Your Religious Pursuits: Manic Spirituality or Peaceful Intimacy?

Manic: affected with or marked by frenzyCultural pluralism has intersected with capitalist consumerism, and a byproduct of it is what I'm calling spiritual mania.  It happens because the world in which we live creates tons and tons of wasted.  There's wasted packaging, wasted time spent on trivialities, wasted relationships that have become as commodified and disposable as an consumer product, and wasted environments, poisoned as they are by the entire system that has displaced creativity, m … [Read more...]

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 doesn't take … [Read more...]

Quitting Religion for Lent?

"I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your assemblies.  Even though you offer me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offering of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them"  Amos the prophetIt happens to all of us at times;  Events and moments which, in better times, would be pregnant with joy and meaning, are reduced to obligations.  "Off to church with you" your mind says, on a Sunday morning, and so there you go.  Singing; che … [Read more...]

Instead of new goals for a new year…try this

I like goals that are measurable and have lots of them:  Ski 100k vertical feet in January (now objectively measurable courtesy of a nifty phone app), trim 15 seconds off jogging "per mile" time by the end of February, eat 5 servings of veggies per day (by far the hardest), be consistent in my reading, praying, journaling, blog at least once a week, finish book proposal.I'm close to throwing all these in the trash though, because I keep adding more and more goals to my life, and the end … [Read more...]

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...]

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 during the … [Read more...]

What are you wearing today?

Warning:  No chicken sandwiches were eaten, or boycotted, in the production of this blog post.  I love this little bit in Colossians 3, which reads: "put on (or 'drape yourself with') a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."  The author goes on to declare that a community clothed in these will be quick to forgive and also won't be inclined to pick at each other over every little thing (which is the meaning of 'bearing with one another').  It's a wonderful word picture … [Read more...]

All New “Life Chapters” require these 5 perspectives:

Summers are always times of great transition for some subset of the population.  On the young end of the scale, people are graduating, moving, getting married.  On the older end, children are leaving home, or it's a time of career change, or retirement.  Life is fluid enough that it seems new chapters come along with astonishing regularity, so that the only thing that remains constant in our lives is the reality that they're changing.Since that's just the way it is, I was pondering whether th … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X