Sensuality and beauty—and why they matter

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"Love of beauty is taste.  The creation of beauty is art." —Emerson"One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple." —Psalm 27:4My oldest daughter lives in the Shire.  Kandern, in the Germany Black Forest, and the surrounding villages, are populated by people tending small farms, artists, and retirees.  Today we hiked up to a small castle ruins, and last … [Read more...]

Skinny Church – the wrong fast for a hungry world

If nutrition is a hobby of yours, then you know that something as simple and straightforward as eating food has dozens of conflicting schools of thought. Macrobiotic people swear by rice and seaweed. Paleolithic people think rice, and most agriculture for that matter, is from the devil himself. Vegetarians think meat eaters are cruelly killing animals, and, by eating meat, their own bodies. Vegetarian Myth (a favorite book of mine) takes pretty much the opposite approach. Back in the day, low f … [Read more...]

Skinny Church – the wrong fast for a hungry world

If nutrition is a hobby of yours, then you know that something as simple and straightforward as eating food has dozens of conflicting schools of thought. Macrobiotic people swear by rice and seaweed. Paleolithic people think rice, and most agriculture for that matter, is from the devil himself. Vegetarians think meat eaters are cruelly killing animals, and, by eating meat, their own bodies. Vegetarian Myth (a favorite book of mine) takes pretty much the opposite approach. Back in the day, low f … [Read more...]

Messiah complex and conventional wisdom: a marriage made in hell

Two books found their way into my world this spring, and their convergence has helped me understand why so many pastors are suffering short tenures  (3-5 year average) and physical problems, and the battle each of us in professional ministry must face.  The books are The Time Bomb in the Church and Ignore Everybody.  The former is about pastors who have heart attacks because they're doing too much; the latter is about creativity, which is a big umbrella under which many subjects can find cover, i … [Read more...]

Weekend: Lessons from backyard and bible

This past week has included what, on the surface, appear to be two radically divergent investments of my time.   It included some passionate visioning conversations at the church I lead, and important reading in preparation for my upcoming week at conference addressing the intersection of science and faith.While on the surface, they appear to be two wildly different worlds, they came together this morning in my quiet moments in the backyard.  Everything's becoming new these days in the b … [Read more...]

Quiet…an endangered species

I don't eat margarine anymore because somewhere along the way chemists (who invented the stuff in the first place) discovered that the hydrogenated oils in it are horrible for your body.  I try to ride my bike to work more than my car because we've also learned that the big behemoth of a convenience that we call an automobile contributes to a form of atrophy.  First the car, then the elevator--who needs legs?  Turns out my pump called a heart needs legs, and if I don't use them the whole ecology … [Read more...]

Quiet…an endangered species

I don't eat margarine anymore because somewhere along the way chemists (who invented the stuff in the first place) discovered that the hydrogenated oils in it are horrible for your body.  I try to ride my bike to work more than my car because we've also learned that the big behemoth of a convenience that we call an automobile contributes to a form of atrophy.  First the car, then the elevator--who needs legs?  Turns out my pump called a heart needs legs, and if I don't use them the whole ecology … [Read more...]

Slow down, breathe deep, pay attention

Spring is the season for micro-vistas.  In the winter I re-create by getting outside, in the snow, and on the best days I'm swishing down a hill paying nothing other than split second attention to the ground beneath my feet.  Then, on the way back up I'll look out...out...out:  to the ridge across the canyon with it's overhanging cornices of snow, or the summit of Mt. Baker, or Mt. Rainier.  The beauty is absorbed through the macro experience.  Seeing the nuances of shadow and light, of cracks in … [Read more...]


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