March 27, 2015

Randy Thompson: Religious Virtuosity — The Spiritual Life on Automatic Pilot 

Growing up is, among other possibilities, a process of learning how to do things. We learn to walk and talk, to tie our shoes, and to tell the difference between the men’s room and the ladies’ room. Much of what happens later in life builds on such foundational skills. For example, we learn to drive […]

Damaris Zehner: Ponderings on Permaculture

It’s almost spring, and I’m reading about gardening.  It’s my yearly ritual to keep hope alive over the winter.  This winter I’ve focused on permaculture.   I like permaculture because it deals with growing things in a sustainable and sane way, but it has also led me to three related thoughts. Permaculture, I’ve learned, is […]

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 […]

Nostalgia. As bad as relevance.

Nostalgia. It’s as bad for you as “relevance.” Sunday in church, the pianist played a lovely arrangement of the old Maranatha! chorus, “I Love You, Lord.” Then in response, we sang another chorus that has been a big part of my adult Christian experience, “Give Thanks.” In the more traditional service at our church, we sprinkle […]

Empathy

Note from CM: I received an email from Mike Bell yesterday asking for a leave from writing for IM for awhile. They have received some bad news about a family member whose cancer has returned, and Mike will have additional responsibilities in the days to come. He is also facing some increasing demands at work. Please […]

Practices that help keep Jesus in the center

We here at Internet Monk are committed to continuing Michael Spencer’s legacy of what he called “Jesus-shaped spirituality.” I am always happy to shore up our understanding and practice in this area, as one of our commenters suggested in last week’s post about what conversations we should be having in 2015. If you follow the link […]

Another Look: The Limits of Vulnerability

This is an excerpt from a post published in January, 2013. It has been edited and updated. • • • I think that the practice of “vulnerability” as personal transparency may have gone to seed. Just take one flip around the TV channels and you can see that. What are all of these confessional talk […]

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. […]