Sur la table

Last weekend, my dear friend Meg and I facilitated a directed silent retreat. One of the passages of Scripture on which we focused was possibly the most familiar of them all - Psalm 23. Familiarity does not equal true understanding. I am convinced you could spend a lifetime meditating on a few familiar Bible passages and have barely scratched the surface of what is there. These are eternal, transforming, living words, given us by the Living Word.I was sitting alone in our meeting room when one … [Read more...]

This is what happens when I search for free books…

So I finally broke down and bought a Kindle. I'd been resisting the purchase because I love the idea of a physical book, and because a lot of my reading comes in the from of free books I read in order to review. With some upcoming travel on the horizon, I realized that one little device would be a lot nicer to carry than 35 pounds of reading material. More than one person told me that I could get all kinds of free or cheap books for the Kindle, so I finally bit the bullet and pulled out the … [Read more...]

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...]