One Starry Night–A Christmas Poem (part 1)

One Starry Night  (part 1) A long day finally over, the sheep now settled to sleep. The weary shepherds found places to rest–some to lay their heads; others to keep watch over their flocks (many of them destined to be a sacrifice for man’s sins), alert for any dangers that might be lurking or for anyContinue reading “One Starry Night–A Christmas Poem (part 1)”

Praise is the Highway

“I feel sure that the great majority of people do like singing. It helps to build up an audience–even if you preach a dry sermon. If you have singing that reaches the heart, it will fill the church every time. There is more said in the Bible about praise than prayer, and music and songContinue reading “Praise is the Highway”

“Man of Sorrows! What a Name”

“Man of Sorrows! What a Name,” a hymn also known by its repeating refrain “Hallelujah! What a Savior!” was written in 1875. The author, Philip P. Bliss, took his title from Isaiah 53. Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For heContinue reading ““Man of Sorrows! What a Name””

Leap Over A Wall by Eugene H. Peterson–Book Review

Eugene Peterson is best known for his translation of the Bible published in 2002 when Peterson was seventy years old. He spent many years before then as a college professor (teaching Hebrew and Greek), then a small-town pastor but became known all over the world with the publication of “The Message: The Bible in ContemporaryContinue reading “Leap Over A Wall by Eugene H. Peterson–Book Review”

The Confessions of X–Book Review

Winner of Christianity Today’s fiction award in 2017, The Confessions of X by Suzanne M. Wolfe is historical fiction based on the life of an unknown woman loved by Augustine of Hippo, an early church father. Wolfe first heard of this woman when she was only twelve, and when she asked for the woman’s name was told,Continue reading “The Confessions of X–Book Review”

How Firm a Foundation

April is National Poetry Month and though I don’t read as much poetry as I would like–between studying the Psalms and some hymns, I have been reading more poetry than usual. We don’t often think of hymns as poetry, but when we take the time to read  and hear the words, we often find beautifulContinue reading “How Firm a Foundation”

Hymns–Lost in Translation

My last few blogs have been about some favorite hymns and their history. A few more such tales shall be forthcoming, but first I wanted to take a look at some hymns that will not be found in today’s hymn books because, well, times and language change. What might have been sung in all seriousnessContinue reading “Hymns–Lost in Translation”

Favorite Reads of ’18

One of my first reads of 2018, The Snow Child is a lovely retelling of a Russian fairy tale taking place in Alaska. The Beautiful Mystery is Louise Penny’s eighth Inspector Gamache mystery. The whole book takes place at a secluded monastery in the wilderness of Quebec.     Rabbit Cake has a ten-year old protagonist whose mother drownedContinue reading “Favorite Reads of ’18”

Doxology and the Power of Praise

A few weeks ago, I was visiting a church on a Sunday evening, and we closed the service by singing the doxology. I began singing, almost without thinking, but then I wondered, “When did I learn the doxology, and how did this short song become known as ‘the doxology’?” I mostly grew up in BaptistContinue reading “Doxology and the Power of Praise”