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December 24, 2019

A Psalm of Joy

Psalm 96:14. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea thunder and all that is in it; let the field be joyful and all that is therein.


Christmas! Today we celebrate a child born into a world that in many ways is not so different from...

December 22, 2019

A Psalm of Lament

Psalm 80:3 (repeated in verses 7 & 19): Restore us, O Lord God of Hosts; show the light of your countenance and we shall be saved.


One of the things I love about the Psalms is their expression of a range of human emotions. Whether you’re mad, sad,...

December 15, 2019

Songs of Praise

Psalm 146:5. Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God.

Luke 1:46b-47a. “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.”


The th...

December 9, 2019

A Psalm for Our "Kings"

Psalm 72:1-2. Give the King your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the King’s Son; that he may rule your people righteously and the poor with justice; that the mountains may bring prosperity to the people, and the little hills bring right...

November 29, 2019

A Psalm for the Journey

Psalm 122:1. I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”


“I was glad,” the psalmist exclaimed, and several thousand years later the words remain fresh and dynamic. I love this opening verse of Psalm 122 for its exuberan...

November 15, 2019


A few weeks ago I attended a hymn festival at Centenary United Methodist Church, in Richmond, VA, the church where I grew up. It’s a large old downtown church, its sanctuary warm and inviting with a high arched wooden ceiling, wooden pews with hand-carved trefoils on...

September 18, 2019


My handwriting is pretty bad. For years I labored under the illusion that it once was clear and legible, possibly approaching lovely. I imagined it had become corrupted first by the rigors of taking notes in college lectures and later by the vagaries of aging—arthriti...

August 12, 2019


As I write this, an afternoon summer storm is rolling in. Gone is the clear blue sky of this morning. Gone are the billowing white clouds of noon. Darkening clouds have dimmed the sunlight, making the afternoon duskier than usual but also making the greens of shrubs a...

July 15, 2019

Several times lately, while forced to wait for something, even for a short time, I have caught myself picking up my cell phone and aimlessly flipping through email or turning to a game. I’m not talking about long waits, the kind you might have at an airport between arr...

June 16, 2019

My almost 14-year old granddaughter has had her tonsils removed. She is terribly uncomfortable physically; swallowing anything, even pain meds, is murder. Equally agonizing is her uncertainty about the wellbeing of her voice, for musical theater has become her second h...

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