A Wee Little Man and a Big Insight

zaccheus

Last weekend Priscilla and I flew to Dallas to teach in an organization called United Methodist Women. We’d written the 2014 spiritual growth study, How Is It with Your Soul?, so they asked us to teach. We had a wonderful time with a remarkable group of people who share an equal amount of hunger for scripture and for justice. I arrived late. Priscilla and I were scheduled to leave at 6:45 AM on Thursday, but it was not to be. Jeremy graduated on Father’s Day, and our whole family, one by … [Read more...]

Take a P This Week

plastic candles

I was sitting with my teaching assistant yesterday at a local coffee haunt near our campus. As we chatted amiably, I mentioned that her workload would be a heck of a lot more next term. “When I’m teaching,” I said. She cocked her head, looked puzzled, and said, “Aren’t you teaching now?” I hesitated and half-laughed, “Oh yeah, but my classes are Hebrew and contemplation, so it doesn’t feel like teaching.” I feel more like a student, translating a language I love and learning to … [Read more...]

Pentecost for the Rest of Us

He Qi. "The Holy Spirit Coming." He Qi Gallery, http://www.heqigallery.com/. Used with permission.

When I arrived at church on Pentecost Sunday a few years ago, I sat down in the pews and looked up to see red and orange balloons in the rafters, and a small red candle on the altar. The service bulletin explained that these were meant to symbolize the famous "tongues of fire" of the first Pentecost. After the service was over, I asked our pastor about this. "I don't know what to do with Pentecost," she mumbled. Other churches aren't much better. Mainline Christians (I'm a United Methodist) … [Read more...]