Does Place Really Matter? If So, Why?

In my last blog post, I asked the question “Does place really matter?” In our increasingly digitized, flattened, and shrunken world, does our physical location make a real difference? Most of those who answered this question, through comments, social media, or email, said, “Yes. Place does matter.” I think most people have a gut sense about this. Even though we can communicate with people across the world as if they were right beside our ears, and though many people can work… Read more

Does Place Really Matter?

Increasingly, it seems as if we live in a “placeless” world. Oh, to be sure, you and I occupy places in this world. But with technology flattening and shrinking the world, we might begin to wonder if place really matters. Perhaps we are now inhabitants of “noplace.” Take the workplace, for example. We use the word “workplace,” but increasingly people are not working from a particular place known as “the office” or “the store.” A 2013 article from Wired puts… Read more

Ch-Ch-Changes

I can hear the chorus of David Bowie’s 1971 song ringing in my memory. Though the song is called “Changes,” it is notable for the repeated line, “Ch-ch-changes.” If you’re my age and want to feel some nostalgia, you can listen to the song here. Why am I thinking about “Ch-ch-changes”? Because that’s what I’m experiencing these days. After seven years working for the H. E. Butt Family Foundation (Laity Lodge, The High Calling), I am moving on to new… Read more

The First Sunday of Advent: Waiting for the Shepherd

Waiting for the Shepherd He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young. Isaiah 40:11 This is the first Sunday in Advent, the beginning of the season in which Christians throughout the world prepare for a fuller, richer celebration of the birth of Jesus. Advent is a season of expectation, waiting, and hope. During the four weeks… Read more

Advent Begins Tomorrow. Today Is The Last Day of the Christian Year. Should You Care?

If we rightly understand the Christian Year, we will see it as a way to structure our lives in light of the life, ministry, and lordship of Jesus. Read more

Beauty, Art, and My Five-Year-Old Daughter

At The Curator, Heather Walker Peterson writes about looking about art and thinking about beauty with her daughter: I won’t tell my daughter that what matters is the beauty on the inside. Yes, if we desire the way the world will be, then goodness is the the internal beauty of a person becoming like Christ. A Christian tween would be forced to assent, rankled. Inner beauty is important. But the social reality would be crushing her insides. Outside beauty, that which… Read more

The Advent of Advent

Advent is coming. And, given that the word “advent” is derived from the Latin term adventus, which means “visit” or “coming,” one might well speak of the advent of Advent, the imminent coming of the Christian season of Advent. Many people I know – including me – feel eager about the approach of Advent, much as we might feel about the pending visit of a dear, old friend. Yet, many others among my friends don’t really care that Advent is… Read more

A Real and Imminent Threat

We have much to be thankful for, but we’ve also experienced loss this year – as individuals and a society. At Art House America, Dyana Herron writes about some of those things, including the shooting at Seattle Pacific University this year: Now, for the next few hours, I was truly without a home, in transit between one place and the next, surrounded by people in the same situation, either beside me on the ground, or above me in the air:… Read more

Enjoying Your Thanksgiving Dinner Twice

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:18-20 Thanksgiving dinner is one of my favorite meals. I suppose it has something to do with nostalgia, happy memories, and a chance to… Read more

The Poetry of Loss and Redemption

A lovely post at Relief by my friend Jill Reid about the poetry of loss and redemption: A few months ago, I stood in the cold corner of a funeral home with a twenty-one year-old college student whom I have come to love and admire very much over four years of teaching her. Just a day earlier, she was taking notes in her English literature class. Now, she was standing near the casket of her mother, killed on impact in a… Read more

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