Jesus the Gucci Guy—Mark 11:9
—Release Date 09/29/09
Does Jesus live up to the name of his father? Like Joshua Bell in the DC metro, he comes at first without name, without sign or entourage. He simply comes bearing gifts. Read article.
Sound & Silence: Thoughts From Esther
—Release Date 05/19/09
Silence from one party often invites a new kind of participation from another party. So, what do we make of God's silence? Read talk.
Circles of Ruth: Emptiness to Fullness
—Release Date 03/24/09
Can we let our circles of loss or difficulty, our round barriers, stay open on top so they might become cups? To receive or dip into God's blessings? What if we don't feel ready for that? Read talk.
The Stone on My Dryer: Musings on Romans 14-16
—Release Date 01/20/09
I was not supposed to take my stone home. I was supposed to put it in a pile at the front of the church. Maybe that's okay, since it's sitting on my dryer now, helping me live out Romans 14-16, helping me tell stories, assisting me in Paul's charge to live in harmony. Read talk.
Trip to Merciful
—Release Date 10/14/08
Should we judge others? Paul says yes and Paul says no. So what's the catch? Maybe we need to first understand the biblical concept of "judge". And maybe we also need to take a trip to merciful, before we speak. Read talk.
Stone upon Stone
—Release Date 05/28/08
Dealing with sin is never simple and rarely painless. We need to keep building our lives nonetheless, by praying through and past our sins. Read talk.
As Kingfishers Catch Fire
—Release Date 04/15/08
Ourselves. A look at some verbs in Isaiah explores the thought that we should embrace our unique selves but not be held prisoner to these selves. Along the way, a Hopkins poem provides one perspective on this search for balance. Read talk.
A Recorder, A Drawer and Kalashnikovs: Revisiting Grace
—Release Date 01/22/08
Vengeance. We all have an inborne sense of it. When we experience a wrong, we want to set it right. Even if it sometimes means an eye for eye. Many people accept this dynamic, until it comes to the question of vengeance and God. Recently I got in a discussion with a non-Christian friend, which essentially comes down to the issue of whether God has the right to pursue vengeance. Whether God has the right to whack us over the head so-to-speak, with his plastic recorder, in exchange for our meanness; or whether he should be able to empty our dresser drawers, or even take our lives with his Kalashnikov because we've betrayed him... Read talk.
—Release Date 11/13/07
If you lived a childhood you'd rather forget, the way I did, then maybe you never want to be a child again. Not even in spirit. And you do everything in your power not to be vulnerable, in any situation. But God, God wants you as his child. Read talk.
—Release Date 06/05/07
Adele Calhoun reminds us, "Everyone has tasted the power of words spoken in deep love and deep hate. We know that long after a speaker is dead and gone, their blessings and curses remain." If I want to bless someone with my words, what should I say? Is it simply a matter of finding encouraging words? A look at Jesus' Beatitudes provides some clues... Read talk.
A Walk in the Park: Psalm 139
—Release Date 03/20/07
How did a week among palm trees, a visit to an orangequat grove, and a delayed flight out of Miami come together to unpack the comfort and call of Psalm 139? It was as simple as a walk in the park. Read talk.
The Donkey, the Horse & Old MacDonald
—Release Date 01/09/07
Worship is often associated with rituals or spiritual events or places. We talk about our "house of worship," our "worship service," our "worship leaders," and our "worship songs." But Jesus' life, and some of the prophecies that looked forward to his life, suggest worship may involve getting off our high horses... and onto our donkeys. Does God really want this? What might it mean? Read talk.
Do You Love Me, Do You Care?
—Release Date 10/24/06
Nobody takes issue with compassion, right? In an October 1, 2006, blog post, businessman Shel Israel made us think again. Maybe people do have their issues with compassion, and maybe these issues influence our entire understanding of God and our experience as believers. Read talk.
Of Sex and Shepherds
—Release Date 05/02/06
Sensuality, sex, and its companions have classically been something the church reacts to. We Christians find it easy to indict the surrounding culture, from its belly-baring fashions to its back-room rendezvous. Often, we communicate that sensuality is by its very nature dangerous, suspect, something to steer around. Unfortunately, this approach seems more reactionary than visionary, more "watch out" than "what's the real deal". To go beyond reaction and move towards shaping, we might look both ways.
How can I tumble into Song of Songs and grapple with both its bright and dark images of sensual love? Read talk
Come to the Table
—Release Date 03/14/06
King David was passionate about God's Word. And, no wonder. It promises more than the greatest "how to" book. Yet, many modern people struggle to read and understand the bible. What's the key to bible-reading success? How can I transform my relationship to scripture? Read talk
Into the Blue
—Release Date 01/04/06
We live in a world where the tempter still whispers, the usurper-king still promises, the false light bearer still deceives. So, we find ourselves asking, "how can we know the true way, Jesus, if you're not here dipping bread with us?" The answer of Jesus echoes into our present lives, "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth." How does this Spirit come, and what does he really do, and how can I learn to hear the Spirit? Read talk
—Release Date 12/06/05
In many hard passages of the bible, we observe that God lets people reap what they sow. Why does he allow, even assist this reaping? What good could possibly come of it? Do I have a clear sense of the potential value of a "reap what you sow" reality? "The Rescue" offers me food for thought. Read talk
—Release Date 10/18/05
In wisdom, by the works of his "hands", God created the heavens and the earth. And, through the Spirit of Wisdom, by the works of their hands, escaped Hebrew slaves created a magnificent tabernacle in the desert. What should I weave through the works of my hands? Read talk
—Release Date 05/03/05
A little-known follower of Christ seems to understand the ancient Jewish festival of Sukkot-a festival which pairs joy with change, hospitality with loss of security. This Christ follower also understands her gifts and uses them, despite the challenges of the day. If I feel so "none of the above" compared to this ancient Christian, can God still use me? This lightly amusing talk tells me how and why he can. Read talk
2 Kings 4:1-7
The Unlikely Gift
—Release Date 03/08/05
A widow in great distress receives an unlikely gift when God works a miracle using the ordinary stuff of her life. What unlikely gifts has God given me? Recognizing them can give me new hope and purpose. Read talk
Colossians 3: 5-11
Catch Us the Little Foxes
—Release Date 11/16/04
The God of the Harvest fills the hungry with good things. What kind of harvest is my life bringing forth? If my harvest is being compromised by "little foxes", maybe it's time to meet my garden foes. Read talk
Gethsemane: Garden of Love's Triumph
Gethsemane was the moment Jesus left the hopeless streets of Kabul, so to speak, and took on the burqa of its condemned. He stepped into the stoning hole in our place. What can I learn from His great vision and resolve? Read talk
"L.L. Barkat explores the regions of your hidden heart by the Spirit's guiding revelation, with her insights that bring forth truth and life like few can probe it. This is a gift we need to drink of; I say this as a man of over 65 years, with 32 years as a thirsty Christian."
— Robert Silvera, Christian Financial Advisor & Budget Counselor, TN
"Listening to you was like listening to our poet laureate."
— Janet K. Bloom, WTW Ministry Participant, NY
"If you're looking for a fresh, relevant look at the message of scripture, you'll not be disappointed by the writings of L.L. Barkat. I find much energy and passion in her work and an "iron-sharpening-iron" experience that refines my walk with God."
— Karen Sergey, Christian Ministry Assistant Events Coordinator, CO
"Some people make a point and back it up with scripture; others quote scripture, then make a point. Laura has the unique gift of painting vivid pictures by literally "speaking" scripture as she goes along. You've simply got to read her work to know what I mean and to experience, as I have, a new sense of how wise, awesome, and loving God shows himself to be not only in His great Sacrifice but also in the smallest phrases of His word."
— Tami Fiore, Homeschool Teacher, NY
Laura Barkat's inspirational writings offer more than the same tired interpretations of Scripture we often hear. They bring a beauty and freshness that spring from her Spirit-guided reflections on the broad message of Scripture.
— David Dunkerton, Pastor, Community Bible Church, NY