spiritual practices

Too Busy to Learn

Yesterday, I had the great honor to launch a new learning academy in our annual conference — something we have been talking about for a long time, but for a variety of reasons couldn’t get launched earlier.  We are attempting a conference-wide, ongoing Leadership Learning Academy for clergy and laity […]

Muddled Maturity

Every once in a while I strike a chord — I have received emails daily about the past couple posts on “mature” Christian spirituality.  It seems everyone wants to use their own personal spiritual level as the definition of maturity — which is very normal and human.  If we could conceive […]

Prayerheads

I am deeply distressed by the state of prayer in The United Methodist Church – at least among pastors.  As I am visiting with clergy leaders, I am asking about their personal devotional lives, and far and wide I am finding that many have no personal devotional life.  I have […]

Fruititude

U.S. Christians are a lazy, passive, well-intentioned bunch.  I am not talking about the 11% who are engaged in some form of regular hands-on ministry.  I am speaking of the 89% who define “active” faith as attending church when convenient, showing up at an occasional potluck supper, buying the doo-dad-du […]

Spirituality KAMP

I received a wonderful email from one of my “kids” (a member of a youth group I led in 1978) who tracked me down and shared a humbling note.  Here is part of what she wrote: …over the past thirty-five years I have attended Presbyterian, Episcopal and Methodist churches, and […]

Spiritual or Spiritualistic

A few year’s ago I noticed an interesting trend.  As Christians reported giving less and less time to prayer, the sale of books about prayer increased dramatically.  For me, this is a simple illustration of a continuing dilemma — we are more interested in spirituality than we are in being […]

Vegetables of the Spirit

Growing up, fruit was often the core component of dessert after our meals.  My grandmother tended a wonderful orchard, full of luscious delights — crisp, sweet apples; juicy pears, plump cherries, amazing berries, grapes swelled to bursting.  We supplemented Midwestern fare with citrus fruits and bananas.  Fruit was a sweet […]