Culture


What are our priorities?

Whenever I hear the word priorities, I think of Ron Weasley (in the movie version, at least) saying that Hermione, who privileges learning above all else, “needs to get her priorities sorted.” The comment is a bit subversive, it is very amusing, but I have a more serious challenge today. American Christians: we need to get our priorities sorted. What is more important for a Christian, to be right or to be compassionate? What is […]


The Vatican Museum and Twitter

Last month we were in Italy for a few days, meeting our daughter who had been studying for the semester in Siena. She is majoring in History, Art History, and Medieval Studies and had reserved for us tickets for the aperitivo at the Vatican Museum. Opening at 7 pm with a drink and small portions of meat, cheese, and vegetables (with multiple servings) for our aperitivo, the museum was far less crowded in May and […]


Sidney Chambers is no Father Brown (or Harriet Vane): The Sex-lives of Grantchester

Last week was the third season finale of the series Grantchester. Having watched an enjoyed all three seasons to date, I wanted to share my critique of the show. A few preliminary comments are relevant. First, I deeply enjoy this genre, the British period mystery. Now, I have been a fan of Dorothy L. Sayers and her mysteries almost since I could read and GK Chesterton’s Father Brown (the original stories, not the recent TV show) […]


Podcasts I am listening to now. #TryPod

Never one to be prompt, I am late to this game of sharing my favorite podcasts. “Informally led” by NPR March was the month to declare your love for podcasts with the hashtag #TryPod. According to Edison Research, one in five Americans listened to podcasts every month as of early 2016 – a number that has grown by double-digits for five years. I haver periodically shared my favorite pods in the past. Most haven’t changed, […]


God’s Will in Civil War

My good friend DS shared this quote from Abraham Lincoln regarding God’s will and the Civil War. It seems particularly applicable today, not just in the obvious tensions, but the subtle as well. It also is a very good reminder of the difficulty of discerning “God’s will.” The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. […]


Periods, commas, and other important elements of the written language.

A Facebook friend posted this article from the Washington Post, Stop. Using. Periods. Period. My friend called them “douchey, hipster pod-dorks with no allegiance to the English language” and I cannot say that my assessment is too far off. I would suggest, however that their flagging allegiance is not just to English but to all written language. Sure, language evolves and changes, yes, like anyone who studies ancient texts, I know that well. I also know that […]


Who would believe in horsemanship but not horses?

No one. This is from “Existential Comics,” always a good read, and reminded me of Lamentations. I recall coming across those who argued that the biblical author(s) critiquing/challenging God about the justice of allowing Jerusalem to be destroyed was an example of the erosion of faith. It always occurred to me that it is quite the opposite. One doesn’t challenge the “justice” or “mercy” of an entity one doesn’t believe in. Lament is the most […]


Mardi Gras: Lean into Lent 3

It was the first Mardi Gras after Katrina and, we did not know at the time, our last before heading to Penn State. Our departmental staff assistant had a house right on St. Charles and so we joined our colleagues there every year for the parades. One little girl was lifted up on the shoulders of our department head to give her a better view and access to beads. She is now 17 and we […]


Something a little different for your Christmas music listening 1

I enjoy Christmas music, from the sacred to the silly (give Rudy Red a listen), and I am always looking for something new each season. One of my all time favorite albums is “A Broken Christmas” from 1988. The name comes from the now defunct(?) CCM label “Broken Records” and features songs by some of my all-time favorite artists: Gene Eugene, Adam Again, Riki Michele, OJO, 441, and others. I was thrilled to find it […]


What does it mean, “No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone”? 1

The epistle for today’s Morning Prayer is 1 Cor. 10:1-13. It retells how the Israelites, “though baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,” and yet still thousands disobeyed and were punished. It then ends with the famous bit: 11 These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come.  12 So if you think you […]