Oh-oh. Maybe Feeling Your Pain Won’t Help Me Help You

In today’s New York Times, the ever-iconoclastic David Brooks weighs in on empathy. In “The Limits of Empathy,” Brooks has the gall to suggest that maybe empathy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Brooks acknowledges that empathy can be a good thing in a limited way. But “the empathy craze” falsely assumes that feelings [Read More...]

Get Exercise. Think Better.

We all know that exercise strengthens our muscles and contributes to overall health. Now, there is solid evidence for the benefits of physical exercise on the brain. In a recent article in the New York Times, “How Exercise Can Strengthen the Brain,” Gretchen Reynolds summarizes a new study at the University of South Carolina. This [Read More...]

How the Wealthy Lived in Ancient Ephesus

Part 11 of series: Ancient Ephesus and the New Testament How the Wealthy Lived in Ancient Ephesus During my last visit to Ephesus, I had the opportunity to tour the so-called “Terrace Houses,” which are stacked in three terraces on Bulbul Mountain in the center of Ephesus. Centuries ago, they were buried by landslides that [Read More...]

The House of the Virgin Mary?

The so-called House of the Virgin Mary near Ephesus

The House of the Virgin Mary? For most of my life, I never gave much thought to what happened to Mary, the mother of Jesus, after his death. I figured that she went to Jerusalem, where James, one of her other sons (or stepsons, if you prefer), was a prominent early Christian leader. A good [Read More...]

News Flash: Another Turkish Archeological Site Gets International Attention

The top part of the "Weary Hercules" statue

As you know if you’ve been reading my blog recently, I’ve been focusing on a “tour” of ancient Ephesus in relationship to the New Testament. I had promised to move today’s “tour” to the so-called House of the Virgin Mary, but, instead, I want to focus on a story from yesterday’s news. It relates to [Read More...]

Where is God’s Country? Sunday Inspiration from the High Calling

Where Is God’s Country? Psalm 82:1-8 Rise up, O God, and judge the earth, for all the nations belong to you. Psalm 82:8 Where is God’s country? Plenty of people can answer that question, because they think they live in God’s country. I’ve heard people in Montana, New Mexico, California, and Texas refer to the [Read More...]

When in New York . . . Cafe Reggio

The first espresso machine in America, featured in Cafe Reggio in New York City

My son has recently begun his tenure as a college student at New York University. After living for the last four years in countryside outside of Boerne, Texas (population c. 10,000), Nathan is now in the middle of New York City (population c. 8,000,000). So far, he loves city life. For Nathan, part of the [Read More...]

Paul and the Silversmiths, Part 2

Vendors in Ephesus, not far from the theatre

Part 9 of series: Ancient Ephesus and the New Testament Paul and the Silversmiths, Part 2 When we last left our series on Ancient Ephesus and the New Testament, the city was in an uproar. A gang of silversmiths, at the instigation of a certain Demetrius, was rioting, dragging several of Paul’s colleagues to the [Read More...]

Paul and the Silversmiths

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Part 8 of series: Ancient Ephesus and the New Testament Paul and the Silversmiths Now that we know something about the goddess Artemis and her importance for Ephesus, we’re ready to get back to the story of Paul’s ministry in this city. As Paul’s ministry began to thrive in Ephesus, a certain Demetrius became concerned. [Read More...]

Artemis and Her Temple

All that's left of the temple of Artemis near ancient Ephesus

Part 7 of series: Ancient Ephesus and the New Testament Artemis and Her Temple In my last post, I summarized the beginning of Paul’s ministry in Ephesus as it’s described in Acts 19. We saw that, after first being stymied in his effort to reach out to Ephesian Jews through the synagogue, Paul switched to [Read More...]

The Apostle Paul in Ephesus

The Odeum in ancient Ephesus

Part 6 of series: Ancient Ephesus and the New Testament The Apostle Paul in Ephesus In my last post, I quoted a passage from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians in which he wrote, “But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there [Read More...]

Kerrville, Texas Makes It Into the New York Times!

Laity Lodge offices in Kerrvile, Texas

Yesterday morning as I perused the New York Times, I was pleasantly surprised to find an article touting the benefits of Kerrville, Texas: “A Hill Country Town that Whispers, Not Shouts.” A midsize town of some 22,000 residents, Kerrville in the location of my workplace. Foundations for Laity Renewal, the parent organization of Laity Lodge, [Read More...]

Ephesus in the New Testament

Curetes Street, the "main drag" of ancient Ephesus

Part 5 of series: Ancient Ephesus and the New Testament Ephesus in the New Testament Early Christianity was significantly an urban movement. This might sound surprising if you’re used to thinking of Christians continuing the mode of Jesus, whose ministry happened largely (but not only) in rural Galilee. Yet, when we pay close attention to [Read More...]

Drinking Tears by the Bucketful: Sunday Inspiration from the High Calling

Drinking Tears by the Bucketful Psalm 80:1-19 You have fed us with sorrow and made us drink tears by the bucketful. Psalm 80:5 Scripture regularly associates God with joy, exuberant joy. The Psalms calls us to sing with joy to the Lord (for example, Ps 67:4). The Apostle Paul urges us to be “full of [Read More...]

I Never Knew How Stylish I Was Wearing My New Backpack!

My new backpack, with San Antonio in the background

A couple of weeks ago, I did something I hadn’t done for a long, long time. I bought a new backpack for “everyday” use. It was not for camping or hiking. Rather, it was to help me cart around my stuff, especially but not only when I’m traveling. As I have used this rather ordinary, [Read More...]

Touring Ancient Ephesus, Part 2

ephesus-map-5

Part 4 of series: Ancient Ephesus and the New Testament Touring Ancient Ephesus, Part 2 A tour of Ephesus usually begins, as I explained yesterday, at the eastern end of the city because from there you walk downhill rather than uphill. In the map to the right, the tour would begin just to the right [Read More...]


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