One trait every Christian leader needs

St. John the Baptist

Line up Moses, King David, the Apostle Paul, and John the Baptist, and you will see leaders who had countless differing characteristics and personality traits. You’ll also find that they shared several in common, one being humility.Moses stood up to Pharaoh and led the Israelites out of slavery, yet the scriptures speak of Moses as being “very meek, more than all the people who were on the face of the earth.”David reigned over the unified kingdom and led his people to one victory after a … [Read more...]

Parenting as evangelism

Walking the beach

If you have kids, you know that discipline is inescapable. Without discipline they will talk with their mouths full, smart-talk their elders, punch their siblings, wear their underwear three days in a row, play in busy streets, tease animals, ignore their homework, and tell off-color jokes.At least that’s what I did.Because children can be so foolish (childish?), Dr. D. Ross Campbell says that many parents “conclude that discipline is the basic and primary way of treating a child.” I gave my … [Read more...]

Remember why we work

Remember why we work

They call it a “livelihood” or “making a living” for a reason. Mostly because of the money we earn, but also because of the energies we expend, the sacrifices we make, and the lessons we learn, we depend upon on our work for life. We also resent it sometimes, maybe a lot. (Just typing those words brings to mind the lyrics of David Allan Coe’s most popular song.)Resenting our work is the result of our forgetfulness, according to the Serbian priest and monk Thaddeus of Vitovnica. While speaking … [Read more...]

Passport to adoption

Passport to Adoption

On Monday I applied for my passport. I’ve traveled throughout the lower forty-eight, been to this place and that, but I’ve never gone abroad. I hope to go soon.Megan and I are planning on adopting from Uganda. We’re working on our paperwork now. There are letters and reports and statements and evaluations and more. We’re almost done. But it’s been a long road so far.We started looking at domestic adoption back in January. We jumped through those hoops and remain very grateful for the help o … [Read more...]

No progress without resistance

No Progress Without Resistance

"Lot of things can get in the way when you're tryin' to do what’s right." —Bob DylanNobody enjoys difficulty. No one likes opposition. No one appreciates pain. But they are necessary to progress. You can see it in business; competition and problem-solving drive innovation. You can see it in history; the great creeds of the Christian faith developed to refute heretics. The truth is that if you’re paying attention, you can see just about anywhere you look.I recently heard a sermon by Fr. Patri … [Read more...]

Guard the eyes, douse the flames

Man guarding his eyes

Theatergoers will be able to break out their 3D glasses and watch Avatar again this Friday. They will be rewarded, courtesy of filmmaker James Cameron, with nine extra minutes of footage. Based on the news, it seems that much of the excitement swirls around just 20 seconds, the inclusion of a Na’vi sex scene. With this release, as USA Today put it, “Cameron lets his aliens get a little randy.”For anyone struggling to grow in holiness, ours is a landscape fraught with troubles. Avatar is the lea … [Read more...]

What Godin gets wrong

Seth Godin

Seth Godin’s announcement about abandoning traditional publishing ruffled a lot of plumage this week, for good reason. Publishing is navigating through disruptions and difficulties that make industry players fearful about the future. Amid all the news about layoffs and reorganizations, stores up for sale, declining sales, etc., Godin’s savvy and insightful business advice has pointed the way to safety and success for many. Now this. … [Read more...]

The discarded difference

The Discarded Image

In his book The Discarded Image, C.S. Lewis explains how the medieval worldview came to be, what shaped its vices, virtues, and values. Two tributaries fed the medieval mind, Greco-Roman Paganism and Christianity, and the two streams, brackish and sweet, often mingled.Here’s Lewis: “In a prolonged war the troops on both sides may imitate one another’s methods and catch one another’s epidemics; they may even occasionally fraternise. So in this period. The conflict between the old and the new r … [Read more...]

Following Jesus in the Psalms

Christ Preaching at Capernaum

Jesus tells us to pick up our cross and follow him, and he makes a striking provision for us in the Psalms to do so. The Psalter—in its own way as much as the Gospels—sums up Christ’s life and work while also making that life and work something with which we can identify in a powerful way. … [Read more...]

Worshipping with the Psalms

Praise the Lord from Heaven

There’s a passage in Augustine’s Confessions that describes a holiday he took to Cassiciacum after quitting his job in Milan. On his break he wrote letters, suffered a horrendous toothache, and read the Psalms. “How loudly I cried out to you, my God, as I read the psalms of David,” he writes, “songs full of faith, outburst of devotion with no room in them for the breath of pride!” … [Read more...]

Praying the Psalms

Praying in the Synagogue

I wonder how often we find our prayers dead and lifeless. I wonder how often we come up dry and dumb with no words, no thoughts, no way of formulating the feelings, frustrations, and various shades of grief that we bear. Burdened and distracted, we can hardly remember to pray, and when we do we have nothing to say.What if someone could guide you to God in those moments, could take you before the throne, lean over and whisper, “Just say it like this,” and then unfurl a stream of words that mea … [Read more...]

The Psalms in Christian life

Icon of the Psalmist, King David

The American patriot leader Joseph Warren was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775. Coming upon his bloodied and fallen body, a British soldier plucked a small psalter from his pocket.Warren had carried the little book into battle, a volume whose pages declare that God “maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the world: he breaketh the bow and cutteth the spear, and burneth the chariots with fire.”It is fitting that a soldier should carry such comforting lines -- those from Ps … [Read more...]


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