In this month of serial snow storms, it’s been challenging to get into an Easter frame of mind. So often, resurrection is paired with images of new birth and sprouting things, but then, I was reminded amidst all the shoveling, blizzard warnings, and cancellations that resurrection springs forth out of death and THE resurrection was a complete surprise to Jesus’ friends and followers. Be encouraged, then, that God comes to us today in surprising ways: in the midst of the hopeless mess or the routine of laundry folding or the deep disappointment that feels like a small death.
Hope in God is a confident expectation — not a cross-your-fingers aspiration.
On the Blog
In March, I continued in my conquest of Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton with a post on the consequentiality of our choosing and its impact on our parenting and every area of life.
“Every act of the will is an act of self-limitation” –even if you happen to be the Son of God.
The reading in March has been varied with two memoirs, a biography, and a work of fiction.
In How to Fix a Broken Record: Thoughts on Vinyl Records, Awkward Relationships, and Learning to Be Myself, Amena Brown looks back over her shoulder with humility and gratitude to honor the resiliency and courage of the women who have contributed to her story’s formation:
“My great-grandmother picked cotton
and worked in a tobacco factory
so my grandmother could work at a hospital
so my mom could become a nurse
so I could become a poet.”
As I progressed through Holy in the Moment: Simple Ways to Love God and Enjoy Your Life, I found myself pausing and pondering over shimmering glimpses of wisdom that stand alone in their gracious beckoning toward truth:
“Aim for consistency but walk in grace.”
“You can choose the thoughts you will receive and the ones you will reject.”
“The faith way is to think,”I know my work is taxing, but Christ is my strength.”
“Far more than a doctrine to follow, holiness is a life to enjoy.”
“It’s important to understand that joy is not the absence of pain in circumstances, but rather the presence of God in the midst of them.”
Everyday choices build a life. Mundane moments of loving our kids, cherishing our husbands, and supporting our friends in ten thousand different ways over the course of a lifetime well-lived change us from the inside out. “Loving God whole-heartedly is choosing the life we were made for,” and one day, we discover that God is doing His work through us, and we shine with a glory that is not our own
In Karl Barth: An Introductory Biography for Evangelicals, Mark Galli has extended a gift to the community of readers in the form of an accessible and balanced look at a well-known and yet inscrutable theologian. Whether we choose to argue that Karl Barth’s theology supported him in poor moral choices or that his theology was terrific and truthful, but he simply failed to live up to its ideals, he is arguably one of the greatest Protestant theologians of the 20th century. His story becomes a cautionary tale for any of us who teach and study Scripture, for we will never live up to all that we know, but may we find grace to live consistently with the remarkable message of the gospel with all its provision for forgiveness.
In her review of Can You See Anything Now?: A Novel, Jen Pollock Michel reminded her readers that they’re not picking up a work of Amish fiction when they read Katherine James’s debut novel. While it received Christianity Today’s 2018 award for fiction, it is a complicated read that requires believers to assess their willingness to read R-rated language in order to fully enter into a clear picture of the fractured human heart.
In the Snow
Yes, the snow gets its own category this month because it has played a major role in disrupting life on this country hill. Nonetheless, we’ve had some great moments for walking, enjoying the sunshine when it appears, and visiting with family.
Weekly, I have met in the church library with a group of women who take their Bible very seriously, and we are persevering in our study of Cynthia Heald’s Becoming a Woman of Grace.
The patient husband and I are continuing in our read through of the Bible out loud, and we even had the opportunity to do some teaching together at a Christian Education conference here in Maine.
Thank you for your encouragement that comes in the form of comments and dialogue. So many of you have become on-line friends and I look forward to your insights whenever they come. May your days be filled with meaning because of the gushing “river of resurrection” that flows just beneath the surface–sometimes washing over us when we least expect it!
He is risen indeed!
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And since this is the end of March, I’m joining the party over at Leigh Kramer’s place where bloggers gather for What I’m Into. Come on over for lots of book, podcast, and viewing recommendations.
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