If Trees Could Speak… learning Faithfulness from the Redwoods

Esther Dahlstrom: third from the left, 2nd row, staff pic from 1967

A parable...sort of.After unpacking our things I'm eager to show my wife and oldest daughter the sacred ground that is my grandma's house at Mt. Hermon.  It's a very short walk down to Park Way, and hers is the first house we see.  I stand in the dusty gravel parking space and inhale.  The convergence of space, warmth of California redwood sap in the air, and flowers in the garden along the path to the door.  It's all still there, the same.I show my family, explain to them how this place … [Read more...]

I’m unfriending someone you know too well… and you should too

You know her because she shows up in your life precisely when you can't handle her presence.  You're tired, vulnerable, have experienced some sort of failure or frustration and there she is; at the door, wanting to come in.  She's friendly enough, for certain, and usually flattering too.  "Poor you" she says, as she then begins her pontifications about how you deserve better, how unjustly you're treated, how unappreciated you are.  Your heart stirs in response."Yes" you think to yourself "I d … [Read more...]

Finish Well – 3 Faith Habits for the long haul

Over the next few weeks, I'll be walking in the places where the influence of departed saints remains strong.  Capernwray Hall was founded by Major Ian Thomas, who died a few years ago in his nineties.  With a vision of creating a space where young people could gather and learn about the sufficiency and power of Christ for daily living, he purchased a castle at auction.  The result has been an entire global movement of people committed to sharing the simple and profound truth that Christ is en … [Read more...]

Hubris and the Importance of “Memorial”

Remembering has never been more important, and yet forgetting has never been easier, especially for those distanced from the violence of war by time or geography.  Here's why remembering matters:In Judges chapter two we read about who came after Joshua and his troops fought:  "...there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.  Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of Lord"  (Judges 2:10,11)  This is why, before Isra … [Read more...]

Ordinary Time – the Days that Matter the Most

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People who follow the "Christian Year" know that the Bible readings from December through Pentecost are designed to cover the story of God's restorative plan for the cosmos revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ.  Today begins the long stretch in that same calendar called "Ordinary Time".Ordinary is a word we don't use much at all, and nearly never in a flattering way.  "It was an ordinary day" means that nothing exciting happened.  "Just another day..." we say, to describe the days … [Read more...]

Letters to the Three Moms in my life: I can’t thank you enough

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In honor of mother's day, I wanted to write some notes to each of the three moms in my life.  Of course, none of them were or are, perfect.  But I'm fortunate, in that each of them are easy to honor.   My mother-in-law is equally wonderful, but this blog's already too long to add a fourth mom, so I'll just say thanks here.  In the comments feel free to share how your mom has been a gift to you.To my mom by adoption:  Happy Mothers day to the one who was, in nearly every sense of the wo … [Read more...]

The Best Version of Myself… What’s the recipe?

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With vacation, a planned hike to the summit of St. Helen's, and a climbing project brewing that I'm excited about sharing later, I recently reread a book called "Bone Games: Extreme Sports, Shaminism, Zen, and the Search for Transcendence".  Rob opens with the story of his most desperate moment.  He's fallen, is seriously injured and stranded on a small ledge with hundreds of vertical feet below waiting to devour him when he tries to down climb - with his injury - in the dark - in the snow.  Not … [Read more...]

Weekend Links – Sexual Ethics and Practice for Christ Followers

For those interested in the ongoing conversation that's unfolding on this blog about sexual ethics, here are some links to other articles that you'll find helpful.  As God's people, our calling is to bring light into dark places, and there's perhaps no arena where we've done that more poorly throughout our history than the realm of sexuality and sexual ethics.  What I offer here isn't a set of answers, but a bringing of the conversation into the light.Why the term "Gay Christian" is helpful, … [Read more...]


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