Training for Easter

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I went for a long run today and it wasn’t easy.  I can usually go ten miles at a  pretty good pace without too much worry, but on today’s run my legs felt stiff and my heart rate was too high for the pace.  I’m a bit out of running shape, but I don’t worry.  I’ve been doing other things over the winter,  lifting weights, getting stronger, but now with an ultramarathon and triathlon on the calendar for the spring, it’s time to get to work training for specifically for those sports.The seasons … [Read more...]

Fish McBites and the Abundant Kingdom

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Just in time for lent McDonald's is releasing its newest product—the Fish McBite.  For those who grew up with the Friday Filet-O-Fish, this new McDonald's treat is a “healthy” twist on the old favorite.  Best of all it is sustainable.  The fish in the McBites are 100% wild-caught Alaskan Pollock from a sustainable fishery.  Next time you’re in the drive through you can feel good about the battered fish bites you’re putting in your mouth.I thought of the Fish McBite as I recently read Luke 5:1 … [Read more...]

You Won’t See Unless You Look

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When I was in high school I took up bird watching and found lots of rare birds.  I would go to places and habitats at times of years where a rare bird might occur.  There would be a flock of thousands of birds and I'd pick through every one, on many occasions, on the off chance that one time I'd find something out of the ordinary.  And I would often find something that didn't belong--a bird from Argentina in Arkansas, for instance.I'm no longer the serious birder I once was, but I still look … [Read more...]

Embodying the Word

How is it that the word becomes flesh?  We may find some help toward an answer in a post at the New Yorker in which Brad Leithauser reflects on the importance of memorizing poetry, even in an age of smart phones and instant Google access.  We should memorize poetry, he concludes, because doing so is a way of making the words of poetry a part of the body. The best argument for verse memorization may be that it provides us with knowledge of a qualitatively and physiologically different variety: yo … [Read more...]

Why Does God Need the Church?

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Theologian Gerhard Lohfink asks a provocative question: “Does God need the church?”  In his book titled with that question, he answers with a resounding “yes!”  The church, he argues, is essential to God’s mission and work in the world.  But for those of us sitting in many churches on Sunday morning it is hard to see how God might need us.  We look around at our half empty pews and we see a dying church, an aging congregation.  Then we go to a vestry meeting and look at our church budget where we … [Read more...]

Running is Spiritual (Emergent Reactions)

“Running is spiritual” Doug Pagitt argued during his six minute, forty second Pecha Kucha talk at the Emergent gathering last weekend. For such a short talk, it has stuck with me more than any part of the hour long lectures.  It stuck because it resonated deeply—it said what I’ve also been experiencing.Pagitt gave the presentation wearing a can’t-miss-it orange Nike shirt that said in big letters “Running Sucks.”  He then told the story of how he started running, like most of us, because he w … [Read more...]

Church as Counterpublic? (Emergent Reactions)

For the past couple of days I've been listening to Phyllis Tickle and her friends explore the landscape of Emergence Christianity.  There was much provocation, a lot of questions asked and answered, and some deep and meaningful insights that I'll be carrying with me for at least the coming weeks, if not longer.  For the next few days I'll be unpacking some of my thoughts in response to the conference as I work through them.  Today's post, then, is sort of the first in a series.I'm not an Em … [Read more...]

In Praise of Single Function Devices

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I’ve been wearing a watch recently.  It’s nice—it tells me the time.  I’ve also been carrying a pocket calendar.  It has dates with space to put in appointments and a few blank pages for notes.  I also have a phone I’ve been using.  It has internet access if I absolutely need it, but a painful pared down version—it is not “smart.”  I text now only for critical messages, my phone's non-QWERT keyboard is too cumbersome.Shortly before Christmas my iPhone broke, so I pulled an old phone from my d … [Read more...]


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