A Book…

Sacred Questions

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 6. I used to tell people that when I grew up, I’d have 12 kids, live on Cape Cod, and be a writer. Turns out, only one of those things was true, but really it is the most important one! I’m a writer. And, I’ve been a writer for a long time. Now, though, I also have a book! It comes out on November 6th and I couldn’t be more excited. The title? Sacred Questions: A Transformative Journey Through the Bible. You can read more about it (and pre-order it) on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

The back cover describes it best, so I’ll share that with you!

Sacred Questions invites you into a daily dialogue with God through Scripture. Step in for 20 minutes each day, and say yes to Jesus’ invitation to bring him your weariness, your burnout, your broken heart, your triumphs, your questions, and your devastating mistakes. On this yearlong journey of transformation, 14 intentional sections will guide you into a holy space where God will uncover your deepest questions and respond. Come, draw closer to the one who loves you. You will discover more of who he is…and who you are. And you will learn to live every day with your heart and eyes lifted to Jesus, and your hands open to a waiting world.”

I’m really looking forward to sharing this book with you. It comes out of a deep place and the most transformative discipline (asking questions in God’s presence) of my life.

If you’re interested in being on my book launch team, you can do that by filling out this simple form.  Oh, and the form says more about what it means to be on a launch team (I didn’t know either!).



An Evening Prayer

That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may depart this life in your faith and fear,
and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit in
the communion of all your saints,
entrusting one another and all our life to Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.

–from the Book of Common Prayer

A Sacred Space for the New Year


If you’re looking to open some sacred space to welcome 2017, I created this table liturgy as a way to reflect, celebrate, and pray with friends or family around the table. Give it a try, you’ll be amazed at the conversation and holy things that emerge. Use some of it or all of it! Enjoy!

[There’s a pdf of the liturgy at the bottom of the post for easier use!]

Welcome to the table. Holy things can happen when friends and family gather around the table for a meal. May this liturgy help create space for reflection on and thanksgiving for the experiences, losses, and blessings of 2016, and serve as a reminder of the hope we have in Christ, the redeemer and restorer of all things.

Gathering Prayer


We gather together on this eve of the year 2017 in the name of Jesus and in the holy and loving presence of our God who sustains and preserves our every breath. Together we remember God’s goodness and active redemption and restoration of us and of the world throughout history. May the Holy Spirit guide us as we pray.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.

ALL:   Our souls yearn for you in the night;
in the morning our spirits long for you, O God.


Blessed is the one
who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
Many, Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.

ALL:   Our souls yearn for you in the night;
in the morning our spirits long for you, O God.


Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
but my ears you have opened—
burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.
I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.”

ALL:   Our souls yearn for you in the night;
in the morning our spirits long for you, O God.

Do not withhold your mercy from us, Lord;
may your love and faithfulness always protect us.
For troubles without number surround us;
our sins have overtaken us, and we cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of our heads,
and our hearts fail within us.
Be pleased to save us, Lord;
come quickly, Lord, to help us.

[Psalm 40:1–8, Isaiah 26:9]

Prayers of Thanksgiving

LEADER:       God and Sustainer of all things, you have brought us in safety to the eve of a new year: we thank you for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and all whom you have made.

ALL:               We thank you, Lord.

LEADER:       We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, the beauty of this world, the wonder of life, and the mystery of love.

ALL:               We thank you, Lord.

LEADER:       We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care that surrounds us.

ALL:               We thank you, Lord.

LEADER:       We thank you for setting us at tasks that demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments that satisfy and delight us.

ALL:               We thank you, Lord.

LEADER:       We thank you also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.

ALL:               We thank you, Lord.

LEADER:       Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.

ALL:               We thank you, Lord. Amen.

Confession & Assurance

 LEADER:       Let’s take this time in silence, in God’s loving presence and in the presence of each other, to confess our sins against God and our neighbor. [Keep the silence for about one minute then read the below.]

Hear these words from the Apostle Paul:

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

– 2 Cor 5:16–21

ALL:               Amen.


Reflection & Celebration

Below are two questions to discuss together. After each person shares in response to the first question, feel free join together in thanksgiving and celebration. Then, after each person shares in response to the second question, feel free to lift up the voiced longings in prayer.

  • As you look back on the year 2016, what are ten things for which you are most grateful?
  • What are one or two things you long for as you look ahead to 2017?

Prayers for the World

Invite each person around your table or gathering to select one of the prayers for the world to pray so that, to the extent desired, each person has a turn reading.


For Peace

O God, the Prince of Peace, guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth, and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that they may become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

ALL:   Amen.


For Our Enemies

O God of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

ALL:   Amen.


For This Time of Division and Conflict

O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

ALL:   Amen.


For the Poor & the Sick

O God, we remember before you all poor and neglected persons who it would be easy for us to forget: the homeless and the destitute, the old and the sick, and all who have none to care for them. Help us to heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow into joy. Grant this, Father, for the love of your Son, who for our sake became poor, Jesus Christ our Lord.

ALL:   Amen.

For the Oppressed

O God, look with mercy upon the people in this world who live with injustice, terror, war, disease, and death as their constant companions. Have mercy upon all of us. Help us to eliminate our cruelty and apathy to these our neighbors. Strengthen those who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law and equal opportunities for all. And grant that every one of us may enjoy a fair portion of the riches of this world; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

ALL:   Amen.


For the Church

O God, we pray for your holy Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in any thing it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior.

ALL:   Amen. 

Closing Prayer

LEADER:       Let’s join our voices and hearts together in this closing prayer, committing ourselves to love God and our neighbors in this coming year.

ALL:               God of the heavens and of the earth, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray that you guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit in this coming year, that in all the cares and occupations of our lives we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your presence, ever living in your grace, and ever holding out your love to our neighbors; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


[The prayers of thanksgiving, the prayers for the world, and the closing prayer have been drawn in whole or in part from The Book of Common Prayer.]

*Created by Kellye Fabian

PDF Version: a-new-years-eve-table-liturgy



[I’m sure no real poet would call this a poem, but I suppose that is part of the point…]

I’ve done some bad things. Words have
Spilled out both with and without intent to harm.
It’s true, though I try not to dwell on it.
I wish I’d kept my mind and body pure,
Sure, but I look back now and see, well,
I didn’t and didn’t want to.

There must be some people who live upright lives, never riding the
Bumper of a senior-citizen driver, stealing stuff, wishing harm, drowning
In resentment and bitterness, or secretly hating
This or that group of image-bearers.
Maybe you’re one of them, but I don’t know, I guess I wonder
about all of us, just a little, based on experience.

You know how we love more by giving money than serving our neighbors?
And it’s not that systems aren’t broken, but if we’re
Speaking plainly here, sometimes we like working on them
To the exclusion of all things. Because so much of the time
we’re driven not by love—not really—but by habits, fear, and a desire
To feel safe and right even though we know it’s not safe
And it’s possible, although doubtful, we’re not always 100% right.

We say mean things on Facebook (especially in the comments)
because we’re frustrated and believe humans should be getting
Better. ‘Course we know from Facebook and Twitter
That for sure they are not. Still we just can’t figure
Out why everyone else is so wrong especially when
We’ve demonstrated so clearly how right we are.
Well, maybe next year.

I don’t know, our souls don’t really
Glorify the Lord or rejoice other than once or twice
A year, maybe. And far from being humble, we are strivers,
wanting top-spot. We try, especially around January 1st,
A new year, a new attitude and resolutions, but
When so much has gone wrong by February,
We just wear down and stop altogether.

I guess what I’m saying is that we really need
Christmas. And I don’t mean the lights and garland
and family cheer and eggnog, but Christ Jesus,
the one who came though he knows all this about us.
It’s never so evident as it is when we’re talking
Politics and family history around the table, you know?
We really need Christmas, and the Resurrection, for that matter.


Two Poems for the Waiting


Let Us Be Poor Again

We are overrun
by idols and pride and fear.

So let us be poor again.

Hollow us out to be filled
with your holiness.

Oh, let us be poor once more.

What We’ve Forgotten

“Again He will come,”
we tell all who will listen.
Our mouths are so sure.
Yet our hearts and hands forget.

By our words and deeds,
Who would know we are waiting?
Who would say our hope
Lies in this one yet to come?

Soften us, O Lord.
Soften us in this waiting.
So our love declares
He will return in glory.

We are waiting now.
Our hands reaching out to all.

Now Is the Time


I came across this beautiful blessing written by the late John O’Donohue in his book To Bless the Space Between Us. It seems apt for this time in our country. And his are not the only words that are apt—indeed, this is a time to listen to those who are hurting and oppressed because they are hurting and oppressed. Now is the time to open our ears and eyes and hearts. Now is the time to seek to understand and to risk our very selves for the sake of others. Now is the time to lay down our swords. May we be the ones—not who seek to be right—but who extend love.

For Love in a Time of Conflict

When the gentleness between you hardens
And you fall out of your belonging with each other,
May the depths you have reached hold you still.

When no true word can be said, or heard,
And you mirror each other in the script of hurt,
When even the silence has become raw and torn,
May you hear again an echo of your first music.

When the weave of affection starts to unravel
And anger begins to sear the ground between you,
Before this weather of grief invites
The black seed of bitterness to find root,
May your souls come to kiss.

Now is the time for one of you to be gracious,
To allow a kindness beyond thought and hurt,
Reach out with sure hands
To take the chalice of your love,
And carry it carefully through this echoless waste
Until this winter pilgrimage leads you
Toward the gateway to spring.

Now is the time for one of us to be gracious. May it be so.

The Truth About The Election…At Least For Me


There will be books written about this time in the United States’ history. I’m sure many are already being written. What does all this mean? Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Where does the truth lie? Do we even have the ability to know anymore? I can’t sort it all through.

The deepest truth I can find in this election and its accompanying atmospherics, for me at least, is the darkness it has revealed in my own heart. Some of what’s in me is a vague and ambiguous judgmentalism that I can’t even quite pinpoint. It just kind of sits heavily in me and operates seemingly without direction. It arises without my conscious permission. It has an unbridled willingness to draw dehumanizing, dismissive, and diminishing conclusions about both entire groups of people and individual human beings, while simultaneously excoriating those who do the same.

It is this that keeps me awake, this darkness in me. It feels like too much to bear. I have wondered (or, perhaps discovered?) if this—the darkness within my own heart—is the burden Jesus was referring to when he said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I have never quite thought it so until now. But given the tears that come to my eyes and the begging my heart begins to speak as I hear this invitation, this must indeed be what he meant. “Come to me and I will give you rest.” Yes, Lord, here I am.

Fear Is Our Oar Now


Fear is our oar now.
Thrown overboard is love.
And we are sinking.

The cracks spread below
The surface of the water.
Hate slowly fills us.

Sharks surround, waiting
To feast. We don’t lift our eyes.
“Fight for what you have!”

Love asks for too much,
I guess—to open our hearts
And loosen our grip.

We would rather be
Great instead of brought low and
Now we are sinking.

Some Questions I’m Asking


After the shootings in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Dallas this last week and the attack at the Istanbul airport the week before, my soul will not rest, my heart is moving toward despair, and my body actually hurts with the loss of life. I don’t have words, but I have a bunch of questions that I’ve been wrestling with as I’ve listened to the news, read various blog posts, and scanned through social media posts. Here they are:

What does it mean to live in our world today?

What does it mean to be white in the United States? How is the lens through which I see every victim and perpetrator impacting my heart and mind and response?

What does it mean to be black in the United States…and how do I know the answer to that?

Who do I need to sit with and listen to?

What authors do I need to read?

What are the things I want to be right about and why?

What statistics are right? Does it matter?

How am I benefiting from unjust systems, laws, practices, and presumptions?

What do I do with the despair I feel?

What topics, questions, conversations make me afraid? And why?

Who do I want to be wrong and why?

What are all the things that are making me so sad?

What ways of thinking or assumptions need to be renewed, challenged, questioned?

What history am I believing and has this caused me to be biased for or against certain people?

Who will be a light?

What lens am I seeing the world through?

What does love (and not being right, being respected, being loud, being defensive) look like right now?

What is my hope really in? Really.

Do you see us, Lord? Is your heart breaking?

What is mine to do?

How can I be on the side of redemption, restoration, and reconciliation?