February 19, 2019

A few years ago I met a man who had a chronic illness, who also traveled frequently to work on projects in the developing world.  I asked him how he found the energy to do all that traveling while suffering from fatigue and other symptoms of his illness. “I practice aggressive resting,” he told me.  Aggressive resting. I’ve been thinking about that phrase a lot since I got back from South Sudan 72 hours ago, asking myself what it looks... Read more

December 13, 2018

When I landed in Paris a few days ago, the taxi driver and I chatted as he drove me to my hotel.  In the course of the conversation, I mentioned that I was on my way to South Sudan to work at a hospital there. “When is your departing flight?” he asked. “Very early on December 12th,” I said. “I can pick you up,” he offered. “I would need to be picked up at 4:30 a.m.,” I said apologetically. “It’s... Read more

December 3, 2018

I’ve been sick this week, which means I’ve had a lot of downtime to read.  In my reading, I came across an interesting article about mistletoe. I learned that in Norse mythology, Frigg, the goddess of love, had a son named Baldur, who was killed with an arrow.  Frigg wept over her son, and her tears landed on the arrow, becoming the pearlescent berries on the mistletoe plant. In some versions of the myth, she used the healing properties of... Read more

November 30, 2018

“The Christian shoemaker does his Christian duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes…”                                                                           ~Unknown   Yesterday I got quite a lot of feedback about my post on what modern missions can learn from medicine.  Namely, First... Read more

November 29, 2018

First, Do No Harm. It’s the principle that’s guided the practice of medicine for hundreds of years. First, Do No Harm.  Meaning that sometimes it’s better to not act, to do nothing, rather than risk inflicting harm on someone and make a situation worse than it needed to be.  It’s better not to change it than to make it worse. First, Do No Harm. Unfortunately, the tenet that’s guided medicine well hasn’t been a guiding principle in many evangelical missions... Read more

November 26, 2018

Advent begins this Sunday.  Christians around the world will spend four holy weeks preparing our hearts for the birth of the long-awaited savior, Jesus. Jesus, born in a barn because no one cared to make room for him in the inn. Jesus, born in a land occupied by a violent, selfish, greedy invading force. Jesus, whose parents fled to Egypt with him when he was a baby because scores of children his age were dying in their homeland. Jesus, whose... Read more

November 14, 2018

Recently a marketing company offered me free tickets to see First Man, the new movie about Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon, in exchange for me writing a review on my blog. I went to see the movie on Friday evening, and I’ve been thinking about it since then. Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy (who plays Neil Armstrong’s wife Janet) give exceptional performances.  The film is suspenseful and emotional, offering a unique portrayal of an incredible story. I left the... Read more

November 8, 2018

When I first started doing public speaking engagements, a philosophy professor contacted me and asked if I’d like to come speak to his Theodicy class. I said, “Sure,” and then as soon as we got off the phone I Googled “Theodicy” because I had no idea what it was. I learned that Theodicy is the study of why bad things happen in the world if the world is controlled by a loving God. I’ve definitely asked that question.  A lot,... Read more

November 6, 2018

A while ago, a horrible thing happened to me.  Someone I trusted used, abused and violated my personhood, while I was undergoing chemo in a life-threatening fight with breast cancer. It took me years to get over it.  Years of tears.  Countless questions.  And hours upon hours of quality therapy. I kept asking my therapist how I could get past it.  How I could move forward when it was impossible to go back and change the past.  How I could... Read more

October 29, 2018

Yesterday at church I led the Prayers of the People. I stood wearing a white robe draped with a green chasuble, a maniple draped over my left arm. “For peace in Pittsburgh, and for what other places shall we pray?” I asked, inviting people to add their prayers. We prayed for Pittsburgh by name because of the unspeakable shooting that occurred in a synagogue there this weekend. Other weeks, we have inserted different cities, depending on where the latest violence... Read more

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