April 19, 2015

Mud season and me

These are the ugly days. Before the new season springs forth in delicate color and texture, the world looks like a frat house the day after. The grass is patchy, brown and nubby, and with every step comes the possibility your sneaker treads will lose the battle with God’s good mud. Whatever snow remains crouches […]

Let’s Discuss . . . Mardis Gras

I don’t normally put two posts up on one day anymore, but today is Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), the day before the Lenten season begins, and I would like us to talk about something. Let me put my thoughts in a brief paragraph for you to consider and respond to today: One measure of our […]

Chaplain Mike’s New Year’s Resolutions 2015

In January 2009, Michael Spencer wrote a post containing his New Year’s resolutions. In the same spirit, I offer the following list for 2015. • • • 1. I am breaking off my love affair with you, food. I’m sorry, honey, it’s not you, it’s me. No, really. You’ve never been more beautiful and enticing, […]

Preparing for the New Church Year (4)

For our final post on preparing for the new Church Year, we will talk about some suggestions for further reading and practice. I’ve divided them into three categories. Some are my own suggestions, others have come from IM readers. Books that give an overview of the Church Year to help individuals, families, and churches grasp […]

Preparing for the New Church Year (3)

The freest time in our adult life was after we were married and before we had children. Having graduated from college, we were no longer bound by a school schedule. We lived in a small, iconic Vermont village where the pace of life was slow, the program of our church modest, and our income too […]

Preparing for the New Church Year (2)

Last Sunday I gave five primary reasons why I think it advantageous for Christians to form their spiritual lives — their walk with God through Christ — around the liturgical year. It enables us to live in God’s story. It keeps the main thing the main thing. It recognizes that one’s calendar forms one’s life. […]

Preparing for the New Church Year (1)

Note from CM: In 2010, we did a series on “Church Year Spirituality.” November is the month when we complete the annual liturgical cycle and prepare for a new Church Year, which begins the first Sunday in Advent (Nov. 30 this year). For the next four Sundays, I will run these posts again to help […]

Jesus’ Ascension and Life as Gift

Many churches celebrate Jesus’ Ascension today, though the official observance was this past Thursday (May 29). We so often leave the Ascension out of our gospel. Christ’s “finished work,” however, includes Jesus’ incarnation, ministry, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and outpouring of the Holy Spirit — all of the above. These great events are the key […]

Another Look: Easter Is a Season, Not a Day

First Published April 4, 2010. Many of us in our Christian traditions learned to celebrate Christ’s resurrection on a day — Easter Sunday. Easter is the great Lord’s Day, the climax of Holy Week, the high point of the Christian Year, marked by an explosion of color, wafting fragrance of lilies, majestic sounds of organ […]

Let’s Discuss: Christmas Music Recommendations

Back in 2010, Jeff and I had dueling posts about our favorite Christmas music. Jeff’s top five were: Bells of Dublin, The Chieftains Christmas Portrait, The Carpenters Ultra-Lounge Christmas Cocktails, Part Two, Various Artists If On A Winter’s Night, Sting Christmas, Bruce Cockburn He also gave honorable mentions to: A Charlie Brown Christmas, by Vince […]