In silence, we come to know God. The evocative quote above comes from Benjamin Riggs and his book Finding God in the Body where Riggs looks at the elusive nature of God and how and where we might connect with the divine. One way is through a practice that is known as centering prayer, an act that might be thought of as a Christian version of meditation. Centering prayer was originally referred to as contemplative prayer. While its origin may… Read more

Last year, I featured excerpts from several college commencement speeches. This year, I’m focusing on one. It’s a speech by a U.S. senator from my home state, Cory Booker of New Jersey, given to the graduating class at the University of Pennsylvania last month. Booker is an excellent storyteller and he kicked off his speech with a fascinating anecdote about Mahatma Gandhi that I’ll paraphrase below. Mahatma Gandhi had a busy schedule and was often rushing from place to place…. Read more

There are two sides to all of us. There is the public-facing side, the person we are at work, at social functions or out and about in our community. And then there’s the side behind the mask, our private side, the place where we keep our innermost beliefs, our hopes and dreams, our fears and struggles, our relationship with God. It’s this private or inner side that is most fascinating. It reveals who we really are, what makes us tick…. Read more

Imagine opening your mailbox one day and finding an unmarked, sealed plain white envelope inside—containing an unsigned note and $250 in cash. Here’s the story of an act of generosity that may surprise you: Good friends of my family live in a rural section of Maryland, where the houses are few and far between and the roads are narrow. On a windy, trash collection day, one friend (Matt) went to bring in the garbage can only to find the lid… Read more

Are you happy? Chances are, if I caught you on a good day, you’d probably say yes. But on other days, you might feel as if something was missing, as if there was a small void in your life that you couldn’t quite put your finger on. A magical missing ingredient. This sense of subdued discontentment is one of the many areas author Benjamin Riggs explores in his new book Finding God in the Body. Its subject matter extends well… Read more

How are you feeling today? Healthy and alert with some pep in your step? Or are you suffering from aches and pains, feeling tired or even mildly depressed? There’s a fellow from a small town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland who may have a cure for what ails you. His name is David Mercier. Mercier’s resume includes a Masters’ degree in acupuncture, two years of study under renowned psychologist Stanislav Grof and a teaching gig as an integrated medicine… Read more

It’s funny how we usually think of heaven as being in a faraway place, one we can’t reach until after our death. But Jesus left a clue that may indicate heaven is a lot closer than we imagine. If you were brought up in a Christian household like me, from a young age you heard that when someone had passed away they had “died and gone to heaven” which we imagined as a place up in the clouds. It’s an… Read more

Do you consider yourself a Christian? Do you hope to get into heaven one day? I’ve been reading a new translation of the Gospel of Mark and one fact really stands out: the doorway into heaven is pretty narrow. You may know the passage from the Gospel of Matthew that states when it comes to entering heaven, “many are called, but few are chosen.” But within the Gospel of Mark, the eligibility requirements are dialed up a few notches. Jesus… Read more

We all want to make a good impression in life, to be the best possible people that we can be. Yet, sometimes we let ourselves down. Despite our best intentions to be shining examples of love, happiness and good vibes, we occasionally get worn down—by the struggles at work, by the demands of the kids, or by the myriad stresses of everyday life, which can leave us feeling tired and cranky (a state I know all too well). Yet if… Read more

Are you familiar with the writer Sam Harris? In 2005, he wrote a bestselling book The End of Faith that, in a nutshell, portrayed religion as little more than a collection of myths and superstitions that could be blamed for much of the world’s ills. It was with some trepidation that I picked up his more recent book Waking Up, A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion—but I knew that Harris was an excellent writer and the title grabbed me. And… Read more

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