Reading Both Books for Building Better Bridges

One of the things that’s most annoying about what’s come to be called “Christianity” in western civilization is its tendency to create people who are withdrawn from the real world.  This happens because of a false understanding of what “the world” means in scriptures like this one.  The result is an inherent suspicion of anything other than the Bible, “Christian” books, “Christian” music, “Christian” schools, blah blah blah. The fruit of this mindset is a group of people who are… Read more

Blood Work and Politics – post election thoughts about certitude

I wouldn’t normally share my blood test with you, but it’s the perfect illustration of why I’m becoming more concerned with post election pontificating than I was with pre-election vilifying and empty promises.  I received the results back from my blood test the day after the election and, as you can see, I’m grateful to be healthy. What, you might ask, do I eat in order to enjoy the right levels of fat in my blood for optimal heart health?… Read more

Safety: Vice or Virtue?

My friend Christian died in the Austrian Alps this past spring, caught in an avalanche.  Jane Larson was struck by a falling rock in July and is alive and healing, but it could have gone either way.  Spend enough time in the mountains and you’ll begin to compile an “in remembrance” list of those who died young.  The rest of us who venture out all have “almost” stories, enough to write a book, because to go high in the moutains… Read more

The “wish dream” must die! Musings on intimacy from Ruby Sparks

None of you know this, but I write fiction.  Writing bad fiction is a bit like being an omnipotent God, in the most “omni” sense of the word.  I will characters into existence and then shape them to do my bidding, to move my story towards whatever end I desire.  They’re protagonists or antagonists.  They’re heroes or villians.  They’re sexy and alluring or not.  But whatever else they are I know this:  they’re boring and predictable. This is because I… Read more

The Piano – and the painful goodness of letting go

I didn’t know on Saturday night that they’d be the last notes I’d play on it.  I sat down a few minutes before a woman came in response to our Craig’s list ad and touched the keys with a tune I made up on the fly.  It’s what I do best with pianos.  Those pesky notes from Bach or Mozart have always felt too confining for me.  So I simply sit and play, letting the music well up from my… Read more

Unlocking Potential by Practicing Presence

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. – Victor Frankl Do you ever wish you were somewhere else?  Of course you do! You wish you were on the other side of that right light which is holding you back from where you want to be.  You wish you were at a job that pays… Read more

Sex, Shame, and the Gospel… resources for conversation

We Christians, especially in America, are terrible at having healthy conversations about sexuality and sexual ethics.  The landscape of these conversations are ripe with charges, counter-charges, fear, and sweeping judgements, so much so that when I write about sexuality, I need to read all the comments carefully so as to remove the hateful words that inevitably show up, offered in the name of “staying true to the faith” or “holiness” or some other such nonsense, in much the same way… Read more

If you give a moose a muffin… and other kinds of repentance

The best children’s book series, in my opinion, is the “If you give…” series.  I like it because it speaks to the realities of cause and affect, and the importance of what Peter would call the “day of visitation”, but does so in a way that children and even adults can understand.  Each book begins with someone giving an animal something edible, and then this simple act leads to another act, and another act, and another act, until the day… Read more

Wrong Words lead to Wrong Actions: Environmentalism and John 3:16

She came in on a hot summer day to be treated for Asthma.  Dr. Matt Sleeth treated the young child, born into poverty, and told little Etta for whom breathe had become a literal life and death matter, that he wouldn’t let her die.  A few years later though, she did die, in a severe asthma attack – in prosperous America.  Don’t worry – this isn’t a post about American health care system(s).  It’s about something much more important- how… Read more

The Path… why we desparately need silence, solitude, and paying attention

My daughter and I are going up into the high country, but we’ll be taking the road less traveled. Instead of parking at a trailhead and following a line on a map, we’ll be walking up, behind the chalet we purchased nearly one year ago with a vision of offering hospitality, space to hear God’s voice, and a sharing of life in a mountain setting with guests.  This way of getting to our destination offers no line on a map… Read more