Why Do We Give Up Something for Lent?

Deborah Arca, director of All Things Patheos, from my perspective, asked the question, Why does Lent typically involve giving something up?My trusty Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church tells me that Lent was originally a time of fasting. “During the early centuries the observance of the fast was very strict. Only one meal a day, taken towards evening, was allowed, and flesh-meat and fish, and in most places also eggs and lacticinia [I figure that’s milk products], were absolutely for … [Read more...]

The Holy Spirit: so much left to learn!

40 scripture texts.40 thoughtful meditations.40 spaces to write your own reflections.40 original prayers to the Holy Spirit.That's my newest book, Forty Days with the Holy Spirit, hot off the press. So hot, in fact, it's just out at Amazon, or you can get your copy on sale straight from Paraclete Press. It's the perfect book to deepen your discipleship and refresh your faith during Lent, which begins in a couple of weeks.I'll post the first day's meditation and prayer later on … [Read more...]

The Holy Spirit From Day One

Some fine people have published thoughtful reviews of  Forty Days with the Holy Spirit in the Patheos Book Club. Caryn Riswold. Lisa Burgess. Bruce Epperly. Today I want you to have the opportunity to read the book itself. So here is day 1 of a book about which Richard Rohr claims, "Here comes the return of the fire and wind." Of course, this little book won't prompt the return of the fire and wind if it's left in crates. So, if day 1 grabs you, then grab a copy from Paraclete Press, Amazon, or B … [Read more...]

Is the Spirit in Everyone, even Richard Dawkins?

This morning I watched, in a half-embarrassed sort of way, while Nicola Menzie, of  The Christian Post, interviewed me. At first, the angle of my head was odd: I looked like a balloon--fat around the jowl--with glasses and a little tuft of hair on my narrowed head. Once I got over that, I settled in to listen.The interview started with the provocative point that the holy spirit—the spirit of God—is in everyone, including, as the people of The Christian Post noted, an aggressive atheist such a … [Read more...]

I Dare You! A pre-Lenten Challenge

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Though they roll their eyes, I love to tell my kids about the Heidi Bowl. I was 12 at the time—November 17, 1968. The Oakland Raiders were playing the Jets--my team--with Broadway Joe Namath at the helm. At 7 PM, with a minute left, the Jets ahead 32-29, NBC cut away to the film Heidi. During that minute, the Oakland Raiders scored two touchdowns and beat the Jets 43-32. (Crazy, I know, but I had it backwards until I just looked it up on Wikipedia; I could have sworn the Jets won! Wow, am I a l … [Read more...]

Life After a Shooting: The Metamorphosis of a College Campus

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Recently, I published this essay at Huffington Post. I republish it here, in case you haven't read it. It is June 5th, 2014, a Thursday night, 7 PM. My daughter and I walk onto campus. We are numb. The auditorium is packed, so we walk along the side row to the front stage, where we sit, facing out, peering over an altar of candles, at a sea of faces. They are numb, too. Just hours earlier, a shooting took place on our campus, and we have gathered to pray, to grieve, to grapple. We … [Read more...]


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