The “YES!” that Changed Everything: The Annunciation of the Lord

The Annunciation (detail), Fra Angelico, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

There are a few moments on which the history of the world swings like a hinge. People my age remember exactly where they were when the Twin Towers fell. For Christians the real hinge moments are long before our own lives: Jesus' death on the cross on Good Friday; his rising from the grave Easter Sunday; his birth thirty years or so earlier in Bethlehem. But consider one … [Read more...]

Lent 4: On Sex, and Being a Seaworthy Ship

A Ship in Stormy Seas, 1625, Cornelis Verbeeck, public domain

Like food, sexual activity is necessary for survival. But while food is needed for each individual, in the case of sex the need is for the species. Nobody, as they say, ever actually died of chastity. The understanding of many Christian centuries that chastity is actually better for you may seem at least foreign. In our society we equate sexuality with identity, often without … [Read more...]

Lent 3: Food as Food

Apple a day, Patrick McFall, used under cc license

Evagrius Ponticus (d. 399), the great Desert Father with whom I'm spending this Lent has a  has a way of pointing out obvious things that I’ve spent a very long time not noticing: biblically speaking, food has a long history of getting us into problems. Desire for food gave birth to disobedience and a sweet taste expelled from paradise.” You know, when you look at … [Read more...]

Lent 2: Lenten Fasting and My Potato Chip Problem

Closer! Marcelo Alves, cc license

Once upon a time, a marketing genius thought up a great slogan for Lay’s potato chips: Betcha can’t eat just one.” My waistline has testified to the truth of this for decades. They are right. I can’t. My conversation partner for Lent, the great Desert Father Evagrius Ponticus, had the same insight back in the fourth century: If you give yourself over to the desire … [Read more...]

My New Book! “Love Your Bible” is HERE!

LYB_3D

I am THRILLED to announce that my new book, Love Your Bible: Finding Your Way to the Presence of God with a 12th Century Monk is now available! Love Your Bible introduces 21st century readers to classic lectio divina--an approach to Scripture that has shaped the lives of disciples for well over a thousand years. Love Your Bible invites you to a life-giving engagement with … [Read more...]

Lent: Taking Stock with Evagrius Ponticus

Compass Study by Calsidyrose, under CC license

Lent is a season for self-examination. It is not mainly about feeling guilty. It is more like a chance to check the GPS (that might be “God Positioning System" if you like acronyms) and figure out exactly where you have come and where you still have to go. We often describe this life as a spiritual journey, with the goal of returning to God. “But,” you say, “If I … [Read more...]

Saint Scholastica: Role Model for Holy Assertiveness

Saint Scholastica Praying

Christians celebrate the memory of St. Scholastica today. She's remembered primarily for the moment captured in this painting from the monastery at Subiaco. She was the sister of St. Benedict (the "Father of Western Monasticism"). Both died a bit after 540. He was a monk. She was a nun. Rules prevented them from getting out much. They could meet only once … [Read more...]

Deep Church Rising: A Book Review

Deep Church Rising on Amazon

The twenty-first century churches have a problem. Maybe more than one. We also have more than a few people providing analyses and solutions. Deep Church Rising: The Third Schism and the Recovery of Christian Orthodoxy by Andrew G. Walker and Robin A. Parry (Cascade Books, 2014; $22.00) is a helpful corrective to the culture-bound, superficial diagnoses and … [Read more...]

Best of 2014

Epic Fireworks, by Dave Carter, cc license

Recently while I've barely posted at all, a bunch of new people have subscribed to my blog. Thank you! Partly to give new readers a window into what I've been doing here, and partly as a way to think about my own blogging, here are my ten most-read posts of 2014. They fall into four categories: Answers to timeLY questions As I see it, the posts that … [Read more...]

Join Me for My First Webinar! “A Prayer Life that Gives Life”

GH webinar

Thanks to the good folks at the Presbyterian Outlook I'll be doing my first webinar on February 17!  The title is "A Prayer Life that Gives Life: Renewing Faith and Ministry in Lent." (Get the details and sign up here.) Prayer is CRUCIAL Lent is a time to renew our connection to God. Prayer is crucial to deepening and growing that connection. Without a growing … [Read more...]

Join My Mini-Book-Launch Team!

Love Your Bible-KIndle

Get free stuff... Have some fun... Learn with me about the publishing process... And most importantly, Help my new book help God's people! I've been hinting about my new book for a while now. Very soon it is going to launch! I am really excited about this. The book is Love Your Bible: Finding Your Way to the Presence of God with a 12th Century Monk.  I need your help … [Read more...]