A Few Words in Praise of the Commonplace

The commonplace. There’s a lot to be said for it, I think.

By the way, if you do an internet search for “commonplace,” you may be surprised to find that, for more than a few centuries, a “commonplace book”…


Launching into 2022 Feels Strange

Here we are, two weeks into 2022, and it still feels weird to me.

“It” is ambiguous both in that first sentence and in my head. It certainly refers to 2022, the year itself. How in the name of…


The Calendar Really Does Say “2022”

The calendar says that it’s now 2022. My various electronic devices all agree on that opinion.

What? You say that it’s a fact, actual reality, and not just an opinion? Wow, your thinking is hopelessly dated, by which I…


“The Central Miracle . . . Is the Incarnation”

“The Grand Miracle.”

That’s how C. S. Lewis described the Son of God coming “in the flesh” at Bethlehem. And he writes, “The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation.”

If anyone had asked me, I might at…


“We Want Christmas to Be Perfect”

We want it to be perfect, you know. Christmas, I mean.

We really do. Something deep within us wants the lights and the trees, the music and the gifts, the family gatherings and candle-lit worship—all of it—to be Christmas…


“Do Not Be Afraid” of Christmas

I don’t know about you; I used to really enjoy celebrating the Fourth of July. But then somebody told me the truth about it.

Somebody who really knows (probably like sore losers on both ends of the political spectrum who…


Finding Hope and Joy in the Light

“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world” (John 1:9).

It’s the light, you know!

   Twirling, swirling, splash-silvering

         crisp snow below.

   Liquid luminescence and stardust inadvertently shed

         By pirouetting angels in the sky

                 above the


A Confession of Unfaithful Behavior

I guess I’d better confess.

Before I do, may I just say that I thought I could live with the guilt. I tried to convince myself that the transgression was not particularly serious.

But now I feel unfaithful. I feel…


“Count Your Many Blessings”

By Curtis K. Shelburne

Here’s a modernized hymn for Thanksgiving (with apologies to Johnson Oatman, Jr., whose over-a-century-old lyrics I’ve messed with):

Count your many blessings;

Name them one by one!

Giving thanks for all good things,

To whom


True Love and Love’s Extravagance

A brand new washer and dryer. That’s what, as the fervor and devotion of forty-six years of marital bliss burst into full flower, radiant color, and indescribable beauty—such that it could no longer be contained but must be expressed in…


When Is a Win Not a Win?

If we don’t care how we win, we won’t ask the question. If a W is a W is a W, and we don’t care how it finds its way into our life’s “win-loss” column, the question above is…


Privacy Settings and Souls

I’m about to send $20 as a donation to my granddaughter’s volleyball team. I just thought you’d want to know.

I don’t know why you’d want to know, but evidently people are interested in these kinds of things.