May 26, 2017

Waiting to Live

Most of my life, I’ve been waiting to live. The pattern has been like this: seasons of thinking about what it means to live and waiting to live and hoping to live, interrupted by moments of living. I’ve spent most of my days thinking about life, pondering what will enable me to live. Hoping for […]

Fridays with Michael Spencer: Feb. 24, 2017

Sometimes someone else’s sins become the light of seeing our own. Several years ago I was working with a particularly difficult young church staff member. His pattern was to do everything his way, and when negative consequences arrived, to be completely defensive. Insight into his own character wasn’t much of an interest. Finding others guilty […]

Daniel Jepsen: Loving God According to our Personality

Loving God According to our Personality By Daniel Jepsen I struggled with this title; the term personality is more elastic than a spandex jumpsuit, and the phrase loving God is not much more definitive.  But my main point is this: We rightly express our devotion to God differently than other people because of the unique […]

Why We Had Merton Week (with more such “weeks” to come)

Why We Had Merton Week (with more such “weeks” to come) A couple of weeks ago I hit the wall. I’ll spare you the gory details, but let’s just say I exhausted my capacity to concentrate and to speak without setting on fire the room around me. I remember when this happened back in 2011. […]

Merton Week: As if I were a different kind of being

Who can escape the secret desire to breathe a different atmosphere from the rest of men? • • • And now I am thinking of the disease which is spiritual pride. I am thinking of the peculiar unreality that gets into the hearts of the saints and eats their sanctity away before it is mature. […]

Merton Week: The Place I Wish to Begin, the Well from Which I Wish to Draw

❅ Let me keep silence in this world, except in so far as God wills and in the way He wills it. • Thomas Merton, The Sign of Jonas

Another Look: From a “Separatists Anonymous” meeting

Hi, my name is Mike, and I am a recovering separatist. [Hi, Mike!] My separatist life started when I had a spiritual awakening at the end of my senior year in high school. That “conversion” was to me like rounding a bend in the highway and driving straight into a blinding sun so bright that it washed out […]

Clinical Depression vs. the Rich Tapestry of Human Experience

Yesterday’s comments prompted me to do some thinking, especially about one of the questions — “Does depression ever have a useful purpose?” My first inclination is to say, “No,” at least when we are speaking of clinical depression. There are different types of clinically diagnosed depression, and they all represent organic ailments that can disrupt life and lead […]

Another Look: Depression, the Bible, and the Perils of Being Too Spiritual

Originally posted in 2011. The other day I was reading a blog that will remain unnamed. I’m not interested in interacting personally with the author or “answering” his post. I simply want to use his take on a particular subject as an illustration to make a point here today. That point is: The Bible simply does not speak […]

Fridays with Michael Spencer: October 21, 2011

In Screwtape Letter 10, the senior tempter reminds Wormwood that, as much as possible, he should strive to have his patient lead two completely separate and parallel lives. It’s basic demonic advice, and few of us would need much explanation. Someone ought to add that’s there’s no good reason to stop at two separate lives. Three, four, […]