season’s readings

My youngest daughter reminded me that Christmas is exactly one month away, which means you still have time to order copies of my books for yourself or your loved ones. In fact, why not both?

I published my first book, Soil of the Divine, in 2017. It is a collection of 150 poems and prayers based upon the psalms. (Paperback = $8.99; Kindle = $3.99).

My second book, Living in the Larger Story: The Christian Psychology of Larry Crabb, came out in 2019. I was the editor of this wonderful volume published by the Gideon Institute for Christian Psychology and Counseling. In addition to the chapter I wrote with Bryan Maier, there are excellent chapters from experts in Christian Psychology. (Paperback = $12.95; Kindle = $9.49).

Books three and four came out together in 2020. Notes from the Upper Room: Lessons in Loving Like Jesus, and an available devotional filled with unique content, focused on Jesus’s last meal with his disciples discussed in John 13 to 17, which is often known as the Upper Room discourse. (Book: Paperback = $9.99; Kindle = $7.99 / Devotional: Paperback = $5.56; Kindle = $0.99).

One month ago, I released my most ambitious writing project, Letters to the Beloved, which I worked on for six years. In this devotional commentary, I wrote through the New Testament verse by verse as though God was telling me about it in letter form. (Paperback = $24.95; Kindle = $9.99).

Each of the books is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. However, a limited number of sets are also available directly from me, though I will order more if I run out.

Altogether, the five books are nearly $65.00 on Amazon, though if you order all five from me, I will sell them for $50.00 plus shipping and handling. If you are interested in some other combination of titles, reach out, and we’ll see what we can figure out.

Season’s Readings!

At First Light

From Soil of the Divine.

Birds at first light
tune their voices
offering melodious praise,
not one holding back.

They loudly welcome the dawn,
in awe of God’s handiwork.

“‘Tis just instinct,”
you say,
animal behavior.
Nothing more.”

But perhaps
they do not suppress
their instinct to worship
in the same way
that so many people do.

The meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
The valleys deck themselves with grain,
They shout and sing together for joy.
-Psalm 65:13

Be Still

From Soil of the Divine

When all around me is shaking,
and I can barely stand;
God remains unmoving,
He takes my hand in hand.

I often live in fear,
of what people think and say;
I grant them so much power,
o’er my thought life every day.

But God is in my midst,
unmoving Rock of power;
His love is never ceasing,
omnipotent tower.

The world around is raging,
my heart joins in the throng;
the Spirit whispers “be still, My son,
and I’ll right every wrong.”

Be still, and know that I am God.
-Psalm 46:10


From Soil of the Divine.

With sun cresting
orbed yellow
yet casting
polychromatic palate,
I greet the morning,
“I will awake the dawn.”

Day by day
I am resurrected
brought again to life,
fresh mercies with each new day.

May my heart be steadfast
hour by hour
breath by breath
song by song.

I will awake the dawn! -Psalm 108:2


If you have never heard of jólabókaflóð, the tradition began in Iceland during World War II when paper was one of the few things that was inexpensive. During the final weeks of the year, book publishers would put out a flood of new titles at the closing of the year, thus “yule book flood.” In 2015, one of the founders of “World Book Day” was enamored by the idea of jólabókaflóð and, thanks to social media, the idea has been gaining traction ever since.

As a committed (and potentially pathologic) bibliophile, when I first heard of the tradition of jólabókaflóð, my immediate response was “Ooh, a reason to give away books!” I have always loved to give books to family and friends, but this year, I wanted to extend the flood to you, dear reader.

Today and tomorrow, I have made the Kindle version of my book, Soil of the Divine, available for free on Amazon. You can find it by clicking here. Although it is not the paper version, which in my opinion is always preferred, I do hope that you are blessed by it and that, above all, you have a most blessed Christmas.

(N.B. if you click “Read for Free”, you will be pushed in to “Kindle Unlimited.” Instead click “buy now,” unless you really want to use KU.)

Condensed Infinity

Reflection on Psalm 113 from Soil of the Divine

Who can fathom the Lord’s transcendence?

Could billions of galaxies
or even the whole universe
even begin to contain Him?

Could the combined wisdom of time
even begin to categorize Him?

It is impossible
to even begin
to grasp the Infinite.

Yet He looks down,
far down.
Transcendence transcending
infinite space to attend
to the finite and fragile
by becoming the most fragile
tiny babe born
to teen mother
in a stable of wood.

The intermingling
of transcendence
and immanence
is unfathomable.
Yet in that vulnerable infant–
seven pounds
and fully dependent–

God condensed infinity.


From my book, Soil of the Divine

In God’s hand
is a chalice
full with wine
dark red
nearly black
and foaming
flavored with His wrath
poured for the wicked.

In the garden, late
dark skies, nearly black,
Jesus wept
and pleaded
with his Father,
“Let this cup pass,
there must be another way
to appease Your wrath
but if not
let me drink
to the dregs.”

And he drank it all.

He has mixed for us
a new wine
sparkling white
and sweet.
and peace
its bouquet.

Christ saved
his best wine,
the cup of forgiveness,
for his bride.

For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup
With foaming wine, well mixed,
And He pours out from it,
and all the wicked of the earth
Shall drain it down to the dregs.
-Psalm 75:8

Judah’s Lion

The Lion of Judah,
walks the earth;
He began in a stable,
the humblest birth.

Now splendor and majesty,
He wears as His mane;
Our glorious King,
His death is our gain.

Strength and beauty,
reflect all His ways;
“of course He is good,
but He is not safe.”

We tremble in worship,
awed at His splendor;
forgetting ourselves,
in reverent surrender.

The seas roar aloud,
the fields do cheer;
all creation rejoices,
when Aslan is near.

Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Psalm 96:6

Mercy’s Stream

From my recent book, Soil of the Divine:

I lay my sin-stained soul
before the Lord,
battered and bruised
by my own foolishness
and rebellion.

My sacrifice is not
a lamb without blemish,
but myself
whose stains
are ground in deeply,
yet I keep playing in the mud.

I bring my filth
to the foot of the cross
and my trembling lips whisper

My Christ picks me up
and carries me to the river of grace
whose effervescent waters
mingle with my Savior’s blood,
restoring purity
and wholeness.

Tomorrow, I will need
to bathe again
in mercy’s stream.

Purge me with hyssop
and I shall be clean;
wash me,
and I shall be
whiter than snow. -Psalm 51:7