Sparks column: Grinch to gratitude!

Columns share an author’s personal perspective.*****Merry Christmas, y’all! Okay, yeah, it’s the middle of the summer, and for many of us, it’s brutally hot. But as Kris Kringle said in “Miracle on 34th Street,” “Oh, Christmas isn’t just a day. It’s a frame of mind.” In fact, “Christmas in July” is actually a thing. We… … Read More


Sparks column: ‘Little House on the Pandemic’

Columns share an author’s personal perspective.*****When I hear the word “pioneer,” I think of Rosa Parks, John Glenn and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Whether on the frontiers of racial justice, space or the Midwestern plains, pioneers have always drawn our imagination and inspired our respect. It’s no wonder that Wilder’s book “Little House on the Prairie”… … Read More


Sparks column: All you need is love, a tiara and a cupcake

Columns share an author’s personal perspective.*****How do you hold on to hope in the midst of despair?To answer that question, you can read the seven trillion self-help books on Amazon, or you can spend hours listening to YouTube videos and Ted Talks. My preference, however, is to go the simple route. All you need is… … Read More


Sparks column: Let justice roll down . . . like a Harley on full throttle

Columns share an author’s personal perspective.*****I am an ordained minister and a Harley rider. For those of you who doubt the connection, consider the great hymn “Ride On! Ride On in Majesty.” Or 2 Kings 1:8, which describes the prophet Elijah as a biker: “He was a hairy man with a girdle of leather.”Sermons are… … Read More


Sparks column: Put on your mask … and smize!

Going to the grocery store these days makes me feel like I’m one of the astronaut characters in the movie “The Martian.” Just this morning, my husband and I made our once-every-two-weeks early morning trip to the Fairway Market on Second Avenue and 30th Street in New York City. Donning masks and rubber gloves, we… … Read More


Sparks column: ‘Bow your head and let us Zoom’

Next to toilet paper and hand sanitizer, Zoom is the hottest thing going. We Zoom with our kids. We Zoom with our grandkids. We Zoom with our work colleagues. But let me ask you something: What if we Zoomed with God? What would we see?The Bible doesn’t give us much help. The book of Matthew… … Read More


Sparks column: In the shelter of your wings

During this COVID-19 crisis, I’m drawing inspiration from an unexpected source. It isn’t quiet meditation, connecting with loved ones via Zoom or even large quantities of Lipton’s French onion soup dip with Ruffles (my go-to emotional balm). Nope. My greatest sense of calm is found – every day – at Dollywood. I’m not talking about… … Read More


Sparks column: Stop! In the name of love

Here’s my question: Why is it that some people are having such a hissy fit over social distancing? And why is it that some of those people are PASTORS? Why are they still holding church services? Why are they still encouraging people to hug each other? Most importantly, why are they still allowing people to… … Read More


Sparks column: Jesus and Dr. Seuss: A conversation on worry

Today we are talking about worry (I can’t imagine why … ), and for inspiration, I am using two of my favorite people: Jesus and Dr. Seuss. Jesus because … well, he’s Jesus. And Dr. Seuss because he is an unsung hero of wisdom. We tend to dismiss Dr. Seuss as a simple children’s writer… … Read More


Sparks column: Kindness is contagious, too

The Bible says to love your neighbor. Alternatively, some people on this earth apparently believe that the Bible says love your neighbor unless you are in a pandemic and shopping for groceries.Last week I saw this real-time in my local store. Tempers were hot, anxiety was high and people were just downright rude. There was… … Read More