July 21, 2017

Fridays with Damaris: Another Look – Filled with Passionate Intensity

Filled with Passionate Intensity By Damaris Zehner Does anyone else cringe when they hear the over-used word “passion”? “What’s your passion?” —  “I have a passion for — something.” — “I’m so passionate about that.” I don’t think these people know what they’re really saying. Bear with me here. I’m launching into a history of […]

Another Look: If You Are Not Afraid, You Are Not Human

Hello. My name is Mike, and I am afraid. I am afraid of life, and I am afraid of life’s end. I am afraid of being alone, and I am afraid of being with people. I am afraid of hatred and I am afraid of love. Truth and beauty frighten me even as I delight […]

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 […]