Who ARE the Poor?

Sunday’s sermon was about helping the poor. Our scripture was from James 2 which cautions us not to show partiality for those who appear to be better off. Which set me to thinking about what, exactly, it means to be poor. There’s the obvious answer–people who don’t have enough to meet their basic needs of food, shelter, clothing . . […]

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Laying Up Treasure

This past weekend a good friend and her family hosted a yard sale to empty out her grandparents’ house. Health issues and advancing years have forced the couple into a facility and it’s time to think about selling the little house they’ve lived in for so long. Thistle and I stopped by for moral support AND to shop for a […]

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Royal Weddings and Real Life

When I called my dad on Sunday I jokingly asked him if he’d watched the royal wedding. He scoffed and asked why everyone seems to care about it so much. Indeed. Why DO we care about it so much? I think as pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps Americans the notion of being born into royalty is wildly exotic. Oh sure, we have well-know families and figures–American royalty–like the Vanderbilts, Kennedys, Oprah, movie stars, athletes, and so on but even then if you look far enough back you’ll find someone who worked his or her tail off to get where they are. Which means, theoretically, I could work my tail off and launch a similar legacy. Conversely, I can never work or earn my way into royalty. But I COULD marry into it (well, not ME, I already have a prince of a husband). And now an American has done just that. And while she’s minor Hollywood royalty, she’s also mixed race and divorced. Her mother is a social worker, her father a television lighting director. She’s a lot like . . . regular folks. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, proves that even the wildest dreams sometimes come true. Rachel Hauck has written the Royal Wedding series starting with Once Upon a Prince which was recently made into a Hallmark movie. Each book follows a royal mismatch made in heaven. Fairy tales, really, except now . . . well, for Meghan Markle the fairy tale is real. And isn’t […]

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Dreaming Big – Once Upon a Prince

When Rachel Hauck released Once Upon a Prince, I hesitated to read the story. I was afraid it was going to be just another reinterpretation of Cinderella. And while I LOVE Cinderella, did we really need another, modern version? Boy, was I wrong! Oh, there are echoes of Cinderella, but somehow Rachel has managed to craft a surprisingly believable commoner […]

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Holy Week–The best story EVER

Just picture it. Jesus comes riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. People act like he’s a rock star–waving palm branches, throwing their cloaks down in the street. The king is here. But wait. This isn’t the king they expected. He doesn’t overthrow Roman rule. He doesn’t claim a throne, wear a crown, or live in a palace. Instead, he makes […]

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Fruit of the Spirit – Gentleness

That’s what our pastor talked about yesterday. I always thought it meant something like kindness–a sort of being careful with whatever is fragile in life. But here’s a definition from a Bible dictionary: “Sensitivity of disposition and kindness of behavior, founded on strength and prompted by love.” Which makes gentleness a whole lot more complicated than I thought. It’s certainly not weak. It doesn’t mean to be a pushover. It’s not just being nice. The first part of the definition is pretty much what I expected, but that second part, that’s complex. Gentleness is founded on strength. Picture a man’s large, strong hand cradling a newly hatched chick. Gentleness has the power to destroy . . . and yet it doesn’t. Which is where that last bit of the definition comes in. Gentleness is prompted by love. Gentleness has power and strength, yet chooses sensitivity and kindness out of love. It doesn’t lash out. Doesn’t knock anyone down or push them around just because it can. As a matter of fact, it seems like it might be impossible to be gentle unless you are strong and loving. So the question then is–what is my strong foundation? What prompts me to love? All I can say is that all too often I feel weak and . . . well . . . not loving. That would be ME operating under my own power. So if I want to be gentle (and I […]

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