Vern Fein reliably contacts me in January to promote the MLK prayer breakfast, which will be a virtual event this 36th year. As we will all be brewing our own coffee, this memory reminds us of the unexpected possibilities for personal encounters when we can again be together. Blessings and love to each of you, wherever you are. -Renée
How do we pray for our country? King David was a poet and musician. He broadened the reach of his kingdom through wars and alliances. He was a lover. Of God, of friend, of women. David enjoyed popularity with the people. He knew how to pray. O God, endow the king with Your judgments, the king’s
I am so grateful for the poets among us. May this from Laura Lindeman bless you too. -Renée“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…As the shepherds were out living in the fields, keeping watch…” We were Poor in Spirit,Living outdoorsWandering cheerlessAcross the Moors. We were Poor in Spirit,Watching our sheepProtecting
I’ve been enjoying thinking about Hannah and Mary today. Juxtaposing the beginning of 1 Samuel with the first chapters of Luke. Two women not yet pregnant. One long married, one just engaged. Both soon with child, singing songs of the Lord’s great mercy. They were ordinary women. At least, that is what resonates with me today.
I love Christmas cards. Photos of new babies, pets, and growing kids. Updates and reflections on the past year. Reminders of friends and family spread around the world. We need each other. 2020 has sharpened our awareness of social hunger. For love, laughter, and support. Small gestures of care convey great meaning, and we delight
I used to run. Well– jog– though that word went out with the 80s. But pounding the pavement has been tough on my joints, and at some point in the pandemic, I shifted to walking. It’s getting colder. Darker. More than ever, we need to get outside. But my morning exercise walk differs from a
When I came across an article on the medieval tradition of allegory and CS Lewis as a sensational literary critic, Brian Mustain came to mind. In turn, he shared his Thanksgiving Declaration 2020, which warmed and encouraged me. I am thankful for Brian’s long participation at NCF; I have sought his prayers many times over the years,
“Let’s go around the table and each person say what they’re thankful for.” What a lovely tradition. So why do I balk at it? And feel bad for doing so. I worry that I’m not thankful enough. Which is partly true. Hezekiah Walker’s Grateful plays in my head. Grateful, grateful, grateful,Gratefulness, it’s flowing from my heart Each
The branches of the bitternut hickory look different from this vantage point, lit by the eastern sun. I love the giant tree that defines my backyard, but I have hardly ever examined it from my bedroom window. Too busy. Always moving. Up and at ‘em from one place to the next. Our rhythms have changed.
Technology has been such a gift these past eight months. The ease with which folks can record themselves reading scripture, praying, teaching, and sharing has enabled widespread participation and connection in our online services. Michael Linder and the musicians have created amazing music that encourages us and enables us to worship. But we longed for