December 17, 2017

Damaris Zehner: What a Difference an “S” Makes

What a Difference an “S” Makes by Damaris Zehner There’s a phrase that strikes me whenever I hear it.  It appears every week in the Orthodox liturgy and occasionally in the Catholic one:  it is “Father of lights,” as in “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father […]

How We Become Human

I know, as a tenet of my faith, that Jesus’ incarnation, death, and resurrection somehow have set me free from death and given me new life.  I know that God says that he will take away my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh.  But I can’t say I understand how that […]

The Rite and the Wrong Way to Live

I commute half an hour each way to work, and there are no decent radio stations in the wilds of western Indiana.  I’ve discovered college courses on CD as an antidote to boredom while I drive.  Recently I listened to a series of lectures on Hinduism.  It occurred to me as I listened that every […]

Consider The Dogs

I’ve had a few dogs over the years, but there are three that stand out in my mind:  Mama Dog, Marshall, and Archie. Mama Dog came into our yard to starve to death when my husband and I were living in Liberia.  I saw her skeletal form collapsed on the edge of our property with […]

Musical Pews

A man spent several years stranded on a desert island.  When he was finally rescued, the sailors, looking back at the shore, asked him, “You say you were all alone here?” “Yup, all by myself,” he replied. “Then why are there three buildings?” “Oh, that’s easy,” the man said.  “That one there is my house, […]

The Wolf At The Door

We little pigs build – Walls  of straw or sticks, or of sheetrock and two-by-fours, block us in and the wolf out. The door is so frail A barrier between us and it. The wolf blows and straw scatters, sticks split. Even the brick house crumbles, brought down, if not by wind, then by earthquake […]

I Wanna Hold Your Hand: Being Physical In A Sexual World

There’s a lot of talk about sexuality these days.  Whether it’s about sex outside of marriage, LBGT issues, pederast priests, celibacy as a lifestyle, or gender change – everyone has an opinion, and most opinions are heated.  Let’s take a step back from sexuality and consider instead physicality. We as a society are far too […]

Missions 101: or How to Be More Like a Soldier of an Oppressive Imperialist Nation

My all-time favorite Bible character (yes, yes, excluding Jesus) is the centurion whose story is told in Luke 7.  I don’t know much about him, yet I’ve loved him to the point of tears since I was a child.  I suspect that one reason is that he, like me, was an expatriate.  Both of us […]

Growing Old

Fourteen years ago, when I was forty, I happened to glance into a mirror.  It was a winter evening, and the room was lit by only a bare bulb.  In the poor light my face for the first time looked old.  “I’m a severe old lady!” I thought, and thus began my mourning. Mourning is […]

Christian Traditions 101: The Seven Cardinal Virtues, continued

In my last post I talked about the human virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.  I pointed out that these are considered human virtues because all decent people recognize them as good things and in some way educate their children and design their laws to encourage them.  We can’t stop there, though.  We have […]