Archives For November 2009

Is Yawning Contagious?

Margaret —  November 26, 2009 — 1 Comment

Is Yawning Contagious?

After the turkey, the mashed potatoes, the gravy, the cranberry chutney, and the pie, one person at your Thanksgiving gathering will make the inaugural yawn.

Will it be you? Will you set the trend or merely be a follower?

Once the yawning commences, someone will blame the tryptophan in the turkey. Another will acknowledge all the hard work that went into preparing the meal. Whatever the cause, it really doesn't matter. Once one person yawns, it's hard to stop.

Between 40 and 60 percent of the population find yawning contagious. Yawn. Read the word three times in a row, and you'll be tempted to do it. If you see or hear someone else yawning, it becomes all the more difficult to resist. Continue Reading...

5 Trends Affecting the Modern Church

My friend, Cynthia Ware, posted this excellent piece on "5 Trends Impacting Your Ministry."

Understanding these trends can greatly benefit the Church at large. Continue Reading...

Why Eat Canned Cranberries When You Could Enjoy The-Best-Ever Cranberry Chutney This Thanksgiving?

Every year, I look forward to Thanksgiving. Everyone has their favorite flavor of the holiday. For some, it's the mashed potatoes. For others, it's the pumpkin pie. For still others, it's the green been casserole.

For me, it's the cranberry chutney. Our friends, Nick and Heather, shared this recipe and it's become my fave! Consider giving it a whirl this holiday season: Continue Reading...

Scouting the Divine: An Unforgettable Visit with Lynne & Piaget

Some books are finished after the manuscript is delivered to the printer.

Others have just begun.

Scouting the Divine is adventure that in many ways is just beginning.

The people I describe in its pages are connected to us. We attended Joe's (the farmer's nephew) wedding in August. We spent time with Lynne (the shepherdess) while in Oregon this past week. In fact, Lynne and Tom even brought some of their shepherding community to hear me teach on Scouting the Divine at Living Hope Church. What a delight! I received a handmade wool sheep pin which I will treasure.

On Monday, we shared dinner and warm conversation catching up on all the years events. We visited the flock who were shy at first but became friendly when Lynne pulled out the grain bucket.

One of the most common questions I receive from readers of Scouting the Divine is: "What happened to Piaget?" Continue Reading...

Walter Brueggemann

It's no secret that Leif and I have struggled over the years to connect spiritually through our personal times of devotion. In the early days of our marriage, we tried a laundry list of things that simply didn't work. We began reading Oswald Chambers together on January 1 one year. By January 18, we couldn't even find the book. We attempted reading the same passages of scripture for discussion, but also felt a sense of awkward disconnect. We tried reading the same books, listening to the same sermons among other practices and yet it always felt forced, unnatural, anything but, well, organic. Those images of spiritual marital bliss faded into the reality that growing spiritually together as a couple takes time, perseverance and hard work.

Over the last few years, we've found something that works. (And when you find something that works when it comes to spiritual disciplines, do it and keep on doing it!) We sit on the couch beside each other in the morning and read whatever we're reading. I'm currently enjoying Bruce K. Waltke's commentary on Genesis; Leif is making his way through The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan. As we read, we sometimes hmmm or oooh-ahhhh aloud, signifying we've found something special, then we share what we're reading and our responses. It's natural. Non-forced. The practice works for us. When we're done, we each read a prayer aloud from Walter Brueggemann's Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth (a book given to us by our special friend Troy Champ). Then we spend time in prayer--for our families, our leaders, our friend, our world, and yes, you!--together aloud.

Brueggemann has a gift to bring hidden thoughts of the soul to light before God. Over the course of the fall, I wanted to share Walter Brueggemann with you every Wednesday. We invite you to join us for "Wednesdays With Walter" as you dive deeper in your own relation with God and prayer life: Continue Reading...