Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tulipomania

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To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here The people of Holland have had a centuries-old love affair with tulips. For a brief stretch of time that passion bordered on insanity.  Tulips grow wild toward the eastern end of the Mediterranean. When bulbs were first imported to northern Europe in the 17th century, their lively colors quickly became a… Read more »

Follow the Clues

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To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here A surprising number of astronomers believe it’s out there somewhere. Planet Nine. No, not Pluto, the iconic “ninth planet” that was discovered in 1930, but then downgraded to the status of dwarf planet two decades ago when astronomers concluded it wasn’t big enough to sit at the grown-ups table. Planet Nine… Read more »

The Ends of the Earth

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To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here Skellig Michael is a special place. For centuries this tiny crag of an island about 7 miles southwest of Ireland was known chiefly as the reclusive home of thousands of seabirds and a handful of monks. In December 2015 it became known the world over as that incredibly strange and beautiful… Read more »

Friendly Fire

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To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here In 1942, a foreign army invaded and occupied American soil for the first time since the War of 1812. Japanese troops captured the Aleutian islands of Attu and Kiska, just off the coast of Alaska.  An Allied force of some 35,000 Americans and Canadians were given the assignment of taking them… Read more »

Gracious Words

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To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here No one has ever written in the English language as marvelously as William Shakespeare.  Shakespeare’s brilliance is reflected in the fact that most of us quote him every week, but don’t even realize it. Have you ever felt footloose and fancy free? Been left high and dry?Passed a test that was a… Read more »

From Death to Life

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To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here A number of years ago a member of my church was felled by a heart attack. Lying comatose for days in the hospital ICU, he hovered between life and death. There was no certainty of recovery. But he did recover. He regained his strength, was restored to his family, and came… Read more »

The Ultimate Catcher

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To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here There are two kinds of trapeze artists: flyers and catchers. Flyers get most of the love. They make amazing leaps. They do somersaults in mid-air.   But as devotional writer Henri Nouwen pointed out, the real heroes are the catchers. In his book Our Greatest Gift: A Meditation on Dying and Caring, Nouwen writes: … Read more »

Daily Bread

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To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here People have been baking bread for thousands of years. But it sure hasn’t looked, felt, or tasted like Wonder Bread, the loaf that so many Americans grew up eating. About 500 years ago, European bread-making began to reflect class distinctions. Peasants and laborers ate dark, coarse bread. High class people (that is, “the… Read more »

Doing a New Thing

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To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here People resist change. Even when it comes to the simplest things. In 1990, Crayola decided to retire eight colors from its iconic box of 64 crayons.  In their place, the world’s largest crayon manufacturer introduced eight new vibrant colors, including Royal Purple, Jungle Green, and Hot Pink. This seemed to be… Read more »

Common Ground

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To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here “Hi, I’m 11 and I want a record deal. Call me.” You have to say this about Taylor Swift: She has never lacked confidence. As a preteen hoping to break into the country music scene, she darted in and out of Nashville record companies while her mother and brother waited in… Read more »