spiritual practices

Prayer Worriers

I haven’t been able to blog for a couple of weeks due to an unusually heavy work/travel load, and an unusually large response to a recent post.  Every once in a while I will write something that I believe is a “no-brainer” — it’s not overly profound or insightful, but […]

Be A Tree

There is this great old Peanuts cartoon.  Lucy is explaining to little brother Linus how the world works.  She takes him to a tree in the yard and shows him the falling leaves.  She explains that this is a normal occurence, one of those wondrous cycles of nature.  She says […]

Reality Check

The tragic results of this spirit (looking for quick and easy shortcuts in our faith) are all about us: shallow lives, hollow religious philosophies, the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings, the glorification of men, trust in religious externalities, quasi-religious fellowships, salesmanship methods, the mistaking of dynamic […]

Paradoxology

Is our faith a blessing or a burden?  Are the practices of prayer, worship, fasting, giving, serving and studying gifts or obligations?  The way a person answers these questions is very telling as to the role and value of faith in her or his life.  It is continuously fascinating to […]

Hyper-Adventillating

What, precisely, are we looking forward to?  We live in a culture of immediate gratification, and we already know how the story turns out.  We’ve been here dozens of times before — after all, it happens every year.  We have managed to layer cultural crust over the sacred celebration to […]

Why People Think We’re Crazy

There are times when Christians drive me absolutely nuts.  One way this happens is when I hear well-meaning and sincere Christians confuse faith and superstition, relying on prayer as a magical talisman or incantation.  I listened to a United Methodist colleague share recently that he no longer prays because it […]

When Teaching Became Task

I attended a session a few year’s ago at a Christian Educator’s Fellowship meeting where the leader talked about the importance of “good content, good topics, and good technique.”  She delivered a very compelling vision of the task of teaching — organized, exacting, and precise.  I went to another workshop […]