The value of trials – lessons from just below St. Helen’s summmit

IMG_0260

Stuff happens.  Job loss.  Marriage challenges.  Parenting that wearies you to the bone.  Accidents.  Health.  Money.  Wendell Berry says, "By expenditure of hope, Intelligence and work, You think you have it fixed; It is unfixed by rule" Life happens and it's the unexpected turns that reveal what we're made of.  This is a priceless gift, because if we're teachable, we'll adapt, adjust, and come back stronger.  Here's what I mean: The alarm goes off at 3AM and it … [Read more...]

Why Caring for the Earth matters to Christ…and you

IMG_0230

" And yet what is the burden of the Bible if not a sense of the mutuality of influence, rising out of the essential unity among soul and body and community and world?  These are all the works of God and it is therefore the work of virtue to make or restore harmony among them"   Wendell Barry "This is what God planned for the climax of all times: to bring all things together in Christ, the things in heaven along with the things on earth" - Paul the Apostle I'll never forget an experience … [Read more...]

What’s the Most Important thing in Life? Ask the Tree

IMG_0041

Something's going on in my backyard which has been immensely helpful in reminding me of what the highest priority should be in both my personal and professional life.  When we moved to Seattle 17+ years ago, we brought a California redwood tree with us that was, at the time, about 7 feet tall.  We planted it, along with several other big evergreen trees, in our backyard because my wife and I don't like yard work.  The best way to avoid such labor in the Pacific Northwest is to make your own … [Read more...]

Holy Week – and the mysterious glory of our guide

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

It happens every time I'm in mountains with people in better shape than me.  We start skiing or hiking or climbing and once we're in a rhythm on some steep uphill slope, they start asking me questions:  about family, faith, sport, politics.  They want conversation; I want to breathe!  They're faster than me, and I know that my presence is holding them back because when they say things like, "Yeah, when I was on Mt. McKinley for the fourth time last spring..."  I'm trying to ski up 800 … [Read more...]

Redeem Everything: Learning from St. Patrick

As the weekend of green beer and cabbage approaches, it's appropriate to consider the rich heritage most of enjoy without even knowing it, passed down from the Celtic Christian communities of Ireland and Scotland during the dark ages.  You can learn about through a favorite book of mine, "How the Irish Saved Civilization", whose thesis is that when the Roman empire collapsed and the west was plunged into centuries of barbarism and fear, the bastions of sanity were the Celtic monasteries.  This … [Read more...]

Keeping on…because life is like snow; and rain

it was there, but I haven't seen it since November

You're in a relationship with a particularly annoying family member or coworker.  You're doing your job at work, but nobody seems to appreciate or notice, even when you go the extra mile.  You're trying to feast on Christ (like I speak of here), as you seeking to develop some habits of Bible reading or prayer, but most of these meetings your mind is elsewhere, because the Bible is, let's face it, hard to understand.   You're exercising and eating right, and have been at it now for, let's say, … [Read more...]

The gift of a stone in your shoe (or, “How to build a better life”)

I'm running to the library on a Saturday afternoon because there's a book waiting for me there about the Grand Canyon.  The run will be 3.4 miles, and somewhere between the first and second miles a tiny stone found it's way into my minimalist shoe.  It's smaller than a rice-krispy, but the level of annoyance is out of proportion to the stone's size.  Even so, I ran on, feeling a mild pinch underfoot with each step, hoping it will go away on its own. I arrive at the library, procure my book … [Read more...]

Words for Advent: Suffering and Shalom

P1060266

There are moments of perfection in life, moments you wish could be frozen forever.  Such was the hour this past Sunday as I walked with my daughter and her boyfriend on a now familiar path through the countryside on the southern border of Germany.  Everything about the walk was perfect.  It had been snowing all morning, but stopped just prior to our walk leaving the landscape and architecture blanketed in snow white.  The light was sensual, the conversation perfectly appropriate. The land … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X