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150 Reasons Why We Are Free Today: Gratitude Flash Mob

Have you ever noticed how contagious gratitude can be? I recently had the opportunity, thanks to the William & Mary D.C. Area Alumni Chapter, to welcome an Honor Flight coming into Reagan National Airport. On it were men and women who had served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam who were flown into Washington, D.C. so they could tour the monuments and memorials erected in their honor. All I had to do was show up with a smile; posters and flags were optional. William & Mary colors were encouraged. Turns out there ... Read More »

Gratitude Over Grumpiness

The morning was dark. I realize it’s not surprising that it was dark at 6:30 a.m., but somehow it seemed extra dark that Sunday. Maybe it was the fog that seemed to roll down over my car and encircle me so that I could just barely see through it. My headlights created short pools of light on the road in front of me. Other cars would just sort of appear in a white glow and then disappear as they passed by. I must confess, I grumbled. I wish I hadn’t. ... Read More »

Open Mic Night

Open Mic Night—what does that mean? For some, you might envision karaoke night at which a gaggle of girls climb on stage to sing Shania Twain. Others might picture a local comedy club or a coffee shop evening filled with aspiring songwriters. However, for some of you, the thought of an open mic night might be terrifying. Perhaps you associate the term with more painful memories as you recall a time when you stood up to share a new piano piece at your school talent show, only to be mocked ... Read More »

Your Life, The Gospels and Ricky Bobby

I’ve been a student for my entire life. That experience continued as I began studying at Wesley Theological Seminary over the summer. This fall I am taking a class on the Gospels, one of several introductory classes on my schedule. Biblical studies as an academic discipline approaches scripture very differently than the more devotional practices with which some of us are more familiar. Though practical application is indeed a desired outcome, biblical scholars tend to approach the text with more questions about the historical context, the literary structures and other elements ... Read More »

Name Them One by One

It was a brisk spring day on my college campus as I trudged alongside two of my best friends to the dining hall. With our empty stomachs and full backpacks, we all started to think about the countless hours of homework and studying that awaited us after we enjoyed dinner together. Soon, we verbalized our thoughts, turning our casual walk into a showcase in one-upmanship. We tallied up the assignments, readings and other time commitments, eager to prove how our own evening should evoke more dread than the others. We ... Read More »

Ready for the Fire

One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 43:2. It reads, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” I found this verse when I was in high school and my best friend was going through a hard time. She was struggling with an eating disorder and a desire to end her life. I was terrified for ... Read More »

The Writing is on the Wall

Does anyone here read cursive? Apparently they’re not teaching it to most elementary school students these days. This has created quite a stir and not a small amount of dissension among ‘old-timers’ who don’t want this stalwart to go and ‘new-timers’ who say its time has passed. Recently, scientists have suggested that script handwriting, with its flow of connecting the letters, may tap into our learning and creativity in ways that printing and typing cannot. Old world meets new. Call me old-fashioned, but I do write in cursive when I pen notes and ... Read More »

Cats and Air Conditioning

A few weeks ago our twenty-two year old air conditioning unit decided it no longer wanted to function. As you may recall, this perfectly coincided with the worst heat wave our region had seen all summer, so the timing was impeccable. As is the case in Virginia in July, the heat was oppressive. But even worse was the stifling humidity. My husband and I decided to rough it out in the 100-degree temperatures by camping in the basement for a few days. While it certainly wasn’t convenient, we’ve endured worse ... Read More »

What God Doesn’t Do

God does so many things. He creates. He comforts. He guides and directs. But there are also many things God doesn’t do. God doesn’t do boring. God not only created birds, but he created birds that have found a way to live inside Home Depot stores, which makes shopping for lumber and potting soil so much more interesting. God doesn’t do plain. God not only created flowers, but he created over 400,000 different types of flowers. Roses, tulips, daisies, bleeding hearts, corpse flowers, lady’s slippers and sea poison tree flowers ... Read More »

Such a Time as This

One of my favorite Bible characters is Queen Esther. The story of Esther is full of intrigue, hidden identities, treachery, betrayal, a kindly uncle, spineless royalty, evil sycophants and the courage of one woman who risked her life to save her people. The book of Esther also has the unusual distinction of being the only book in the Bible that never specifically mentions God. Consider that little tidbit of Bible trivia a bonus. Through a series of circumstances not under her control, a young Jewish girl named Esther becomes the ... Read More »

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