Grow Your Family’s Gratitude with The Secret of Saying Thanks

"The world is full of secrets, gentle, shy things that some people know and some don't.  The best secrets are the ones that make us happy, and the best thing about any secret is sharing it with someone else who wants to know..." Read these words with a child and perhaps you'll find yourself the … Continue reading Grow Your Family’s Gratitude with The Secret of Saying Thanks

Neither Share a Reckless Rant nor Post a Mocking Meme: Give Me a Clean Heart

"Woke up this morning The whole world was yelling I wish I was dreaming Of all that we've been through" These are the opening lines of "Clean Heart," the first song on the album I can't stop listening to:  Matt Maher's new release, Echoes. If there's anything good coming out of our current climate of division … Continue reading Neither Share a Reckless Rant nor Post a Mocking Meme: Give Me a Clean Heart

Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead: A Merciful Mind for Our Contentious Time

Marilynne Robinson's Pulitzer-prizewinning Gilead is a book for our contentious time. I'd picked up a copy when it first became a best seller, but this year when I went through my shelves looking for books I'd bought but hadn't yet read, its weathered green spine beckoned. When I broke the book open, Gilead began the … Continue reading Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead: A Merciful Mind for Our Contentious Time

How to Speak of Easter Hope without Harming the Humble Christ

Swiss painter Eugène Burnand renders the confusion and hope of Peter and John's first Easter morning with such poignancy. They'd learned of the resurrection from some women friends who'd been told by an angel, and particularly from Mary Magdalene, told by the risen Christ himself, to tell them.  And then they ran to see that … Continue reading How to Speak of Easter Hope without Harming the Humble Christ

Need Evidence? Three Reasons to Increase Your Positive Speech

Overcoming our negative speech habits is so challenging that it's tempting to stop working on it.  We fail, and that's discouraging.  We're only human, after all. Why keep trying? When our good intentions evaporate and the truth conveyed by saints and scripture no longer inspires, we can always check out what researchers say about speech.  … Continue reading Need Evidence? Three Reasons to Increase Your Positive Speech

Christian vs. Christian: Stop Tearing Each Other Apart

Even worse than humanity's general tendency to use our tongues as swords is the fact that so many Christians do it to each other. It has always been so, because we are being perfected but few if any among us are perfected yet. But we must not accept this state of affairs.  St. Paul, writing … Continue reading Christian vs. Christian: Stop Tearing Each Other Apart

Turning our Sword-Tongues into Pruning Hooks

The biblical phrase, "beat your swords into plowshares and your spears into pruning hooks" comes from the Old Testament prophets Isaiah (2:4) and Micah (4:3).  It refers to a time when the justice of God will reign, when his rule of love is willingly accepted and all is blessed in the acceptance of his truth … Continue reading Turning our Sword-Tongues into Pruning Hooks

When Tempted to Fire Back, Remember This

A soft answer turns back wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1 The anger of man does not work the righteousness of God. --James 1:20 How often we excuse our angry words, blaming others for our own actions.  How often we confuse anger with strength and gentleness with weakness!  There is a … Continue reading When Tempted to Fire Back, Remember This

Have a Point: Steve Martin and John Candy Help Us See Ourselves

The late actor John Candy has given us some of the most endearing talkative characters in comedy. Candy had a wonderful way of rendering his subjects as so annoying we'd probably avoid them if we met them in real life, yet he'd gradually reveal a humble, heart-of-gold side of the men he played, the side … Continue reading Have a Point: Steve Martin and John Candy Help Us See Ourselves

Loose Lips…a Warning When Words Flow Freely

Loose lips sink ships. Loose lips sink ships, a phrase that originated during World War II, is an American English idiom meaning "beware of unguarded talk." The phrase was created by the War Advertising Council and was used on propaganda posters by the United States Office of War Information.  It would be wise to apply … Continue reading Loose Lips…a Warning When Words Flow Freely