Faith

Advent

Every Sunday, the children are invited forward at our church. It’s one of my favorite parts of the service. Squiggly kids. Tentative ones. The bosses. The boisterous. The people-pleasers. Their unabashed traits shining in all their glory. No time-crafted mask covers that beauty yet. Sigh.

What does Advent mean? the children are asked. It’s one simple question. One simple answer. Coming. And the first purple candle of Advent is lit.

This year, John and I mailed Advent candles [...]

Living in a Time of Trauma

By Guest Blogger Dr. Penny Freeman

Barbara Brown Taylor says “Pain and suffering makes theologians of us all.”

It’s true. There is no shortage of trauma these days. This summer our eyes have been glued to the devastation of hurricanes. Harvey left Houston in a state of disrepair that left me slack jawed. Irma wiped out Barbuda (an island I didn’t know existed until three weeks ago) and Maria totaled Puerto Rico the same time an [...]

The Joys of Church Planting

One Sunday, John and I walked to the #2 subway line, headed to Penn station, caught a train to Flushing and arrived in Asia in less than 45 minutes.  Actually, we were visiting Kings Cross Church, a church plant in Queens. Only the travel time belied the fact that we were still in NYC.  It’s one of the things I love about living in this city and that I [...]

Help! How Do I Deal With My Contempt?

My last blog elicited quite a few responses asking how we should handle our contemptuous hearts. Remember, contempt is the number one marriage killer. It’s not something to take lightly.

Tackling an answer in a blog doesn’t do the problem justice. One size does not fit all. Still, I’m going to offer an approach by sharing what’s helped identify and root out contempt in our marriage. Bear in mind that this was after [...]

By |February 15th, 2017|Shari Thomas|4 Comments|

Why Can’t I Hear Angels Sing? The Twelve Labors of Christmas

By Dr. Penny Freeman

  1. List everything you think people in your life want that will bring them ultimate joy.
  2. Try to find these items cheaper (anywhere) by checking all the search engines and local merchants within a five-mile radius.
  3. Stop and drag out all the decorating stuff. Trim the tree to surprise your spouse. Put all the boxes away to keep house tidy.
  4. Maintain a good attitude.
  5. Create a Martha Stewart-type menu to feed eight hungry adults and three [...]

Holidays Make Me Blue for Something…

By Dr. Penny Freeman

I am still full and none of my pants fit. The table was lovely and the food came out perfectly. We drank eggnog, consumed food we only see once a year, and everyone was in a good mood and on time (except for a two-year old who can’t help being two right now).

Leftovers were abundant, and people went home to sleep off the food coma. My weary body crawled towards bed. [...]

Purple Wallpaper

When I was a little girl, I would stare at my purple-flowered wallpaper and contemplate the meaning of faith. I was comforted that I didn’t need much faith—I only needed faith the size of a mustard seed, which I learned was very small. My hope was quickly dashed when I discovered faith couldn’t contain any doubt. Why would it even matter to have a tiny amount of faith in the first place if doubt [...]

By |September 10th, 2015|Shari Thomas|6 Comments|

Faith on the 4th of July

I’m dripping with sweat as I maneuver through the crowded subway lugging my suitcase up and down stairs. I changed clothes so many times this morning that I’ve lost count of how many outfits were nixed. My problem? I have a lymphedema garment that reaches from toe to waist on my left leg and down my upper thigh on my right leg. It’s like wearing a personal heater in 90-degree weather. I’m heading to [...]