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


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...]

Touring Ancient Ephesus


Part 3 of series: Ancient Ephesus and the New Testament Touring Ancient Ephesus Ancient Ephesus lies in a valley between two hills. This valley slopes toward the sea. Therefore, tours of the city tend to start at the eastern end and work toward the west, which means tourists can walk downhill rather than up. This [Read More...]

The Location and Environment of Ephesus


Part 2 of series: Ancient Ephesus and the New Testament The Location and Environment of Ephesus Ephesus, or what is left of it, lies on the western edge of modern day Turkey, just about five miles inland from the Aegean coast. The picture to the right shows the location of Ephesus. It is close to [Read More...]

Fascinating, Scary Article on Computer-Generated Writing

Steve Lohr’s recent column in the New York Times is called: “In Case You Wondered, a Real Human Wrote This Column.” A real human as opposed, not to a zombie, but a computer. The article begins: “WISCONSIN appears to be in the driver’s seat en route to a win, as it leads 51-10 after the [Read More...]

Ancient Ephesus and the New Testament: Introduction

The Arch of Titus in Rome, which commemorates the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the temple in AD 70

Part 1 of series: Ancient Ephesus and the New Testament Ancient Ephesus and the New Testament: Introduction For many of us, the events of the Bible seem to take place in some distant, magic world of “Bible lands,” a wonderland rather like the one discovered by Alice. We read about Jerusalem, Nazareth, Corinth, and Ephesus, [Read More...]

A Prayer for the Next Generations – Sunday Inspiration from the High Calling

A Prayer for the Next Generations Psalm 78:1-73 So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. Then they will not be like their ancestors— stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God. Psalm 78:7-8 The headlines are not encouraging for the [Read More...]

Clergy and 9/11 Ceremonies: Conflicts Reveal State of Religion in Our Culture

Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times has written a fine piece on some of the controversy surrounding 9/11 ceremonies and the inclusion or exclusion of clergy: “Omitting Clergy at 9/11 Ceremony Prompts Protest.” Goodstein describes the decision of Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York to exclude all members of the clergy from Sunday’s commemoration. [Read More...]

Church Signs You Don’t See Everyday


Recently, I was walking along through a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. On the same street I saw a couple of unusual church signs, and though I’d share them with you. The subtitle reads: “Where People are Equipped for Management and Productivity.” Here’s the link. Not the most seeker friendly name  for a church, but [Read More...]

Do Happier People Work Harder?


A recent New York Times opinion piece asks the question: Do happier people work harder? Teresa Amabile, a professor at Harvard Business School, and Steven Kramer, a researcher, answer this question in a way that challenges both workers and managers. Here are some salient observations from their article: • Workers today feel worse about their [Read More...]

Reading Books Electronically: Some Unexpected Implications

A Hebrew scroll of the prophet Isaiah

Among discussions of the rise of the e-book, I have found relatively little that considers how the very act of reading in this mode might change the way we read and think. Lev Grossman, writing for the New York Times, offers an intriguing perspective on this matter in his recent article, “From Scroll to Screen.” [Read More...]

Is a 3-D Backlash Underway? USA Today Wonders

The President and First Lady watching the 2009 Super Bowl in 3-D. This photo released from the White House.

“Is a 3-D backlash underway?” With this question, Mike Snider begins his recent article in USA Today: “3-D movies, gadgets getting lukewarm reception by some.” Given what appears to be the growing omnipresence of 3-D films and other media, why would Snider wonder about a backlash? He explains: Trailers for Shark Night 3D, a PG-13 [Read More...]