Thrive: Love’s Bullhorn – Julie Pennington-Russell

There are certain sounds in this world that make listening a pure joy. I have my favorites: Garrison Keillor’s buttery voice on public radio; the pure brass tones of Aaron Copeland’s Fanfare for the Common Man… Some things are a delight to listen to. Then there’s John the Baptist.

Thrive: Love’s Detour – Julie Pennington-Russell

What would a Christmas pageant be without the three Wise Men? They’ve captured the imagination of songwriters, painters, and poets. James Taylor sang about them; Monty Python parodied them; Garrison Keillor brought them to Lake Wobegon; we celebrate them in Christmas carols and on greeting cards and with gazillion-watt front yard light displays.

Thrive: Love’s Eyes – Julie Pennington-Russell

Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to marry Mary. You’re darn right he’s afraid. For most of his life Joseph has pretty much lived with a carpenter’s saw in one hand and his rulebook, the Torah, in the other. And his rulebook tells him there’s only one way to see an unmarried, pregnant woman.

Thrive: Love’s Family Tree – Julie Pennington-Russell

Sometimes people decide they are going to read through the New Testament in order to grow spiritually, so they turn to Matthew because it is at the beginning of the New Testament and never make it past the first seventeen verses. This guy begat that guy, and whosit begat somebody else, and what’s-his-name fathered so-and-so.