Newsletters

Leaders one and all: June 2004

Moses' staff, flung onto the ground, became a writhing snake; the moment's flamboyant magic exposing a deeper message: Drop the authority you've been given and it becomes a hissing serpent.
Standing as we are, knee deep in a pit of vipers, it is easy enough to rail against the mess. More to the point would be to reach down and grab a slithering beast by the throat. Give it a shake and it will become a staff of authority in your hand. There is, as Mother Teresa said, always room at the bottom.

Called Saints: April 2004

A tattered pamphlet on how to convert Anglicans to the Roman church emerges from the heap. Books on Evangelicals going Orthodox perch on the shelves. Others tell about growing up in guilt and ritual and finally discovering Jesus through the Evangelical church, about fleeing worldly denominations that have lost sight of the Lord, or about escaping from social and doctrinal legalism into freedom. ExRomans, exEvangelicals, exFundamentalists, exPentacostalists, exWord/Faith, exAnglicans, exOrthodox... extra...extra...read all about it.

Lenten Slow: March 2004

Lent in Santa Cruz is ridiculous: Trees covered with pink, white and yellow blossoms. Multicolored flowers springing up everywhere. Soft languid air breezing through in the high 70's. It is nigh on impossible to feel solemnly repentant in the midst of such bounteous beauty.
We went up to the mountains last weekend. The weather was gorgeous there also; slushy for skiers but perfect for ambling about in tennis shoes on cleared roads, beholding rapturous mountains robed in brilliant white, sturdy rocks and whispering pines.

Marching thru: February 2004

Thursday afternoon. I am theoretically packaging Laura's books to ship to Berkeley. What I'm ACTUALLY doing is reading one of her books, GIRL MEETS GOD. It's a memoir of author Lauren Winner's reconciliation of her Jewish heritage and her relationship with Jesus ($13.95). What I SHOULD be doing is dealing-with-things; the things in question being the fallout from the drips.

Simple Songs: January 2004

We sang Christmas carols at The Word Shop party; people leaning on the doorjamb, sprawled on the floor or sitting around the table loaded with eclectic offerings. No printed words, no musical accompaniment; just folk calling out a title or bravely launching in--hoping someone would remember the words to the obscure third line. We sang first verses mostly, sometimes a second. "Away in the Manger" got three full verses. Energy opened to each other differently than when noses are buried in books or eyes are focused on a screen.

15 Years: October 2010

"Fifteen is a gloppy age," my family used to say, although when my sons reached that age I found them beautiful, full of ripening energy and eminently interesting. This month, The Word Shop passed our 15 year mark, an amazing accomplishment given the continual shakedown within the publishing industry. We have made it thus far due to the grace of God, the faithfulness of our staff, the generosity of our sponsors, donations from friends, and everyone of you who bought a book or two from us. Thank You.

Fractured: August 2010

Maybe there's something in the air that whispers, "Get the harvest in before winter comes." Maybe it's the back to school ads, compounded by years of gearing up for the new school year. Maybe it's the thick fog that covered our coast most of August, making me feel that I never had this summer which is now over. Whatever the reason, I've spent too many days overwhelmed by things to do, feeling attacked by details, being frozen by the multitude of possible actions, and wondering if it is even possible to successfully accomplish all the projects lined up in front of me.

Heartsong: January 2005

There is an altar, round which a few are gathered week by week; an altar made of driftwood burnished bright. I would love to sit within the branches, a small feathered thing; a baby owl nestled in the woven wood, tucked in safe with treasure held above; surrounded by song and His wondrous love.

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Love One Another: February 2005

Helping each other is the axis on which the world turns; both the satisfactory exchange of goods and services, (which can get muddled enough, God knows) and the freely offered aid to someone in need. In this time when terms like "self-sacrifice" are bandied about, the question arises, "To what extent am I supposed to sacrifice my time/money/self on the altar of someone's sin and selfishness?"

Powerless: March 2005

Some years ago I sat stuck in a parking lot, immobilized by the turbulence within. Trying get a handle on the swirling abyss, I sought a word, a name for the feelings. What came to mind was "powerless." I had been wounded at depths I barely knew existed, had lost the treasure wherein I had invested my heart, and there was nothing I could do about it. I felt utterly powerless.

Freedom: April 2005

Held as we are by the cords of our sin, it is a great mercy to find not only forgiveness, but a loosening of the bonds, a freeing from the cycle of degradation--from continually finding ourselves doing again what we know is not good.

This active forgiveness is more than, "there, there, it's all right, nobody is perfect;" more than the sentiment which is often served up by well meaning friends. Instead, true forgiveness is the power of the resurrection blasting through the wages of sin, creating an entirely new reality.