July 23, 2018

Should Christians Covet Poverty?

Some American Christians sentimentalize poverty.  They long for it as a simpler, more holy lifestyle.  They read accounts of praise-filled believers in far countries who barely have enough to eat or a roof over their heads, and they wonder if maybe poverty is a helpful or even necessary condition for the Christian life.  Jesus did […]

Cleaning Closets

By Chaplain Mike I came home from a weekend away intent on cleaning out closets. This urge occasionally strikes, and when it does, I’ve learned to lie down until it goes away. Ridding home and life of clutter sometimes seems overwhelming, especially now, living in a house and at a time of life when most […]

Dining In The Valley

Editor’s note: Read this essay by Joe Spann slowly and prayerfully. It was written in the midst of pain for those who are in the midst of pain. “Son of Adam,” said Aslan.  “Are you ready to undo the wrong that you have done to my sweet country of Narnia on the very first day […]

The Good Land

Only recently did I discover that the monastic vows of Saint Benedict included the vow of stability:  poverty, chastity, obedience, and stability — staying in one place. There is a virtue to staying where you are.  There is a virtue to being where you are.  Too many of us are never where we are.  We […]

IM Film Review: Into Great Silence

It is a pity that the world has lost all sense of God. • Carthusian Monk, “Into Great Silence” Into Great Silence is not a film one watches, it is an experience into which one enters. It is an immersion in the contemplative life. It is seasons passing, the sound of snow falling, the buzzing of flies. […]

Those Who Dance Are Considered To Be Insane By Those Who Can’t Hear The Music

And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision. (1 Samuel 3:1, ESV) For so many of my almost 37 years following the Lord, there has been no frequent vision, at least not for me. My “words from the Lord” have come through sermons and books I read. […]

In the Dry Old Summertime

By Chaplain Mike We aren’t yet to the “dog days” of summer. But I’m dry already. Am I alone in finding certain seasons of the year more challenging with regard to staying spiritually vibrant? Life has a rhythm, and I seem to do best when that rhythm is steady. But summertime often lacks a defined […]

Religion and Culture

(Note: Richard Niebuhr wrote a classic book called Christ and Culture.  I highly recommend reading it to understand the variety of relationships possible between Christianity and culture.  I don’t attempt to summarize his ideas here, just my own thoughts from my travels and studies.) Recently Lisa Dye quoted Derek Prince as saying, “Never let your […]

Balance

Virtue and truth, if out of balance, cease to be virtue or truth. That’s a bit short for a post, so I’ll expand. Any virtue developed in isolation from other virtues becomes a vice. Truthfulness, untempered by kindness, becomes a critical spirit. Gentleness without courage is weak. Empathy without self-discipline is soppy. It is easy […]

Shaped By Jesus II

By Chaplain Mike “Shaped By Jesus” is a series of sign-posts pointing to Jesus’ teaching and acts as the soil from which Christlike discipleship grows. We are shaped by Jesus and we are shaped to be like Jesus in his character and mission. The Spirit enables us to be with Jesus today as we live […]