April 3, 2015

This is the manuscript of a sermon preached at Stone Hill Church in Princeton, NJ. After the sermon, I led the congregation in a time of prayerful reflection of the center panel of Matthias Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece (a cropped version is above). If I were brave (and perhaps wild) enough to be a part of that wandering band of men and women that constituted his initial followers, I never would have expected to see Jesus hanging on a cross. And yet… if… Read more

February 24, 2015

READING (PRAYING?) FOR SPRING Lectio Divina is Latin for divine or sacred reading. The contemplative practice dates back to at least the fourth century where we have the first recorded mention of it in The Rule of Saint Benedict. For over 1600 years, lectio divina has served as a tool in the church’s toolbox enabling the church to encounter the living God in deeply personal and profound ways. Lectio divina may best be understood as a particular mode of reading… Read more

January 19, 2015

In addition to buying loads of diapers and attending birthing class with Ursula, our German midwife, the primary way I prepared for fatherhood was to design a family crest. I spent the better part of gestation considering what parts and pieces, characteristics and virtues I most want my progeny to embody. After many hours of prayer, reflection and hand drawn concepts, our graphic designer friend, Weylon Smith, put it all together in a way that captured exactly what we dreamed… Read more

December 23, 2014

1. NICKEL CREEK: A Dotted Line Perhaps my most anticipated record of the past few years, this is a reunion album. After nearly a decade since the release of Why Should the Fire Die? (2005), Chris Thile (mandolin) and brother and sister duo, Sara (wicked fiddle) and Sean Watkins (guitar) joined forces once again after years apart doing their own thing musically. The mandolin virtuoso, Chris Thile, is a MacArthur Fellow and recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship or “Genius Grant.”… Read more

December 22, 2014

This is the fourth and final installment of my series on the great hymns of Advent. To learn more about Advent, you can read the introductory post: On Advent: What It Is & Why You Need It. Part 1 on the hymns of Advent can be read here: O Come, O Come Emmanuel. Part 2 can be read here: A Hymn of Advent. Part 3 can be read here: Savior of the Nations, Come. Come Thou Long Expected Jesus by… Read more

December 15, 2014

“Savior of the Nations, Comes” by Holy City Hymns from Advent No. 2 (2014) Savior of the nations, come, Virgin’s Son, here make Thy home. Marvel now, O heaven and earth, That the Lord chose such a birth. Not by human flesh and blood, By the Spirit of our God, Was the Word of God made flesh Woman’s Offspring, pure and fresh. He will come, he will come, He will come down and rescue us. Brightly doth Thy manger shine,… Read more

December 7, 2014

This is the second installment of a series on the great hymns of Advent. To learn more about Advent, read my previous post: On Advent: What It Is & Why You Need It. The first installment on the hymns of Advent can be read here: O Come, O Come Emmanuel. “A Hymn of Advent” by Matt Scott from Poets and Saints (2013) Israel long awaits the promised king She will find, find in him her liberty When he comes, he will… Read more

November 30, 2014

This is the first installment of a series on the great hymns of Advent. To learn more about Advent, read my previous post: On Advent: What It Is & Why You Need It. “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” by Sufjan Stevens from Songs for Christmas (2006) O come, O come, Emmanuel And ransom captive Israel That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer… Read more

November 28, 2014

Check out these great Advent resources. Please buy from my links to Amazon and help support the Transcendentalish blog. Enter promo code HOLIDAY30 and you’ll get 30% off any one book.  The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent by John Piper This brand new daily Advent devotional walks you through a biblical text and brief exposition by John Piper. God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas by Dietrich Bonhoeffer a daily devotional compiled from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s letters and other… Read more

November 28, 2014

Each year, the season of Advent commences on the fourth Sunday before December 25. Unlike the Gregorian Calendar (the calendar most of the world observes), the Church year or liturgical year begins not on January 1 but on Advent Sunday. It is no accident that the Christian year begins with Advent. This season frames how we ought to view God, ourselves, and the entire arc of human history…. not a bad reminder for the start of each new year. The… Read more

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