The Keymaker – and the keys to peace and joy

The Keymaker who drove 50 miles

I needed a locksmith, and couldn't find one in the closest town who'd be willing to drive up to our place in the mountains.  We rent the place to guests, believing and hoping that time spent out of the city and away from television will provide an environment where people can encounter God, perhaps hear God's voice with greater clarity.  A key had gone missing, and we needed to change some locks, but nobody was willing to drive 20 miles to visit us.50 miles though, is another story.  I ca … [Read more...]

Are we there yet? How to live outside of sexual (or any other) Nirvana

Because I'm going to be preaching and teaching on the subject of sexual ethics and relationships this winter, I'm reading and talking about sex a lot these days.  I've recently read this, received this in the mail from someone, and just finished this on a recent flight.  This last book was terribly powerful; well written, transparent, as he shared his joy in what I call "shalom moments" while swimming in a sea of unfulfilled desires. His struggle is profound and near the surface because Wesley s … [Read more...]

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annoying about what's come to be called "Christianity" in western civilization is its tendency to create people who are withdrawn from the real world.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 fearful and s … [Read more...]

Blood Work and Politics – post election thoughts about certitude

loving my blood

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? Most days begin with 4 slices of low sodium bacon … [Read more...]

Safety: Vice or Virtue?

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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 is to move to the realm of uncertainty.  You can mitigate the risk to … [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 created them, rather than doing what real fic … [Read more...]

The Piano – and the painful goodness of letting go

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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 soul and pour out over the keys.  I've done that multiple hundreds of times on this piano.  It's been a friend.  L … [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 FranklDo 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 more, or is energizing rather than mind numbing.  You wish you were with a spouse that is harder wo … [Read more...]


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