Within The Trauma, A Blessing: Reba Riley’s “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome”


Biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann describes three interconnected moods in the Psalms – psalms of orientation, celebration of the goodness of life and our current blessed personal and social location; psalms of disorientation, lamentations when things fall apart and the future is dim; and new orientation, the joy of healing and recovery, in which things never [Read More...]

Too Much Sacrifice, Too Much Sin? Responding to Peter Mommsen’s ‘Homage to a Broken Man’


I read Peter Mommsen’s Homage to a Broken Man: A Story of Faith, Forgiveness, Sacrifice, and Community with mixed feelings. It surely is an excellent testimony to one man’s fidelity.  J. Heinrich Arnold (Heiner) lived his life fully before God, submitting to his understanding of following Jesus in Christian community. It is also a witness [Read More...]

The Heroine’s Journey: On Jody Gentian Bower’s “Jane Eyre’s Sisters”


On my study desk sits a paperweight that announces “solvitur ambulando,” or “it will be solved in the walking.” Jody Gentian Bower’s Jane Eyre’s Sisters: How Women Live and Write the Heroine’s Story could easily be described as “it will be solved in the wandering.” As I read this insightful text, transformative for both women and [Read More...]

Pilgrimages Every Day: On Christine Valters Paintner’s ‘The Soul of a Pilgrim’


A dialogue between Piglet and Winnie Pooh points to the fact that adventure can be waiting around every corner. Piglet asks Pooh, “When you wake up in the morning, what’s the first thing you say to yourself?” To which Pooh replies, “What’s for breakfast?” He then asks his small companion, “What do you say Piglet?” who [Read More...]

Thin Places, Wide Open Vistas, and the Afterlife: Reflections on ‘The Hand on the Mirror’


The Celts of Scotland and Ireland speak of certain patches of land as “thin places” where heaven and earth, the divine and human, eternity and time, touch one another. Thin places remind us that we are always on holy ground and that God’s Spirit moves temporally and geographically through our lives and the world. Janis [Read More...]

Everyone Belongs to God: A Response to Christoph Blumhardt


A Response to Everyone Belong to God, by Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt (Plough Publishing House, 2015) One of my preaching mentors Ernie Campbell once said that “there are only two kinds of people in the world: those who are in God’s hands and know it and those who are in God’s hands and don’t.” Christoph Friedrich [Read More...]

Creating a Space for Grace: Responding to Terry Hershey


I always enjoyed Terry Hershey’s segments on Hallmark Channel’s “New Morning.” He spoke of beauty and the need for space simply to take in the wonders of life. He spoke of the need for sanctuary in the midst of busy days and challenging commitments. His book Sanctuary: Creating a Space for Grace in Your Life [Read More...]