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simple advent

A Simple Christmas Starts with a Simple Advent

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already observing Advent, even if you’re not sure what Advent is. In the 1960s, kids like me growing up near Pacific Grove, California had something major to anticipate in addition to Christmas Day. We didn’t have snow, but we had Candy Cane Lane. Every year, my parents chose […]

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coming home_no text

If You Just Don’t Feel Quite At Home

We did it. We downsized. And if I just ignore the island of boxes where the coffee table ought to be, I like our charming new space. So why do I feel so profoundly sad? I took Marie Kondo’s advice and kept only the things that spark joy. Over there on the bookcase is the […]

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gentle answer-blog

3 Tips for Softer Eggs and Unscrambled Children

Raising kids is as simple, or as hard, as cooking perfect eggs. When Sean was five he said he’d take a raincheck on my scrambled eggs until I could make them like Grandma Doris. Hers were soft. Moist. Fluffy. Mine, far less magical. I tried again and again to improve, only to meet with two […]

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advent poem

Peace in the Forest

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” —Matthew 2:2   Today I’m pondering God’s global influence to draw to himself all whose hearts are prepared. Bringing peace to those who recognize their need and have made him room. To […]

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nations and kings

Kings and Neighbors

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” —Matthew 2:1–2 Is it possible to pity and envy someone at the same time? He caught my eye at a […]

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rascism at a crossroads

4 Things We Can Do *Today* about Racism

“Racism is the most common sin in the world.”  -Rick Warren On my thirty-fifth birthday, I made the front page. “Good Samaritan injured in carjacking.” Accompanying the headline were two faces drawn by a police sketch artist based on my recall of the previous day’s attack. Two boys, late teens, Hispanic. One’s face broad; the other’s […]

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Tam Rim in summer

How to Stuff Your Pockets Full of Grace

This morning slaps me on the face in a good way, like the tingle of aftershave, like a whiff of minty-fresh clarity. Today the mountains aren’t airbrushed or the least bit soft-spoken. They’re drawn with a fine tip, straightforward. Crags and cliffs protrude distinctly from the winter-white slopes of the one we call Broken Top. Today’s invitation […]

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