Recent Posts

I recently finished a quick read of the Gospel of Mark and was struck by Jesus' careful awareness of bystanders. In Mark 10:17-22, for example, Jesus is approached by an individual and has a short, intense conversation with him about wealth. The next thing Jesus does is "look around" to see who was watching. Later in the chapter (10:39-42), he says something that upsets the people who overheard his conversation, so he calls them over to straighten it out.

The Psalms are full of drama: love and loss, hurt and longing. This morning I have been looking at the drama in Psalm 34. The little bit of “extra” that you get with a few of the Psalms says that David wrote this piece of poetry during a very intense time in his life: on the run from his king, Saul, separated from his best friend, Jonathan, and dismissed - after some desperate play acting - from the neighboring, enemy kingdom that he had tried to find refuge in. It is very likely that David wrote this Psalm sitting in a cave. (See 1 Samuel 21:10-22:1 for details.)

In our house, there are many things that demand patience and steady effort: cleaning up, getting in shape, losing or gaining weight (yes, gaining weight takes patience), writing, playing video games, keeping the yard looking alright.

Each of these things can be done quickly, but they don't work out well if you do it that way.

My dog is a cat, a “scaredy-cat.” And I have been violating the first rule of teaching with him lately: do not be mad at the sheep for being sheep.

Psychologist and Swarthmore College professor Barry Schwartz was on NPR yesterday, talking about his TED Talk, "Are We Happier When We Have More Options?” and his 2004 book, The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less. His main idea: unlimited choice, even between good choices, does not make us happier. Having too many options inflates our expectations and can overwhelm our ability to decide. Life is better when we have limits.

Psalm 19 is in full agreement...