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Prayables Archives

Open Book: Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next Books

posted by Prayables

Imagine a world where Shakespeare is so revered, his plays are stilll staged to standing-room-only crowds…where books are so dear they are guarded by librarians with guns…and where time travel is as common as dodos (yep, theyre common, too)! Enter […]

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Open Book: Quotations from Richard Rohr

posted by Prayables

Are God’s rules less important than your relationship with Him?  Lori Strawn and Alice Shelton are calling this week “hodge podge”!  Author Franciscan Father Richard Rohr has written so many books that they couldn’t settle on just one for this […]

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Open Book: Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis

posted by Prayables

Spiritual and children’s book writer C.S. Lewis wasn’t always the faith-filled person he so brilliantly displayed in his works. In “Surprised by Joy,” Lewis tells the story of of his life, from his mother’s death to a series of soulless […]

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Open Book: Annunciation by Denise Levertov

posted by Prayables

How do you respond when an angel of God appears to you and asks you to be the vessel which brings God into humanness as a man? Join Alice Shelton and Lori Strawn as they discuss this remarkable work by […]

Open Book: Ash Wednesday by Marjorie Maddox

posted by Prayables

Most people know Ash Wednesday as the beginning of Lent, a time of preparation leading up to Easter Sunday. But what does it all mean? Why ashes? What does it say about the human condition? Join Lori Strawn and Alice […]

Open Book: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

posted by Prayables

Join Lori and Alice this week as they discuss the beloved novel “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo.  This week’s show is sure to leave you with many questions to think about!  Where is the soul?  Who created our conscience?  Were […]

Open Book: Disgraceland by Mary Karr

posted by Prayables

This week, we have a lively discussion of poet and author Mary Karr’s edgy poem “Disgraceland”. Topics are sure to include the role of doubt in spirituality, the human soul and the level of God’s activity in our salvation journey.  With […]

Open Book: “Part of Eve’s Discussion” by Marie Howe

posted by Prayables

It’s possible that you just now happen across poet Marie Howe! There is no way this poem can be read only once! Lori Strawn and Alice Shelton look forward to discussing what might have REALLY been happening in Eves head […]

Open Book: Thomas Merton’s “Seven Storey Mountain”

posted by Prayables

How does a man go from atheist to cloistered monk? What makes an ordinary person a saint? Lori and Alice discuss Thomas Merton’s best-selling biography of his spiritual journey, with reflections on suffering, human nature and lots more. If a […]

Open Book, “The Sense of an Ending” by Julian Barnes

posted by Prayables

Are we a product of the stories we create about our own lives? Do our memories change over time? Are we active participants in our own lives or do things just happen to us?  Join Lori and Alice’s discussion of […]

Open Book: Flannery O’Connor’s “Wise Blood”

posted by Prayables

What can a man who claims to believe in nothing tell us about faith? Why do people want religion spoon-fed to them? Lori Strawn and Alice Shelton tackle these and many other topics as they explore the dark world of […]

Open Book: In Flanders Field by John McCrae

posted by Prayables

In honor of veterans, Lori and Alice selected the well known and loved poem by John McCrae,  “In Flanders Field”. The imagery and structure of this work provide lots of opportunity for discussing and questioning! LISTEN NOW!

Open Book: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

posted by Prayables

It is easy to see God in nature — the beauty, the intricacy. Now consider: 10% of all the world’s species are parasitic insects. They live by causing death and sickness to other creatures. What kind of God resides in […]

Open Book: “The Ring Song” SMWC Class of 1962

posted by Prayables

Are places important in our relationship with God and others?  Can a place impact you so much that you carry it with you in your every day life? Lori Strawn and Alice Shelton share their thoughts as they discuss the […]

Open Book: e.e. Cummings

posted by Prayables

Most of us know the story of the Good Samaritan, but have you ever thought about what it takes to be that person? On today’s show, Lori Strawn and Alice Shelton contemplate and discuss e.e. Cummings’ trenchant poem “A Man […]

Open Book: The Beatitudes from the Gospel of St. Matthew

posted by Prayables

We all have our favorite places to hide and seek in the world’s most wonderful piece of literature – the Bible!  Today Lori Strawn and Alice Shelton share their thoughts and responses to the Beatitudes from the Gospel of St. […]

Open Book: Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “Pied Beauty”

posted by Prayables

“Glory be to God for dappled things”…so begins Hopkins’ sublime and thoughtful ode to the types of things most poets avoid — the imperfect, the strange, the ordinary. Where can we find God in those things about ourselves that we’d […]

Open Book: The Singer by Calvin Miller

posted by Prayables

What a lovely read Calvin Miller’s “classic retelling of a cosmic conflict” is on a cool fall evening!  Lori Strawn and Alice Shelton look forward to sharing some thoughts on this “Troubadour singing a love song to his Lord”.  We hope […]

Open Book: Thomas Merton’s “Life and Holiness”

posted by Prayables

How does a person become holy in our modern world? Thomas Merton, one of the Catholic Church’s greatest modern thinkers, has answers that might surprise you! Join Lori Strawn and Alice Shelton as they discuss holiness in married life, how […]

Open Book: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

posted by Prayables

Women in red.  Custody of the eyes. Public hangings. Angry mobs let loose to kick and pummel a guilty rapist. Sound like shades of “A Scarlet Letter”?   Join Lori Strawn and Alice Shelton this week on Open Book  as they discuss […]

Open Book: “To God the Father” by Katherine Mansfield

posted by Prayables

Where is God in our 21st century world? Why do we call on Him? And why do we insist on making Him so small? Lori Strawn and Alice Shelton tackle these questions and more as they try to plumb the […]

Open Book: The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

posted by Prayables

What makes you “real”?  Does it hurt?  Are you in charge of it or is it dependent on others?  What’s love got to do with it? Lori Strawn and Alice Shelton share their thoughts on this lovely children’s book!  [is […]

Open Book: George Herbert’s “Prayer”

posted by Prayables

How do you describe something that is essentially indescribable? George Herbert takes on the subject of “Prayer” in a poem full of incandescent images and startling metaphors. Join Lori Strawn and Alice Shelton as they react to the poem and […]

Open Book: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen

posted by Prayables

What does faith have to do with the holiday decorations in your lawn? Did you learn everything you needed to know about wisdom and knowledge in college? Can the devout faithful really drink wine and be considered “good”? And folks, […]

Open Book: “Walking to Canterbury” by Jerry Ellis

posted by Prayables

When author Jerry Ellis set off to follow in the footsteps of Chaucer’s famous pilgrims, he had no idea what lie ahead of him on the road to Canterbury: lessons in friendship, love, miracles and spirituality. Join Lori Strawn and […]

Open Book: Prayer from Archbishop Oscar Romero

posted by Prayables

What are we about in this life?  How do we grapple through the daily process of building the Kingdom of God when we may not see the work completed?  Should we even try?  Are you a worker bee or a […]

Open Book: Pearl by Mary Gordon

posted by Prayables

Why is it life that we want? A potentially simple question has dramatic repercussions in Mary Gordon’s novel of faith and forgiveness, “Pearl.” Join Lori Strawn and Alice Shelton as they discuss issues like forgiveness, the act of witnessing and […]

Open Book: A Prayer for Owen Meany By John Irving

posted by Prayables

Faith vs. intellectualism. Screamers vs. Silents. The world of faith is full of contradictions and questions. Owen Meany, protagonist of John Irving’s spririted novel, dares to ask the tough questions. Listen as Alice and Lori navigate the answers! LISTEN NOW!

Open Book: “The Trial of God” by Elie Wiesel

posted by Prayables

What would you do to handle all of the anger, rage, hurt and betrayal you feel if you lived through the Nazi death camps? Is there even a category for believing in God anymore? What has changed about God for […]

Open Book: Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

posted by Prayables

In “Manifesto,” poet and farmer Wendell Berry provides plenty of fodder for thought about environmentalism, free thinking and living a moral life in a consumerist world. Join Lori Strawn and Alice Shelton for their take on right relationships, losing ones […]

Open Book: Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”

posted by Prayables

Ever wondered what America would be like if you were one of the few who survived an apocalyptic event? Would you know who to trust? Who would take care of you? Would you still have faith in God? Would anyone […]

Open Book: C.S. Lewis “Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold”

posted by Prayables

C.S. Lewis takes the ancient myth of Cupid and Psyche and gives it a whole new message! Join Lori and Alice as they discuss God’s will for us and why it can often be difficult to discern. Here’s a couple […]

Open Book: John Donne’s Holy Sonnet #9

posted by Prayables

How can we be judged as sinful when we are what we were created to be? Is it a bad idea to be too assertive with God? Does mercy really come?  Join Lori and Alice today as they discuss the […]

Open Book: The Short Stories of Woody Allen

posted by Prayables

Despite what you might think of Woody Allen as a human being, his work is almost uniformly hilarious. Often, he deals with his struggles with religion, God, and spirituality in a playful way. But “many a true word is spoken […]

Open Book: The Prayer of Saint Francis

posted by Prayables

What an impact this diminutive friar born in 1821 in Assisi, Italy continues to have on our world!  When it comes to peace and living in right relationship, Lori and Alice agree that if he didn’t write the whole book, he […]

Open Book: “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

posted by Prayables

The title of this novel helps us know that even when life’s circumstances are difficult and limit our freedom to be ourselves, there is still something inside that helps us to find and use our voice.  Join Lori Strawn and […]

Open Book: “Life’s Journeys According to Mister Rogers”

posted by Prayables

Fred Rogers, beloved children’s TV host and Presbyterian minister, spent a lifetime expressing his philosophy of love, acceptance and neighborly care. This little book, subtitled “Things to Remember Along the Way,” offers plenty of spiritual nourishment to people of all […]

Open Book: Freedom by Charles Peguy

posted by Prayables

Free will. It’s a conundrum, isn’t it? Why were we endowed with it when it makes salvation more difficult? Explore God’s role in our everyday lives as Alice Shelton and Lori Strawn discuss the poem “Freedom” by author Charles Peguy. […]

Open Book: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

posted by Prayables

“The safest path to hell is the gradual one” writes Screwtape to his lesser-demon nephew Wormwood in this fascinating book by one of the great Christian writers.  Do you agree?  Does this make you nuts as you think about it?  […]

Open Book: Henri Nouwen’s “Bread for the Journey”

posted by Prayables

Living in the present.  Possibility or phewy?   Having just enough light for what is right ahead in your life.  Short-sighted or suprisingly wise? Lori and Alice discuss a snippet from Henri Nouwen’s day by day prayer and meditation guide  “Bread […]

Open Book: “Wicked” by Gregory Maguire

posted by Prayables

What is the nature of evil? Find out from someone who knows something about it, Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West! Join Lori and Alice as they question what makes someone evil and the effects of evil on the […]

Open Book: The Uses of Sorrow by Mary Oliver

posted by Prayables

It is hard to go through times of sorrow in life, but they are necessary and perhaps even important to our overall growth and well-being.  Join Lori Strawn and Alice Shelton as they discuss Mary Oliver’s short but jam-packed poem […]

Open Book: Before Women Had Wings by Connie May Fowler

posted by Prayables

Take a look at salvation through the eyes of Bird, an abused child, in Connie May Fowler’s “Before Women Had Wings.” Lori and Alice will discuss such topics as: the God of the Old Testament versus the God of the […]

Open Book: Sarah Orne Jewett’s “The Country of Old Firs”

posted by Prayables

Lori and Alice discuss the importance of simplicity in daily life as they share quotations from the lovely novel “The Country of Old Firs” by Sarah Orne Jewett set in nineteenth century Maine. LISTEN NOW!  

Open Book: Not Me – Michael Lavigne

posted by Prayables

Is any person capable of fully repenting after committing the ultimate evil? What shape does repentance take? And is it possible to forgive —and even love — those who have caused us the deepest pain? All these questions and more […]

Open Book: Why I Wake Early – Mary Oliver

posted by Prayables

If you have not yet picked up Mary Oliver’s book of poetry “Why I Wake Early”, we highly suggest that you consider it.  In this week’s show Lori and Alice spend time talking about transformation and change in her poem […]

Open Book: A Vocation and a Voice – Kate Chopin

posted by Prayables

What is it about nature that drives our spirituality? Can laziness be a good thing? What is Providence and how can we understand it in light of tragedy? Alice and Lori will cover all this and more as they delve […]

Open Book: “Life of the Beloved” by Henri Nouwen

posted by Prayables

What does our brokenness reveal about us? Are we really unique in our own suffering?  Lots to discuss today as Lori Strawn and Alice Shelton talk about  a paragraph from this complex and often-struggling author’s book “Life of the Beloved”. […]

Open Book: Letters to a Young Poet – Rainer Maria Rilke

posted by Prayables

Can advice imparted from one poet to another have resonance for the rest of us? Yes! Join Alice and Lori as they delve into Rainer Maria Rilke’s seminal “Letters to a Young Poet.” We’ll talk about faith, emotion, and self-doubt. […]

Open Book: Cutting for Stone -Abraham Verghese

posted by Prayables

Does the vocation you choose in life and the work that it brings you to do have any bearing on healing the woundedness in your life? Join Lori and Alice as they explore this question and several others in their discussion […]

Of Gods and Me – Xavier Beauvois

posted by Prayables

Join hosts Lori Strawn and Alice Shelton of “Open Book,” for smart God talk on Prayables radio this week as they discuss “Of Gods and Me” by Xavier Beauvois. This powerful story talks about living in true community, prayerfully discerning […]

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posted 6:24:14pm Mar. 27, 2014 | read full post »

You Can Have A Better Marriage
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posted 2:08:09pm Mar. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Living Life Outside the Box
Contributed by Susan Good, Visit Gramma Good at www.grammagood.com I believe in living my life outside the box. I know many women of all ages don’t feel as I do and live inside the box their entire lives. Life inside the box means ...

posted 5:03:30pm Mar. 07, 2014 | read full post »

Is There a Future for Religion?
Written By Susan Diamond, Publisher of Prayables, an online spiritual community for people of all faiths. Is There a Future for Religion? If I hear one more self-righteous matron bitch and moan about the religious morals of young people ...

posted 10:27:07pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Happy Life: 10 Tips & Observations from Gramma Good’s Mother
Contributed by Susan Good Visit Gramma Good at www.grammagood.com I call my mom at least once a day. Today we talked about buying a scrabble app for her computer. Ninety- two years old and my mother is going to play scrabble on her Mac! ...

posted 11:28:18am Feb. 11, 2014 | read full post »

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