When not praying is prayer

Author Margaret Feinberg has been blogging during this season of Lent about what she's given up during the 40-day observance. No, not chocolate or facebook. She's given up prayer.  Her provocatively-titled vow is really more about getting out of the habit of talking at God than it is abandoning communication (and communion!) with him.  It triggered a memory of one of my own journeys - yes, the plural is meant to be there - through prayerlessness. Mine had to do more with fear of … [Read more...]

Looking in the mirror at high noon

I had one of those slap-upside-the-head Bible reading moments a couple of days ago. The ones where you're reading words out of habit, and suddenly, blam-o! The Hound of Heaven ambushes you, and with no warning, you're having a holy "have a good look in the mirror at high noon" moment. I was reading Romans 16, which is mostly a list of personal greetings from Paul and team to the Church in Rome. There are some instructions and a beautiful benediction in the chapter, but the bulk of the language … [Read more...]

Not what you think it means

A few posts ago, I reviewed a book about Communion. I just received another volume on the topic that I'll be reviewing for Englewood Review of Books. And in the midst of it all, I wrote a short devotional about the Lord's Supper for the next Caspari Center newsletter. I'm reposting it here with a prayer that it will give you a fresh understanding of the Communion word "Remember",Remember…There were about 25 teenagers chattering with one another in the activity room of the church, but they fell s … [Read more...]

What’s that dirt on your head?

Though Lent is a somber forty-day period of the Christian year given to fasting, reflection and acts of charity, here's a story that will probably give you a smile - and serve as a reminder that those observing Lent need to interpret the practice to a watching, wondering world:I was immersed into Gentile culture for the first time in eighth grade after growing up prior to that in a predominately Jewish neighborhood. In the hallway at school on Ash Wednesday, I noticed that a friend had "dirt" … [Read more...]

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...]