February 18, 2018

Another Look: The Power of Stories

Stories are better than doctrine, at least in the way we have come to state doctrines. Over the course of my ministry, I have constantly fallen into the trap of thinking that being able to state a doctrine means that one has mastered its meaning. It’s great to be able to rattle off what we […]

A Few of the Many Quotes that Shape My Life

A Few of the Many Quotes that Shape My Life • • • All Spirituality is Living and Local So—spiritual theology, lived theology—not just studied, or discussed, or written about; not “God” as an abstraction but God in a participating relationship; not God as a truth to be argued; not God as a weapon to […]

Another Look: Overrated — Expressing My Opinion

The irony is not lost on this author. In this post I will share my opinion, stating my opinion that sharing opinions is overrated. And I will publish it on a blog dedicated to giving people a forum for sharing their opinions. So there. As a young minister, I soon learned the truth of a […]

A spirituality “not pressed through the pores”

❧ A saint is capable of loving created things and enjoying the use of them and dealing with them in a perfectly simple, natural manner, making no formal references to God, drawing no attention to his own piety, and acting without any artificial rigidity at all. His gentleness and his sweetness are not pressed through […]

The “Automaticities” of Faith

In his book You Are What You Love, James K. A. Smith references the work of Timothy Wilson, a psychologist at the University of Virginia, writing: At one point Wilson wagers that only about 5 percent of what we do in a given day is the outcome of conscious, deliberate choices we make, processed by that […]

Real Virtue Is “Second Nature”

Real Virtue Is “Second Nature” In a sense, then, to become virtuous is to internalize the law (and the good to which the law points) so that you follow it more or less automatically. As Aristotle put it, when you’ve acquired a moral habit, it becomes second nature. Why do we call things “second” nature? […]

“More a matter of hungering and thirsting than of knowing and believing.”

In his book, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit, James K. A. Smith says that “the first, last, and most fundamental question of Christian discipleship” is  “What do you want?”. This is the most incisive, piercing question Jesus can ask of us precisely because we are what we want. Our wants and […]

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 […]

Fridays with Damaris: Another Look – How We Become Human

How We Become Human By Damaris Zehner I know, as a tenet of my faith, that Jesus’ incarnation, death, and resurrection somehow have set me free from death and given me new life.  I know that God says that he will take away my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh.  But […]

Fridays with Damaris: Literature and Empathy

Literature and Empathy By Damaris Zehner In May of 1998, my husband, three daughters, and I – pregnant with our fourth – moved to Kyrgyzstan.  We went with a non-denominational mission agency and planned to develop a business in one of the most remote areas.  We had many reasons for taking our family overseas to […]