Sep

22

2016

To Try + To Eat: Yom Kippur

Since Moments & Days released three-ish weeks ago, most of the questions I’ve fielded from Christians have to do with the Jewish calendar portion of the book. (The book also covers the Christian calendar, but this one is more familiar to these readers.) So many people are interested in being more intentional about learning about the Jewish and Christian calendars, but don’t quite know where to start. I’m very happy I can commend a resource that offers a thoughtful historical and devotional overview of each calendar, but also know that many people feel as through attempting to participate will be a pile-on of extra stuff to do (and extra guilt to feel if they can’t do it).

519RT1msGVL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_As I noted in the book, we can’t all do everything, but it behooves us all to learn a little something about each calendar – and then begin allow the rhythm of one to shape our discipleship journey, one step at a time. My goal in the coming year is to offer one small, do-able step here in this space you, your family, small group, or church can use to move their learning from the page to your experience. I’ll offer the info well in advance of the holiday or season so you’ll be able to consider how you might incorporate a bit of holy celebration into your moments and days. And, where appropriate, I’ll include a fun recipe you may wish to try. There are a few recipes in the back of Moments & Days, but the recipes you’ll find on this blog didn’t make it into the book.

I covered Rosh Hashanah earlier here. Today, I’ll be offering a single practice (and a recipe) Christians may wish to do if they’re interested in learning about Yom Kippur, which takes place this year beginning at sundown on Tuesday, October 11th. I’m also including a recipe – the “to eat” part of this post – which may at first seem odd considering that Yom Kippur is a day given to fasting. But when the fast ends, you eat. So…here’s a recipe you may enjoy any time of year. [Read more]

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It’s possible over four decades of church attendance that I may have missed the larger messages about the “Why?” in many of the sermons I’ve heard about the way in which believers are to steward their money, time, and spiritual gifts. We who are involved in discipling ministry (which is all of us who follow Jesus) may find it a worthwhile exercise to consider the way in which we talk about stewardship of these resources. As I reflect on what I’ve heard in dozens of churches through the years, I realize that much of the teaching I’ve heard on this theme is strong on how, and light on why.

Take giving, for example. [Read more]

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I had to write about the Jewish and Christian calendars. Why? The short answer is that I care deeply about discipleship, and the calendar is one of the original discipleship tools found in the Old Testament.

It’s not quite as simple as that short answer, however. It’s been my experience that when Evangelicals speak of spiritual formation, we tend to speak in terms of practicing spiritual disciplines, or acquisition of information about God and the Bible, or we urge ourselves toward action such as service or evangelism. All are of great value in cultivating personal spiritual growth, but I found myself wondering as years went on about the way in which we in our local churches are being formed as followers of Jesus. I have been involved in programming worship services at a non-denominational church and at a Christian university, and realized that the calendar we used was forming both individual and corporate identity in those respective communities far more than we’d taken time to consider. [Read more]

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So many people are interested in being more intentional about learning about the Jewish and Christian calendars, but don’t quite know where to start. I’m very happy I can commend a resource that offers a thoughtful historical and devotional overview of each calendar, but also know that many people feel as through attempting to participate will be a pile-on of extra stuff to do (and extra guilt to feel if they can’t do it).

519RT1msGVL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_As I noted in the book, we can’t all do everything, but it behooves us all to learn a little something about each calendar – and then begin allow the rhythm of one to shape our discipleship journey, one step at a time. My goal in the coming year is to offer one small, do-able step here in this space you, your family, small group, or church can use to move their learning from the page to your experience. I’ll offer the info well in advance of the holiday or season so you’ll be able to consider how you might incorporate a bit of holy celebration into your moments and days. And, where appropriate, I’ll include a fun recipe you may wish to try. There are a few recipes in the back of Moments & Days, but the recipes you’ll find on this blog didn’t make it into the book.

First on deck: The Jewish festival of Rosh Hashanah, which begins this year at sundown on Sunday, October 2nd. 

Here’s a quick five-minute primer to the holy day

>> To try: Tashlich (tash-LEEKH) [Read more]

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Sep

22

2016

New Treasures & Old

When I was in third grade, I wrote an A++ essay about Leonard daVinci. My teacher, Mrs. Sweet, invited me to come to a night school class in which she was enrolled so I could dazzle her peers with my powerful insights about the artist/inventor/Renaissance man. In my memory, she had a reaction to my brilliant writing similar to this one. (No doubt the real reason she brought me to her class was because she had to do some sort of presentation about curriculum design or writing instruction, and I was a well-behaved guinea pig. I like my mis-remembered version better.)

I dreamed of being a writer then. Books were my safe place, refuge from the confusing world around me and portal to a thousand other better worlds. They told me I wasn’t alone, and promised me a future my own present circumstances never could.

Other vocational plans layered themselves on top of the writing dream during my teens: I imagined I’d be a history major, then a special ed teacher, or perhaps a sign language interpreter. All the while, I was writing – journaling, helping my husband write papers, putting together bits for the church newsletter. An invitation by a friend to try writing some radio scripts swept my other half-realized plans aside for good. I spent my 20’s and 30’s changing diapers and teaching my kids to read while writing plays, skits, occasional articles, kids stories for a Sunday School publisher, curriculum reviews for a home school magazine, and PR bits for chiropractors and art galleries. Tiny checks for some of my writing efforts were like breadcrumbs on the path showing me the way forward. I didn’t know where I was going, but I was glad to follow the One coaxing me forward.

He was at work in all of it: the little girl who lived in her books, the teen who loved history, teaching, and making language come alive; the adult who never wanted to tell the people who paid me $50 here, $100 there for my writing that I would have done almost every bit of it for free. [Read more]

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