I don’t know where I came across The Boy, the Bird, and the Coffin Maker, the debut novel of Australian author Matilda Woods. But I am grateful I did. I loved this book from its opening sentences to the closing paragraph.
Set in the town of Allora, bordering a violent sea and famous for flying fish, The Boy, the Bird, and the Coffin Maker tells the story of Alberto, the coffin maker. The widower, bereaved of wife and children, lives alone, caring for the dead of the town. His life changes with the appearance of the orphan, Tito Bonito, and his pet bird, Fia. Continue reading “Book Review: The Boy, the Bird, and the Coffin Maker”
As my brother, sister-in-law, and family tried to practice the teachings of Christ, they developed a friendship with a Syrian refugee family. Justin and Annie were recently featured in “Love Thy Neighbor,” a film in The Perennial Plate’s series about American life.
Be sure to enter my November Giveaway, featuring women artists, authors, and musicians. Over 21 prizes totaling up to $750! Enter daily here.
Everyone loves prizes! Our October giveaway turned out to be quite popular, with almost 1,200 women entering to win a three-volume ESV Expository Commentary Set.
Our November giveaway (open to women and men!) features twenty-one great resources by female authors and artists. All the resources are produced by women that I respect and have learned from. Most of this month’s prizes are donated by the authors, artists, or publishers. I would encourage you to follow them on social media or subscribe to their sites (links provided).
Prize and entry information is below. Continue reading “November Giveaway Prizes”
I subscribe to Seth Godin’s blog. I enjoy his short, pithy posts, often full of wisdom about life, productivity, and service to others. Saturday morning, I opened my email to find a new post from him in my inbox—“A note from 2020.” The content was simple and insightful: “Twelve years from now, your future self is going to thank you for something you did today, for an asset you began to build, a habit you formed, a seed you planted.”
The first thing that struck me, however, was not the content but the math error. 2020 is not twelve years from now. I followed the link to his blog, which opened to the same title but quickly refreshed to “2030.” Seth had caught his error.
I laughed. And I relaxed. This was good news. Even Seth Godin, a master of social media and blogging, knows that moment of panic and frustration when you discover your error five minutes after it publishes. The content of Seth’s post served me, even with the error. It reminded me that I don’t have to be perfect to serve people well on social media.
The same holds in our corporate worship services.
Those of us who lead services, serve in music, prepare service guides, preach sermons, read scripture, pray publicly, manage audio-visual components, and attend worship serves need to hear this message: Mistakes preach good news. Continue reading “The Gospel of an Imperfect Worship Service”
I’m thankful to Risen Motherhood for the invitation to write about how the Bible speaks to tradition. The piece is called “Gospel Thinking: How Do We Decide Our Family Traditions.” Here’s an excerpt:
Efforts to keep Christ in our traditions can bring us into conflict with the world and family. Days of travel, feasting, gifts, games, and small-talk may not feel “Christ-centered.” In my 20s, I found myself burdened with guilt around holidays and notable seasons, feeling that I wasn’t ever doing enough to honor Jesus. As a young father, I felt like a failure. I wondered if I had the best traditions to ensure my kids treasured Jesus and would follow him all their days.
Relief arrived when I considered what the Bible had to say about traditions and “holy days.”
Read the rest here. Be sure to download RM’s free equipping printable with discussion questions here.
I previously wrote a piece for Risen Motherhood on miscarriage, which you can find in my “Dads Hurt Too” series.
This is the concluding post in a series on miscarriage and the Gospel — “#DadsHurtToo — A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”
It’s been almost three years since our last miscarriage. Wounds are healing. Yet, I’d be lying if I said those foxes don’t still bark and nip from time to time. They bark, but the Gospel speaks. Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 6) — Miscarriage and the Gospel”
This is the fifth post in a series— “#DadsHurtToo — A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”
In God’s kindness, we survived that year. Our son—Living Child #5—was born February 8, 2012, allowing us to spend the anniversary of our loss enjoying our newborn. With his birth, we were finished having children—miscarriage and the little foxes were not.
In December 2014, I accepted a call to be associate pastor at new church. We packed and moved to a new city, to this new congregation, filled with new people.
In January, we discovered that, despite our decision to be finished having children, my wife was pregnant. We hit a wall of conflicting emotions. Pregnancy had grown increasingly burdensome and destructive to her body, especially in the summer heat. We hadn’t wanted another child. Yet, we treasure children. We knew we should want this child. Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 5) — Miscarriage and Loneliness”
This post is the fourth in a series — “#DadsHurtToo — A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”
The day we returned from the hospital, I headed to store to fill a prescription for my wife. As I drove, I turned on the radio, set to my usual public radio channel. A state lawmaker and the host were discussing some bit of abortion legislation. The legislator quipped something like, “You know, it’s not a big deal. We’re only talking about fetuses up to 18-weeks.” These words hit my heart like salt in a bite wound. Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 4) — Miscarriage and Culture”
I’ve been looking for, noticing, celebrating, and writing about the place of women in the storyline of the Bible a lot this year.
Why is that?
In seeing and celebrating women in the storyline of the Bible, I’m not sliding down a slippery-slope of liberalism, about to careen off a cliff into goddess worship.
In seeing and celebrating women in the storyline of the Bible, I am attempting to climb the ladder of careful exegesis and Bible interpretation. I am recognizing the rungs that the Author put in place, and stepping accordingly.
Why should we notice and celebrate women in the storyline of Scripture? Where do you look when you’re expecting someone important? If you’re a child waiting for mom to come home, you look at the front door. You look toward the place from which you know they’ll first appear.
When God first proclaimed the Gospel, he promised deliverance through “the offspring of the woman” (Genesis 3:15). The deliverer will come through her. This promise encourages us to “Look for the offspring!” We read the Bible looking for the arrival of the Redeemer. We read expectantly, hoping each birth brings him. Because of that, this promise then teaches us to “watch the woman” as the storyline unfolds so that we see the Redeemer when he arrives.
Join me in noticing her in the text and celebrating what we see God doing through her (then and now).
This is the third post in a series — “#DadsHurtToo — A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”
Our daughter—Living Child #4—entered the world in December 2008 with no complications. In the spring of 2009, we learned another baby was on its way, due in February 2010. On a family vacation in July, my wife experienced strange contraction pains. We saw her doctor when we returned. Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 3) — Miscarriage and Shame”