Pollyanna vs. Curmudgeon: The Case for Realistic Optimism

I've neither read nor watched Pollyanna, but I know I've been insulted when someone applies the name to me. When you've just been equated with a syrupy fictional orphan, you've pretty much been put in your place. I'll elaborate briefly. "Read THIS, Pollyanna" means "take a look at reality, Happy Pants." "Back it down, Pollyanna" … Continue reading Pollyanna vs. Curmudgeon: The Case for Realistic Optimism

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

Choose Something Like a Star: A Christmas Contemplation

Starry skies call those who long for silence: leave the party, the mall, the jingle bell rock, the trivial TV. Step outside. Look up. Robert Frost's 1943 poem “Choose Something Like a Star" speaks to our position beneath the glittering skyscape. Alone beneath the stars the poet addresses "the fairest one in sight." He admires … Continue reading Choose Something Like a Star: A Christmas Contemplation

Hans Brinker’s Humble Heroism

Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates has thrilled children since its publication in 1865. Sadly, the book may have become a "victim of technology," writes award-winning children's author Bruce Coville in a note to readers of his 2007 adaptation of the novel. He explains that Mary Mapes Dodge wrote the book not only to entertain … Continue reading Hans Brinker’s Humble Heroism

Advent’s First Week: It Is Better to Light One Candle

December days are short, hemmed in darkness. Grateful for a new liturgical year with its wisdom of waiting and preparation, we place new candles in the old Advent wreath. We light the first candle. Just the first. In silence, preparing to read the first scripture of the season, an old proverb rises in the heart: … Continue reading Advent’s First Week: It Is Better to Light One Candle