will be truly thankful. Thinking about all the upcoming gluttony, I was pondering a food related topic that fits well with our theme of gratitude.
Mountain Top Moments and Jesus Holes
We always take for granted the things we have in abundance. It’s why we have reminders not to let the water run while we brush our teeth, or to eat the food on our plates. Rest assured that people in places where water is scarce or eating more than once a day is not guaranteed do not need these reminders.
Rabekah, The Bible, and Politics
I confess to being stuck in the ho-hum of life. Things are not easy, and while most of my problems are privileged, they weigh heavily on me (along with the guilt of having privilege problems). I am dealing with things like thousands of dollars of emergency home repairs just when we thought we were getting ahead. I am dealing with a slowdown in my business that is not only a little scary, but also leaves me bored. I am waiting for a miracle that hasn’t shown up yet (specifically, how I’m going to pay for school). And my parents are aging quickly, and their care is getting more intricate, more daily, and yes, more expensive.
I had to get a new Bible for seminary. I wasn’t happy — I love my beautiful, leather bound parallel Bible, with the NIV on one side of every page, The Message on the other. It’s an ongoing conversation with God, that book, and its margins are filled with the occasional argument, question, exclamation point. This new Bible, called The New Interpreter’s Study Bible, felt hard, cold, heavy when I first got it — certainly not something the Holy Spirit might embody. But the truth is, I’m loving the new dimension that both this new Bible, and seminary, are bringing to my reading.
I was expecting to meet Jesus in places I didn't expect -- I just didn't expect it to be so soon. I’d boldly read the words to Nicole Nordeman’s song Dear Me when I closed the Sunday gathering … “And you can not imagine all the places you’ll see Jesus… But you’ll find him everywhere you thought He wasn't supposed to go… ”
I’d had the song on repeat for days now and it was messing with me in ways that only God can do…
Reflections On Eve
I’m not new to rustling the patriarchal feathers of Biblical tradition, but that doesn’t make it less uncomfortable. Still, sometimes it feels like you’re about to drop an atom bomb on your own community, like you’re about to say something that will blow the top off some age-old beliefs held dear.
That’s sort of what this feels like, what I’m about to write here. It felt so dangerous that I had to do a Google search to see if I was the first one to ever think it. Turns out, I’m not. But that doesn’t make the realization any less seismic for me. But we’ll get to that in a moment. Let me first, and finally, get to the point:
Father Abraham was a pimp, and Sarah was his chattel.
There is a mystical juiciness we can access whenever we enter the realm of creation stories. These stories ask us to contemplate our origins; they speculate about the creative powers that originated us, our world our cosmos. And, of course, in spinning these tales, the authors themselves engage in a creative act. The human imagination that creates a story about creation enters into that self-same creative mystery!