Keeping the Christ in Christmas?

Each year at this time Christians who follow a liturgical calendar experience the disconnect between the frenzied secularized Christmas of the retail world and the Church’s quiet, reflective season of Advent.  Lots of us church leaders—lay and ordained alike—will lament this. They will interpret the decorations at the mall and the sappy television programming and…

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Body Language

Listen to Audio My mother learned English informally by immersion. She entered America through Ellis Island from war-ravaged Austria speaking only her native German. By the time I came along, her accent had grown faint. She navigated our English-speaking world effortlessly, but her vocabulary remained limited and you would never have sought her out for…

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Learning to Let Go of the Cookies

Listen to the Audio Like most of us, I have a few disjointed memories of my early childhood. Fragments. Isolated episodes with little or no context. I can’t quite piece together a complete narrative from my personal memory bank prior to about age five. But some of those early memories endure and even still bear…

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Hope is a Dangerous Thing

Listen to Audio One of my favorite movies is The Shawshank Redemption. I’ve seen it countless times since it premiered two decades ago. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman star as convicts in Shawshank Prison who become friends. Both Andy (played by Robbins) and Red (Freeman) are serving life sentences. Andy is a former banker falsely…

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