Book review: The Sacred Meal

A few weeks ago, I reviewed a book about spiritual pilgrimage from Thomas Nelson's Ancient Practices series. Thanks to Nelson's blogger review program (which they've dubbed "Booksneeze", a cringe-worthy name if ever there was one), I had the opportunity to read another title in the series. This time, it was Nora Gallagher's The Sacred Meal, focusing on the sacrament of the Lord's supper.Gallagher, a lay minister in the Episcopal church as well as a noted author, brings her powers of observation … [Read more...]

February newsletter

A devotional, an invitation, a contest and an update - here are highlights of my recent newsletter: Home again?         If you’ve ever returned to your home town after a being away for a few years, you'll discover that there's truth in the old adage "You can’t go home again". It's not just that someone built a Walgreens where your favorite old health-code violating dive of a burger joint once stood. Your life experiences while … [Read more...]

Saturday afternoon time travel

A fun but surreal moment:I took my seven-year old grandson to Mickey D's yesterday. It's kind of a tradition for us. Cold, damp late February days mean that the indoor playground is the hottest ticket in town. There wasn't an empty table in the joint. Gabriel and I stood in the center of the room for a moment, he chomping at the bit to hit the slide, me hoping that someone was about to vacate a seat."Hey, you can sit here if you want." The man moved the empty wrappers and cups of pop over to one … [Read more...]

You know it’s gonna be a bad sermon when…

I've written about my sermon fatigue before. Honestly, I'd rather just have the preacher hand out copies of the text of his or her message and let me just read (or skim) them. I'm a terrible auditory learner, and retain only a small portion of what I hear - just like most of the rest of you. I attend church primarily to connect and worship with others, and usually do my best to hang in there and focus through the sermons. I appreciate the fact that we're currently hearing someone actually … [Read more...]

For God’s eyes only

I've spent much of the last 2-1/2 months sequestered in the house due to illness and recovery from my recent shoulder surgery. I'm now feeling well enough to do something besides drive myself to physical therapy, so yesterday I treated myself to a quick trip north to St. Francis, WI. My long-time prayer partner and dear friend Meg was slated to sing to the residents of the St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care. I simply wanted to tuck myself into a corner in the back of the room and listen … [Read more...]

Spiritual “branding”?

What do these Christians have in common?A certain super-sized home schooling brood of the ATI variety who are the subject of a TV show on basic cable regularly emphasizes that family is the central calling for life.A certain mega-church pastor writes and speaks extensively on leadership. He is convinced that strong, courageous leadership is the single greatest need facing not only the church, but society. A certain nationally-known apologetics expert has a ministry dedicated to "equipping … [Read more...]

Review: The Sacred Journey

Charles Foster tells us one of his purposes in penning The Sacred Journey, part of the Ancient Practices series  (Thomas Nelson, 2010), is to offer readers a theology of pilgrimage. He does so with verve and a delightfully unpredictable take on a topic begging for a thoughtful, modern exploration from a low church/evangelical perspective. But he does much more than that in this 230-page addition to the series. Foster invites challenges, provokes, prods, woos, refutes, affirms and, in each … [Read more...]