JONATHAN C DOW

Look for the Beauty

At my precious mom's funeral, one of my brothers eulogized her ability to always "look for the beauty." As he shared, memories of the hours I spent driving my mom through Maine, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee flooded my mind. Often she would point out patches of wildflowers, unique cloud formations, and patterns in sedimentary rock formations . . .

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August 01, 2020

It Wasn't Goodbye

a poem in memoriam

My extraordinary mother, Joyce Cole Dow, passed away on June 20, 2020. At her funeral, I was blessed to be able to share this poem inspired by many summer vacations in Maine spent at my grandmother’s cottage. This quaint retreat is nestled along the bank of a beautiful spring-fed lake. Behind the cottage is a steep, tree-covered . . .

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July 02, 2020

I'd Never Forget You - Never

I am blessed to have awesome siblings by blood and by marriage. Being the rebel who moved south 20 years ago, I missed out on the laborious tasks they all undertook as our mom transitioned from Pennsylvania to Maine, back to PA, then back to Maine, to now residing in a beautiful care facility on an oceanic waterway. Going through the . . .

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February 01, 2019

The Closure of No Closure

One recent Sunday, our pastor preached from Deuteronomy 34. Preparing us for impending pastoral change, he invited us to embrace the journey to the Promised Land knowing that God's unwavering faithfulness will carry us through the pervasive uncertainty of leadership transition. As he read the passage, my heart became snagged . . .

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July 07, 2018

Divine First Aid

A hymn, a promise, and an invitation

In his hymn, "Sweet Hour of Prayer," William W. Walford poetically testified, "In seasons of distress and grief, my soul has often found relief." I am mindful that for many of us, those "seasons of distress and grief" often come without warning. A middle-of-the-night phone call, a sudden health crisis, an unforeseen large expense, a . . .

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December 14, 2017

Grace to Grieve with Hope

Discovering God's Grace in the Midst of Loss

Not too long ago, I had the distinct privilege of being interviewed by the extraordinary Rev. John Arnold. Battling cancer and living beyond what he calls his "Expiration Date," John selflessly recorded conversations desiring to "encourage people going through the difficult experience of a terminal medical diagnosis or the loss of a loved . . .

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August 29, 2017

Go Ahead, 'Bother' the Teacher

A Not-So-Tongue-in-Cheek Invitation

“Don’t bother the teacher any longer.” That was the rebuke that derailed my focus from the sermon one recent Sunday morning. Abandoning the preacher's train of thought (sorry, pastor), I lingered in that Luke 8 passage, trying to understand the context for such a harsh statement.  

Jesus, returning to the shore . . .

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June 05, 2017

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