The Wise Man’s Confession: A Christmas Poem

What wisdom I have Awakens me to my blindness. I cannot see light itself: What I know of light Is only an alluring shadow Of what it is and does. From billions of years away in space-time, Through darkness intervening, At its inconceivable speed The light of an exploding star passes Through the dark seas [Read More…]

The Merchants of Light Are On Their Way

Even the darkest and shortest days have no dominion over the light that is growing longer and stronger. Joy to the world! It is time to lighten-up! [Read more…]

A Year in the Life: Top 10 Progressive Christian Posts of 2015

The year 2015 brought Patheos bloggers — and especially our passionate Progressive Christian bloggers — plenty to write and rant about, from discriminatory cake bakers to sexually-abusive fundamentalists to Olympic-winning transgenders. We pushed back on the notion of “Christian persecution” in America, grieved way too many mass shootings, and raged on behalf of way too many murdered black [Read More…]

Reflections on Advent: Music, Mindfulness, and Movement Week 3 — Real Love

5:00am text messages that read, “please call me, its urgent” are harbingers of unfortunate news, and this one, received on the second week of December was no different. After making the call and finding out the details the heaviness of it all began to sink in. A beloved lay leader in our church, who was [Read More…]

Poverty: Advent Has Its Own Gifts

An argument with the spouse: his small, innocent observation unleashes the ghost of a thousand arguments past, complete with its burden of chains. Marriage is like that sometimes: after two or three decades together, every fight recapitulates all fights. I hate feeling this way: poverty. The end of the semester. The beginning, and for that [Read More…]


The first mosque I visited had a bullet hole in the outside placed there a drive-by shooter while adults and children were inside having a prayer service. It reminded me of the bomb that killed four black children at a church in Alabama in 1963. We, as a nation, eventually found better ways to address [Read More…]

Reflections on Advent: Music, Mindfulness, and Movement, Week 2 — Embodying Peace

I had no idea what to expect. As my wife and I began the trek from Berkeley across the bay to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, I was curious and excited. The closer we got on our mass transit journey the more we were surrounded by people, a sense of excitement, and an unspoken [Read More…]

Jesus Loves Santa (I Saw Them Together at Macy’s)

I had a religious experience at Macy’s department store in New York City when I took my four year old son there to meet Santa. It was a Saturday morning. There were billions of us (I’m not exaggerating) standing between two yellow lines of tape on the floor which led to a far away door. [Read More…]

Befriending Silence: Discovering the Gifts of Cistercian Spirituality

What is monastic spirituality and what might it offer us and the world today? Author Carl McColman has written a beautiful new book that, while focusing on one particular order of monasticism, the Cistercians, reveals the very heart and soul of monastic life and practice. In doing so, he presents a radically counter-cultural expression of living in [Read More…]

National Public Radio for the Mind

At our Wednesday mindfulness meditation practice group here at the University of Southern California, which is part of our initiative, I start our sessions with a very short introduction to the practice, and end the 30 minutes of silence with a time for the students and staff who attend to share about how their [Read More…]

America, We’ve Got a Serious Problem: San Bernardino, the New Normal

I’m crying right now as I trying to write this. It’s happening again. Not a week after the horror of Colorado Springs we have another mass shooting. I can’t even begin to process this. It’s just one after the other after another.    As I write this there are reports coming out of San Bernardino [Read More…]

Reflections on Advent: Music, Mindfulness, and Movement

“I have found in my journey that music can play a powerful role in allowing me to clear my mind, still my breath, and find the space for new life to emerge. Over the next few weeks I invite you on this journey with me, to not only read and reflect, but to breathe and [Read More…]