The Spiritual Formation of George Zimmerman

There’s a popular question that’s been circulating around the internet since George Zimmerman’s acquittal that goes like this: What if George Zimmerman had offered Trayvon Martin a ride to get out of the rain?  Its a warm sentiment against the tragic reality, but we must follow the nice thought with a more important question: What would have made Zimmerman the kind of person who would have offered Trayvon Martin a ride rather than shooting him?  The fact is that what happened that night was not s … [Read more...]

Pray for Your Enemies

Today make an enemies list.  Think about those who have wronged you, who have it out for you, people you would avoid if you could.  Create different categories--people you know personally, enemies you don't know personally (TV commentators who always get under your skin might come to mind), and then national enemies--those we go to war against militarily or economically.Then spend time, however long it takes, praying through that list.  Pray for the forgiveness of your enemies, for their fl … [Read more...]

Presidential Listenings

We don't listen very much.  We post, we tweet, we read and respond, but we don't listen to other people and really try to understand.  What if instead of a series of debates we had a series of presidential listenings where the task was for each side to gain from the other as full an understanding as possible of their position.  Would we not know more at the end of such listenings than we do after the fairly empty rhetoric of the debates in which each candidate is trying to talk over and past the … [Read more...]

Discipline Your Language

Today, watch what you say.  Specifically, as a witness in this election season keep yourself from saying the words that draw instant judgement without a lot of content--words like Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative, fundamentalist, evangelical, mainline, etc.  These are words that obscure more than helping to communicate, which at its base means to share.  Seek instead to use language that shares ideas and brings others together.Write down the list of words you won't use today and ke … [Read more...]

Praise Someone You Put Down

Gossip--its a basic human sin.  We talk about someone behind their backs, criticize and demean.  If only we spent some of the time we spent putting people down praising them.  Today think of someone you've put down in your own head or in the presence of others.  Then write that person and tell them how you see their lives working toward the good of God's kingdom.  Don't tell the person that you've put them down, but honestly appreciate their goodness. … [Read more...]

Ask Questions and Wait for a Reply

In every conversation you have work to make listening the most significant role you play.  Refrain from saying anything other than questions to provoke more opportunities for listening.  Attempt, if at all possible from making conclusive statements, but rather use questions to move the conversation along.  In your prayers do the same thing by praying things like, "Lord, what is your will for me today?"  "Where do you want me to be working in this place?"  And so on.  … [Read more...]


Communicate across a divide--racial, political, or ecclesial. … [Read more...]