What's Tony Thinking

For Thanksgiving: Give the Gift of Reading Aloud

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November 20, 2018 — There was a lovely reflection on the PBS Newshour last night about reading aloud and being read aloud to. Short, definitely worth watching. I read aloud to my grandchildren. A lot. Currently, seven-year-old Colin and I are reading a wonderful adventure story from the Scottish Isle of Skye, The Hill of the Red Fox.  Lila... Read More

At the Movies: Widows

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November 18, 2018 — Prompted by a most enthusiastic review in the Seattle Times, a more or less positive review in The New Yorker, and then an interview with the director on NPR’s The Newshour, we went to see Steve McQueen’s new movie, “Widows.” We had been impressed by his “Twelve Years a Slave” several years ago. After all that... Read More

Election Afterthoughts

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November 17, 2018 — The mid-term election has stretched out for days, even weeks, with some recounts still in process. So perhaps I’m not too late to offer a few comments. After the 2016 Presidential election two Biblical texts spoke to me, both from the prophet Amos. In Amos 8: 11, the prophet says that God will send a... Read More

Advent Meditations Coming

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November 15, 2018 — Next week, of course, is Thanksgiving. Early this year, on November 22. After that it’s full on for Christmas unless . . . You “keep Advent.” Advent is the four Sunday season before Christmas. So this year it begins on December 2 and ends on December 23. I’ve always thought that Advent offered a bit... Read More

Consumers All?

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November 13, 2018 — During a recent KUOW (Seattle-based NPR affiliate) fundraiser, one of the people asking for support said, “Think about it! How much KUOW programming do you consume each week?” It struck me as an odd choice of words. Why not just say, “How much KUOW programming do you listen to each week?” But we have been... Read More

About Death

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November 8, 2018 — My friend, Matt Fitzgerald, has an absolutely terrific article in the current issue of The Christian Century titled, “Shaping My Mind To Die.” (Probably behind a pay wall, but access to this and other articles is worth the modest on-line subscription cost.) Matt’s article was prompted by an app on his smartphone. That app is called WeCroak.... Read More

Your Crown Has Been Bought and Paid For

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November 6, 2018 — The best speech I heard on voting in the run up to these mid-terms came from Oprah Winfrey, as she stumped for Stacey Abrams’s gubernatorial candidacy in Georgia. Oprah talked about all the sacrifices that, in particular, African-Americans had made to gain the vote. Those stories are many. They are heroic and they are harrowing.... Read More

Notes of a Skeptic

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November 5, 2018 — While it is the eve of the mid-term election, I need a break from politics. So I’m writing about something else entirely. For my birthday, my daughter Laura gave me a book titled, The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery. The authors are Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. Laura and her colleagues at... Read More

An Absent God

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November 1, 2018 — Traveling about, I visit a variety of (mostly mainline Protestant) churches. I hear the clergy — we clergy — say often (as if repetition would make it so), “God loves you.” And again, “God loves you so much!” One more time: “God really, really loves you!“ I get why we say that. We believe that God... Read More

We Are the Elders Who Remain

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October 31, 2018 — In the days following the shootings at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, a friend passed on to us the following thoughtful piece from Marc Freedman. (The photo is one I took recently of an oak tree in the Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines.) “As the people in Pittsburgh begin to bury their loved... Read More