George Herbert’s Secrets of Soul Revealed in a Package of Poetry

He suffered with poor health throughout his life and died of consumption in 1633 at the age of 39.  Before he died he sent a collection of poems to a friend, the founder of the Anglican religious community, Little Gidding. This request, it is said, accompanied the manuscript: Sir, I pray deliver this little book … Continue reading George Herbert’s Secrets of Soul Revealed in a Package of Poetry

Why Forgiveness Is the “Sweeter, Smarter” Choice that Sets Our Prisoners Free

I had rarely heard the the word “incarcerated” before becoming a counselor, but years of work with at-risk children accustomed me to its cadence. It first surfaced on the lips of a dark-haired high school junior who'd come to my office to change her class schedule. Describing her family, she chatted nonchalantly about her grandmother … Continue reading Why Forgiveness Is the “Sweeter, Smarter” Choice that Sets Our Prisoners Free

Books, Spirituality, Optimism and More: What You’ll Find at Sparrowfare

I'm grateful for each person who is following Sparrowfare. It's exciting to share that the site now has enough content to include a drop-down category menu.  Sparrowfare's consistent themes have emerged, and if you know others who share these interests, I hope you'll share Sparrowfare with them.  If you missed its first two posts, Welcome … Continue reading Books, Spirituality, Optimism and More: What You’ll Find at Sparrowfare

Intentional Earbuds–Links to Great Listens #1: The Bishop Who Refuses to Dumb Down the Faith

While intentionally seeking more daily silence, I'm also grateful for the invention of earbuds.  They're not not entirely a blessing, of course.  Earbuds can further the ever-growing problem of isolation. They can override the "still, small voice" by drowning it in mindless noise. But selective listening, fully present to the voice that's speaking, is a … Continue reading Intentional Earbuds–Links to Great Listens #1: The Bishop Who Refuses to Dumb Down the Faith

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

Pentecost: The Wind that Spreads the Fire

I discovered the power of fire and wind the hard way. I was a thirty-something mom of two toddlers, and my husband and I had rented a simple little home in the country surrounded by open fields.  One breezy spring afternoon, having returned from grocery shopping, I put the kids down for a nap, gathered … Continue reading Pentecost: The Wind that Spreads the Fire

Crow Call: Beautiful Children’s Book for Fathers and Daughters

"The details of this story are true," Newberry-winning author Lois Lowry writes of her beautiful father-daughter story Crow Call.  "But parents and children groping toward understanding each other--that happens to everyone.  And so this story is not really just my story, but everyone's." It is indeed.  Lowry's Crow Call is a masterful evocation of the … Continue reading Crow Call: Beautiful Children’s Book for Fathers and Daughters

Links to Explore the Soul-Washing Art of Marc Chagall

Art washes from the soul the dust of ordinary life.  --Picasso This simple sentence makes exploring the world of art and artists accessible, removing the fear that I'm not deep enough or educated enough to find enjoyment in its kaledescopic worlds.  Art washes the dust of ordinary life from the soul. One artist who does … Continue reading Links to Explore the Soul-Washing Art of Marc Chagall

The Case for Christ Film an Improvement over God’s Not Dead

Blatantly evangelistic movies aren't really my cup of tea. As much as I appreciate the effort to share the good news at the movies, I find that films designed to argue viewers into belief come off as pushy and strident.  I'm on their side when it comes to loving Christ, but their style often falls … Continue reading The Case for Christ Film an Improvement over God’s Not Dead

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