Words for Advent: Suffering and Shalom

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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 its … [Read more...]

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

a simple overnight can teach life changing lessons

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 - just word of mouth, unused and overgrown roads and subtle paths which, if … [Read more...]

Imagine: The Importance of Envisioning a Different World….

The authors of "Colossians Remixed" write:  If with Christ you died in your baptism to the principles of autonomous consumerism that still hold the world captive, then why do you live in a way that suggests that you are still in the iron grip of its ideological vision?  Why do you submit yourself to its regulations to consume as if there were no tomorrow, to live as if community were an impediment to personal fulfillment, to live as if everything were disposable, including relationships, the u … [Read more...]

Colossians: An antidote to cynicism and despair

I've been living in the book of Colossians a fair bit recently, diving in some mornings after coffee with God, and at other odd times during the week.  Over and over again, I've found myself saying, 'this is the truth that we need right now - at this anxious, polarized time in history, when it appears that so much all around us is either collapsing (think Egypt, Syria, Greece, the Eurozone), or built on untruths (think every campaign ad about to baptize your sensibilities).  From the moment we w … [Read more...]

“Where’s this headed?” The importance of trajectory

I was on a morning walk recently with some friends in the mountains, and met someone on the walk who was visiting one of our neighbors.  We had a delightful conversation about the different things we'd done with our lives.  I told him that prior to living in Seattle I ran an outdoor program that was a blend of "Outward Bound" and "Bible Teaching".  (For those interested in such a program today, the best one I know of is in Austria, and you can learn of it here).  Then, right there, with the sun b … [Read more...]

Focus on the Dysfunctional Family

I love my friend, Larry Shallenberger's paragraph in this post, about the danger of "Christian Church Culture".  He likens God's transforming process to that of a mechanic restoring an old motorcycle, believing that the old rusted bike has its best years ahead of it.  We religious people, meanwhile, tend to handle each other like airport luggage handlers. This leads to the false belief that its better to lower our heads and fit in.Lower our heads and fit in. Covertly demand that, as a p … [Read more...]

The Empire Has No Clothes – raw truth precedes real hope – Part One

The losses and damages characteristic of our present economy cannot be stopped, let alone restored, by “liberal” or “conservative” tweakings of corporate industrialism, against which the ancient imperatives of good care, homemaking, and frugality can have no standing. - Wendell BerryNow that Mitt Romney has effectively vanquished all other contenders, the real election posturing can begin, and we all know it won't be pretty.  More importantly though, we also know it won't be true, or at th … [Read more...]

Public Vice and Private Virtue

I was privileged to attend the Annual Seattle Pacific Business Breakfast yesterday and listen to David Brooks, a favorite columnist of mine from the NY Times talk about the shift in ethos that's been occurring in our culture over the last fifty years.  In the midst of all that he said so well, one thing stood out to me.  In an after session Q&A, David noted that, when he's on Meet the Press, he'll chat with the appointed spokespeople from both the political left and right chosen to represent … [Read more...]


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