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...]

Powers and World Forces: Sugar, Salt, Fat, Coke, Kellogs, Kraft, Coke.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness...." Ephesians 6:12 This story on NPR caught my attention yesterday because it came just as I was doing something I rarely do anymore:  stuffing my face with chicken McNuggets from McDonalds while I was driving home from a study day in the mountains.  It wasn't the best of days.  Forgetting the computer cord meant was I done studying (or at least writing my sermon) earlier … [Read more...]

Turn off the TV, come to my senses

The days recently have been fuller than they ought to be.  Obligations, activities, teachings, preparations, all good things in themselves, have been stacked, like smooth bricks, so tightly that you can't fit a piece of paper between them.  When this happens life becomes reactionary.  When this happens margins disappear and life begins to feel like a video game, where stuff is just coming at me and I'm reacting. The worst part of this is the toll it takes on the end of the day.  When I … [Read more...]

Words for Advent: Life

P1060324

I come down off the slopes, having spent a day skiing in Austria with some friends after a very full week of teaching students, meeting staff here, and doing church work at home.  The day couldn't have been better, and the upcoming night was perhaps, for me, the highest privilege of all.  I was the speaker for graduation this evening.  I love young adults, and at the end of spending a week with them, to be granted the privilege of offering final words before they sail from the shelter of … [Read more...]

Words for Advent: Anticipation

P1060308

It's Wednesday night.  I'll be teaching this evening, and then again tomorrow for several sessions.  Then there's graduation on Friday night, where I'll be privileged to share for a few minutes before the students celebrate the completion of their time here at Tauernhoff. It's always around this point in my "two weeks and change" trip to Europe that I begin to long for home.  This trip will be extended for a few wonderful days of fun with my daughter who teaches in Germany, as she visits … [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...]

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 that the … [Read more...]

Camp China – reminders of what really matters…

It had been years since I'd thought about Tienanmen Square until last night.  Like the rest of the world, I thought about it when it happened, and then I thought about again a few years later when I was speaking at a retreat of international students.  I was sitting with some of the students and each of them were sharing in turn why they did or didn't believe in God.  I remember this man from China, then studying Physics at University of Washington.  He said, "I was in Tienanmen Square … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X