International Women’s Day: Remember the Enslaved

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An interview with a sex trafficking survivor by Wendy Murray The following interview was part of a major feature story I wrote for Christianity Today,  titled "The Hidden Slavery" (Nov 2003). Wendy Murray interviewed Srey Dara (not her real name) who had been victimized by the sex trade in Phnom Penh, Cambodia before she was rescued.How did you become entrapped? When I was 17 years old, I was married. After three months my husband wanted to move to do business in a distant province. I d … [Read more...]

Thoughts on Lent 3 : Beautiful God-spark Joy

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A note to readers: This is an usual post but one for which I hope readers will stop their day. The video below is the final portion of Ludwig van Beethoven's 9th symphony, his last. It is the portion commonly referred to as the "Ode to Joy," words Beethoven appropriated from the poem of the same name,  "An die Freude," by Friedrich Schiller. I invite readers to take time to read the English translation of the lyrics posted under the video itself (they are not the same words of the well-known hy … [Read more...]

Thoughts on Lent 2: Holy Time

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By Wendy MurrayCircumstances change but the ever-present heartbeat of God does not.The oddest thing happened to me when I was sitting under a dim light on the couch in a room of the rented house where I live temporarily. I was reading Where the Red Fern Grows. I hadn't read it before. And so when I found myself living in  this house, a rented furnished house that included dishes and books; and when I was reproaching myself for not reading enough; and when I saw Where the Red Fern Grows … [Read more...]

Thoughts on Lent 1: Remake Habits

Angels and Nerves

By Wendy MurrayLent is time to rethink old habits and, where necessary, remake them. It is more manageable to create new habits as a means of breaking old ones.This involves penetrating that invisible holy space where for now certain patterns follow comfortable courses. To displace the sovereignty of these habits, it is necessary to enter this space in the attempt to wrench comfortable courses in another direction. It involves will, cognition, intention and patience.In time these … [Read more...]

For Lent I Give Up Not Buying Sweet Rolls

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Even as a person of faith for more than forty years, Lent still confounds me. The stated purpose according to the Catholic tradition, is to spiritually prepare for Holy Week by means of personal penance.As I have worked this over in my mind, not being rooted in the Catholic tradition, I have come to appropriate Lent not so much with the mindset of "giving things up" -- to suffer because Jesus suffered -- but of making room for holiness, even as Jesus embodied holiness during his last … [Read more...]

Clergy Abuse Overwhelmed a Pope: It Ought to Be Exposed

The legacy of the church in the life of one man: is this what trust looks like?

By Wendy MurrayI recently watched a Frontline documentary titled "Secrets of the Vatican" highlighting the daunting challenges facing Pope Francis. His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, resigned from the office a year ago today (Feb. 28, 2013) under a cloud of corruption and the stench of unresolved rampant sex-abuse cases. The documentary highlights the challenge Pope Francis faces in the unspoken mandate to clean up the Church, most notably the shameful sordid legacy of covering up of … [Read more...]

Remembering Mister Rogers and the Light He Left

Mister Rogers

By Wendy MurrayFred "Mister" Rogers died on this day 11 years ago. I interviewed Fred "Mister" Rogers in October 1999 for a cover story in Christianity Today (March 2000).  The assignment proved a highlight in my career. And, as time would have it, it was the last major feature article written about Fred Rogers before he died in February 2003, 10 years ago last month. It was also the only feature article to peek into the spiritual side of the Neighborhood, to explore the belief system of … [Read more...]


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