March 5, 2015

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. […]

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 […]

Sunday Formation Talk: Work

Work joins prayer and sacred reading in an integrated and well balanced monastic life. • Fr. Charles Cummings For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would […]

Sunday Formation Talk: Liturgical Prayer

Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous ordinances. • Psalm 119:164 Sacred reading, manual work, and liturgical prayer constitute the threefold footing of our daily life. • Fr. Charles Cummings • • • On this Lord’s Day, we continue our consideration of teachings from Fr. Charles Cummings’ book, Monastic Practices. We are […]