August 16, 2022

Practical Theologians For many of us the idea of practical theology seems like an oxymoron. What would practical theologians do? There are few things we can imagine which might be less practical than theology. We tend to see theology as philosophical, conceptual, and more intellectual than we have time to consider. For us, practical things are nuts and bolts, ideas we can apply and put into practice in our everyday lives. In fact, practical theologians are all about how those... Read more

August 11, 2022

When Do We Worship? Many of us do not think we spend much time paying attention to worship these days. We are busy getting things done, talking to people, living our lives. There is barely enough time for us to think at all, much less think about worshipping. Those of us who do think about it may see it as part of our job. We probably spend more time thinking about it than actually doing it. If we ever do... Read more

August 9, 2022

When Our Fear Shapes Us It is a challenge for many of us to be fearless. When we look closely we realize our fear shapes us. A few years ago I decided to give up fear. I belong to a church which divides each year into liturgical seasons, and one year I decided I would give up fear for Lent. Giving up fear is not about never being afraid of anything. There are some things which are healthy for us to... Read more

August 4, 2022

Exploring the Depths of Stillness Many of us tend to overlook the depths of stillness. We get distracted and swept away by the shiny objects and loud noises floating on the surface. The actions we wish we had never taken or the pain we hope to avoid capture our attention. Some of us have a past filled with deep pools of regret or missed opportunities. Our future might appear to be full of fears or fantasies waiting to lure us and seize... Read more

July 28, 2022

Paying Unfocused Attention Focus is one of my strengths. Concentrating is not usually difficult for me. It is more of a challenge for me to pay unfocused attention. The ability to focus and concentrate can give people serious benefits. Paying attention helped me do well in school and practice law. My concentration skills helped me remember facts and deal with witnesses. We often rely on our abilities to pay attention as we analyze and think our way through questions. Focusing... Read more

July 26, 2022

Is This Summer a Turning Point For Us? There are times when our lives seem to stretch back into the past and forward into the future. Some of us cannot remember the decisions which brought us to this present moment. At other times it feels like our lives have spun on a specific experience which has transformed us from heading in one direction and sent us speeding in another. Our lives have revolved on a turning point. We may be... Read more

July 14, 2022

The Power of Our Metaphors Our metaphors help us decide how we want to live our lives. Most of us do not choose our metaphors with much intention. We experience the world in ways shaped by the places and cultures in which we live as well as our families and their histories. Choosing either how we experience the world around us or our own places in it is rare for us. Many of us are not particularly aware of the... Read more

July 12, 2022

When Stillness Hides Its Face From Us How do we respond when stillness hides its face from us? The games we play as children often describe our expectations and understanding later in life. I remember playing unforgettable marathon games of hide and seek. You have not really learned the lessons of hiding and seeking until you play at night in a church with the lights off. Hide and seek taught me about when to hide and how to seek. Some of... Read more

June 30, 2022

Celebrating Our Revolutionary Independence Monday is the anniversary of the day 246 years ago when we declared our revolutionary independence. Our nation began with a revolution. There was a war, but the revolution came first and it is what we celebrate. We began with a revolution in how we see ourselves. Many of us will spend Monday grilling and eating, then blowing things up in the evening. Across the country most of us will celebrate our revolutionary independence the same ways everyone... Read more

June 28, 2022

How Much Further Can We Go? There are days, sometimes weeks or years, when we wonder how much further we can go. Sometimes it feels like a long time since we made any progress or accomplished anything. We worry we are stuck or sitting up on blocks turning to rust. Maybe we feel we are coasting, relying on our past achievements. We might be frustrated because other people do not seem to even remember our most significant work. We feel... Read more

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