Wendy’s Blog

On the Road: The Psalms of Ascent

Psalms 120-134 make up the Psalms of Ascent, a collection of songs for the journey from where life is messed up and hard to where it reflects God’s intended blessing for his people.

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The Book of Daniel

One Small Foot and Two Little Horns

One Small Foot and Two Little Horns

The dermatologist recently took a sharp (but sterile) instrument to my foot and then ordered me to elevate it as much as possible and not to exercise for two weeks. These haven’t been hard orders to follow since not even sandals are comfortable when you have stitches...

Where Worlds Meet

We’re still in Daniel 7  (“How long, O Lord?”), but today I interrupt that train of thought for a quick look into Daniel 10, where I’ve been living of late in commentary writing. Daniel 10-12 is a really long, really difficult section that begins with a tantalizing...

Ancient Artifacts, Apocalypses, and the Ancient of Days

Pictures this past week of ISIS taking sledge hammers and power tools to ancient artifacts like the magnificent winged-lion here made my heart hurt. Then this weekend I finally got around to reading a sobering article about ISIS ideology, a system rooted in the belief...

Introducing the Little Known–but, oh, so important!–Divine Council

The greatest barrier to Christianity for Jews is the claim that Jesus is God. Worshiping more than one god got them into a lot of trouble in the Old Testament, so, understandably, they aren’t interested in entertaining the blasphemy that Jesus’ divinity appears to...

Dipping a Toe in the Dismal Swamp

We're months away from Daniel 9 in this blog (okay, maybe even years, given the pace...), and you can be grateful for that. Trust me. One commentator has famously called the last part of Daniel 9 (Daniel's "Seventy Weeks") the "Dismal Swamp of O.T. criticism." He...

A Lion, a Leopard, a Bear, and Oh My!

Poor Daniel has been languishing in his beastly vision for more than a month while I’ve been doing whatever it is I do instead of blogging…Where does the time go? And more importantly, where were we…? Ah, right. The churning great sea. The “Great Sea” is a common Old...

How to Read the Bible

Look Who’s Talkin’

One of the unusual features of the story of Belshazzar and the handwriting on the wall (Dan 5) is the amount of space it devotes to people talking. There are three unusually long speeches by three different characters. The first is by the queen (vv. 11-12), who is...

Men of Few Words

The heroes of the fiery furnace story are Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, but they are quiet heroes, speaking a mere forty-one (Hebrew) words in a single speech (vv. 16–18). The Chaldeans and the king are regular chatterboxes by comparison. The Jews are also...

Sticks & Stones & Unburned Bones

“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” is nowhere in the mind of the storyteller of Daniel 3. He fully intends to mock Nebuchadnezzar, and he does so through his use of repetition. But why is he picking on poor old King Nebuchadnezzar? Is he...

Let the Music Play

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego step onto a stage that is set for them in Daniel 3:1–7. It’s a stage replete with pomp and ceremony and, I suggest, a fair bit of mockery. The king has orchestrated a grand occasion. You can tell it’s grand because everyone who’s anyone...

Pete & Repeat…

I grew up a dog person, which might explain why I didn’t meet the book Millions of Cats until I took a children’s literature class in college. I don’t remember the plot (except that it involved lots of cats), but I can still recite half the book to you – every other...

The Heart of the Matter

February is supposed to be all about hearts and stuff – which, as a very single person, I take very little interest in (unless it translates into chocolate gifts on my desk). But in the spirit of the season, I can talk about hearts and stuff, but only on my terms: the...

Wayside Stops

“I want to go home.”

“I want to go home.”

As I stared into the porcelain bowl of a hotel bathroom on Sunday night, I wanted two things. First, to stop puking, and second, to go home—in that order. A stomach bug when you’re an airplane trip away from home is magnified misery. Think TSA, crowds, and carry-on...

Minding the Melody of a Marriage

Minding the Melody of a Marriage

It was Christmas Eve, and we were spending the morning with my dad, who passes most of the day in his recliner—napping or staring out the window. I looked around for things I thought might interest him, a challenging exercise since he seldom tells you. Questions are...

A Daisy in Winter

A Daisy in Winter

It’s a mild January afternoon in Minnesota, but no one here is fooled. Daffodils and daisies, some of the earliest and cheeriest signs of spring, are months away. Plenty of subzero temperatures, sheets of ice, and piles of snow lay between here and that most wonderful...

Under Construction

Under Construction

A troupe of builders was in and out of our house for much of this past fall. In the theater of our basement, they performed for a seven-week run—hammers, saws, and drills banging, humming, and buzzing in dissonant harmony, while a variety of radio stations blared out...

Of Gravestones and Obituaries

Of Gravestones and Obituaries

Several years ago I took my parents on an expedition, at their request, to the cemetery where they will someday be buried. We stopped at the main building, found a map indicating the location of their plots, and drove to the site. I parked the car, and as they made...

A Little Red “R”

A Little Red “R”

The face value of my dad’s gift was only one dollar and thirty-nine cents, hardly a fortune and barely even a gift. But it was a treasure from the man I have loved all my life to the man I will love for the rest of my life. The recipient of the one-dollar coin and the...