Friday, April 2, 2010

Holy Week at the Hospital: Reflection

Thy life on earth was grief, and thou art still
Constant unto it, making it to be
A point of honour now to grieve in me,
And in thy members suffer ill.
They who lament one cross,
Thou dying daily, praise thee to thy loss.

George Herbert
Sent from my iPod

Holy Week at the Hospital: Observation#2

Some doctors say stupid things.
I.e. "have you thought of taking a
sleeping pill?"
(Suggestion: look at the list of current meds
you are holding in your hand.)
"you need to trysome smile therapy!"
Code Silvery gray!

Sent from my iPod

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Holy Week at the Hospital: Observation#1

Code Red means fire. When it is called they close the room door.
Code Gray is "combative person".
They call that when they see me coming towards the nursing station.
Code Silver, on the other hand means "person with a weapon".
That may be next. Or perhaps "code silvery gray?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Good Man

When I first met my husband I noticed two things right away (well, in addition to the fact that he is 6’5”…) – he asked me a question and was interested in what I thought … and he picked up a fully packed dresser from a U Haul and set it up on a 4 foot loading dock. Impressive … a handy guy to have around!
Now, in a difficult time, Terry shines. He is a rock - steady, hard-working, reliable and consistently kind. He even brings me flowers. He is a good man.

Life is hard. I am so grateful that we can help each other through it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Book List

Here is my list of favorite books ... Happy Reading!

Good Books!
Compiled by Carolyn Culbertson
Especially recommended books
♥ Beloved books

Prayer and Prayers
♥Tileston, Mary. Great Souls at Prayer (only available in the large print edition currently – sometimes you can find an old one, a small volume which is a lovely find, as long as you are not bidding against me on ebay! The entire text can be found at This book has been teaching me to pray God-centered prayers for the past decade.

The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions by Arthur G. Bennett

♥Prayer. Hans Urs von Balthasar. Not an easy read! But whatever you do get from it is very rich and Christ focused. Von B. was a Catholic theologian of the 20th century, influenced Joseph Ratsinger (now Pope Benedict.)

Phyllis Tickle, The Divine Hours This is a “daily office” of prayers and readings following the Book of Common Prayer. Especially helpful for those times when you have trouble praying your own prayers.

Spiritual Direction

Tom Ashbrook, Mansions of the Heart: Exploring the Seven Stages of Spiritual Growth. Very helpful and readable introduction to the wisdom of Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle. Recommended for those who want a greater understanding of growing in the love of God.

Anita Ahlberg, Handbook of Spiritual Disciplines, A thorough introduction to spiritual disciplines with practical application suggestions.

Ruth Barton, Sacred Rhythms, Solitude and Silence. A good introduction to spiritual practices.

J.I. Packer, Guard Us, Guide Us. (This is a new book by one of the most trusted theologians of our time)

Janet O. Hagberg and Robert A. Guelich, The Critical Journey: Stages in the Life of Faith

M. Craig Barnes, When God Interrupts: Finding New Life Through Unwanted Change, (IVP)

David Benner, The Gift of Being Yourself. (Very helpful exploration of the need for the “double knowledge, i.e. knowing yourself and knowing God.)

______ , Invitation to Love

_______ , Spiritual Companions (on spiritual direction).

Francois Fenelon Spiritual Letters to Women. Fenelon was a 17th century archbishop.

Gerald Sittser, A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss, (Zondervan). Dr. Sittser is a professor at Whitworth College, who lost his mother, wife and child in an accident. This is the one book I have given to people who are the midst of loss and grief. It is sensitive, honest and yet hopeful.

Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy: Discovering Our Hidden Life in God,
________ The Spirit of the Disciplines
________Hearing God.

Gordon Smith, Courage and Calling: Embracing Your God-Given Potential (my favorite book on vocation, work and life’s direction)
♥___________, Listening to God in Times of Choice. (The best on discernment and decision making.)
♥___________, The Voice of Jesus: Discernment, Prayer and the Witness of the Spirit (IVP) (includes some of the same material from Listening to God, more comprehensive.)
____________, On the Way (An excellent introduction to basic spiritual disciplines – not just for beginners
___________, Alone with God (Regent Publishing) a guide to a day of prayer.
__________, Beginning Well (about conversion)

Buchanan, Mark, The Rest of God. Mark is a pastor in British Columbia, a good writer, very engaging, easy to read. This one is about Sabbath and rest.
Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in 10.000 Places, (The first of a 5 book series on spiritual theology – these will be classics.)
____________, Eat this Book
___________, The Jesus Way,
___________, Tell it Slant
___________, Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity,
___________, Under the Unpredictable Plant,
___________, Subversive Spirituality,
___________, The Wisdom of Each Other,
__________, Take and Read (an annotated reading list of Christian classics). (Peterson has greatly influenced me in the area of spirituality and ministry.)
Dawn, Marva, Keeping the Sabbath Wholly (Dr. Dawn is an excellent and practical theologian and all of her books are worth reading.)

Keith Anderson and Randy Reese, Spiritual Mentoring: A Guide for Seeking and Giving Direction

Margaret Silf, The Inner Compass: An Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality

Brad Jerzak, Can You Hear Me? On listening prayer… this was a stretch for me… but I learned and was challenged.


Paul Marshall, Heaven is Not My Home: Living in the Now of God’s Creation.

John Stackhouse, Can God Be Trusted?: Faith and the Challenge of Evil, (Oxford University Press). The best book on the question I have read- it deals with the question from a theological viewpoint.
_____________, Humble Apologetics – a must read for apologetics in a pluralistic society.
_____________, Finally Feminist ( if you dare…)
_____________, Making the Best of It (on theology of culture)

Tom (N.T.) Wright, Mark for Everyone (N. T. Wright, a British theologian, also wrote, John for Everyone, etc. a series of new, very readable comment on books of the New Testament) I highly recommend this series as an aid to Bible reading. Expensive but worth it!
___________, Simply Christian (An engaging and well written introduction to Christianity.)
___________, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (His newest. Don’t miss it.)
___________, Evil And the Justice of God

Fee, Gordon, How to Read the Bible Book by Book, Excellent guide for reading through the Bible.

Evangelism and World Mission

Hunter, George III, The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West…Again.

Nabeel Jabbour, The Crescent Through the Eyes of the Cross: Insights from an Arab Christian. A must read!

Fiction and Theology
Frederick Buechner, Now and Then, Telling Secrets, The Gospel as Comedy, Tragedy and Fairy Tale – or anything by him. Such beautiful writing!
Wendell Berry, ♥Hannah Coulter
_______ A Place on Earth
_______Jayber Crow, (or anything by him… he is a novelist and essayist I have come to greatly appreciate. My favorite living novelist.)

George Elliot, Middlemarch ( a novel with great insights on vocation)
Shusako Endo, Silence

Matt Mikalatos, Imaginary Jesus


Gerald Sittser, Water From a Deep Well: Christian Spirituality from Early Martyrs to Modern Missionaries. An excellent and readable introduction to different aspects of spirituality through the years.


Eugene Peterson, Like Dew Your Youth: Growing Up With Your Teenager.

Christian Classics

Underhill, Evelyn, The Spiritual Life
________ Fruit of the Spirit,
________♥Concerning The Inner Life. Many of Underhill's works can be obtained from : Morehouse Publishing 800-877-0012)

C.S. Lewis – everything, but especially Miracles.

Augustine, Confessions

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, The Cost of Discipleship

J.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, Knowledge of the Holy

John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress. Everyone should read this, regularly.

The Poems of George Herbert

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sometimes it feels like this...

"O that thou should give dust a tongue
To cry to thee,
And then not hear it crying! all day long
My heart was in my knee,
But no hearing."

an excerpt from "Denial" by George Herbert (1593-1633)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Prayer for Today

Well actually, MYprayer for today is HELP! But this one, from Great Souls at Prayer, says it better...

Almighty God, The Refuge of all who are distressed,
Grant unto us that, in all trouble of this our mortal life,
we may flee to the knowledge
of Thy lovingkindness and tender mercy;
That so, sheltering ourselves therein,
the storms of life may pass over us,
and not shake the peace of God that is within us.
Whatsoever this life may bring us,
grant that it may never take from us
the full faith that Thou art our Father.
Grant us thy light,
that we may have life through Jesus Christ our Lord.