May 23, 2015

More on “Playing the Music”

Picking up on yesterday’s post, here few more thoughts on “playing the music”… • • • Last night we went to a spring intermediate school band and choral concert (5th and 6th grade). My grandson was playing and we knew several other children and families who were involved. I have four children and have been to many […]

Eugene Peterson: Virtuoso Spirituality

What comes next is very important: I am sending what my Father promised to you, so stay here in the city until he arrives, until you’re equipped with power from on high. • Luke 24:49, MSG • • • Pentecost is the next great Sunday on the Christian calendar: it falls this Sunday for the […]

“We keep returning to its rich waters thirsty”

I was baptized as an infant in 1958. My sainted grandmother gave me some books then and in my preschool years about Jesus, heaven, and the twelve disciples. A while back, when my parents moved, my mother found those books and gave them to me again. I remember looking through them with fascination when I was […]

Christian Wiman on religious despair

Religious despair is often a defense against boredom and the daily grind of existence. Lacking intensity in our lives, we say that we are distant from God and then seek to make that distance into an intense experience. It is among the most difficult spiritual ailments to heal, because it is usually wholly illusory. There […]

Emerging from Gethsemani: What I did and what I read

I spent Monday through Friday last week at one of my favorite places in the world: The Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, near Bardstown, Kentucky. This was my third retreat at Gethsemani, and each of them has had a different purpose. I went in November 2011 in a state of exhaustion from a heavy […]

Ron Rolheiser on Priestly Prayer

I have an idea some people have a misconception when I tell them I am going on retreat to a place like the Abbey of Gethsemani, where I am this week. I know I’ve had such wrong notions in the past, especially in my free-church evangelical days. This is especially true regarding the daily services […]

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 […]