Karen Kern Dec 18, 2017

A popular Christmas song tells us that, when the bustle of Santa’s big day, with the busy sidewalks and the children laughing and the snow crunching, makes its assault, we should listen for the soothing silver bells . I love those  busy sidewalks and the children laughing and the snow crunching and all the activity that the season demands. Yet, traditionally, Advent is a time of silent waiting, of reflecting and fasting, of anticipating the Messiah. 

Where do we find time for silence and stillness?

Greg Wilbur Dec 6, 2017

Advent is the season of preparation that leads up to the season of Christmas and is the beginning of the church calendar. “Advent” comes from the Latin word that means “coming.” It is far more than a count-down to Christmas.

Missy Andrews Dec 16, 2016

In our online poetry class, we teach our students to read and understand poetry by asking questions. Although it sounds a bit formulaic, you would be surprised how a few well-placed questions demystify a poem: Who is the speaker? Whom does he address? What is the subject matter? What images or metaphors does the poet present to explain or enlarge his meaning? What form does the poem take?

Questions like these can illuminate John Donne’s classic Christmas meditation, “Annunciation.” 

Wesley Walker Dec 22, 2015

In Old Testament times, people carried personal idols around with them to receive guidance and blessing from their deity. Unfortunately, this tradition is often perpetuated in modern times by the way we carry our smart phones. We fear to part with them. We constantly check them to see if they have any messages for us. When posed with a tough question, our first reaction is to ask them for help. 

David Kern Dec 2, 2015
So chances are good that sometime during this Holiday season you will be watching a Christmas movie. Or ten. You'll be snuggled  up around the fire with one of those giant popcorn tins at your feet, egg nog in hand, and you'll watch the likes of It's A Wonderful LifeA Christmas Story, and Miracle On 34th Street. These are the Christmas movies everybody knows. You have been watching them for years. And with good reason. But why not branch out a little bit? Why not taste some more unfamiliar fare?
Cindy Rollins Nov 23, 2015

It is starting to get cold again which means it is reading (and gift-giving) season. And the perfect Christmas gift is a book to curl up with during that long, lugubrious week between Christmas and New Year’s. 

Brian Phillips Dec 18, 2014

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was the greatest writer of the Victorian era and one of history’s most influential English authors.  Prolific in his output, Dickens penned such enduring works as Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, Little Dorrit, Hard Times, Bleak House, The Pickwick Papers, and more.

Brian Phillips Dec 4, 2014

I recently posted a list of "11 Novels Every Christian Should Read", taking a page from two of my favorite sites - George Grant's Eleventary (hence, 11 novels) and FilmFisher (which inspired the undefended nature of my list).  Now, understanding that we will all run out of time before we will run out of books to read, allow me to add more book suggestions.

John Mason Hodges Jan 8, 2014

Monday was Twelfth Night, or the Twelfth day of Christmas in the old western church calendar.  Advent season is marked by the 4 Sundays and weeks before Christmas Day, and the “Twelve Days of Christmas” run from December 26th to January 6th, the eve of Epiphany.  So the twelfth night of Christmas marks the end of the celebration of Christmas, and in Shakespeare’s time, that meant parties and reveling...the perfect time for a light-hearted comedy.  So, he wrote Twelfth Night, or What You Will in the year 1601 with its first performance in 1602.  The fun of the plot revolves (as so m

Brian Phillips Dec 5, 2013

Reposting in honor of tommorow's feast of St. Nicholas!

Santa Claus stands as a centerpiece of the Christmas season and though the feast of Saint Nicholas lasts but one day (December 6th), the Santa frenzy will continue through the holidays.  Children around the world will find it hard to sleep, anxiously waiting for him to swoop down the chimney, leaving presents under the tree.  But, where did the idea of gifts from jolly ole Saint Nick come from?  The tradition stems from an event that vividly displays the “gentler side” of Saint Nicholas.