Mary, one of our Covenant-First Presbyterian congregation members, was telling me about volunteering to help children develop reading skills. She shared with me her incredulity when one of the children she worked with asked, “What do I get if I do my reading lesson?” The question reveals something about human nature - we always have … Continue reading You Can Focus Your Faith On What You Get Or On Who You’re With. Choose Wisely.
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Blaise Pascal Do you struggle with distractibility? I know I sure do. The human brain is constantly flitting from one thing to the next. We’re bombarded by stimuli; every day, we receive thousands of messages from people clamoring for our … Continue reading “Be Still” – The Practice That Helps You Overcome Distraction
Our problems can be banished, and we can be open to new possibilities, if we can get in our head who we really are. I see it every day: people burdened under the weight of a false identity. the man who had been told by his father that he was useless. the girl who suffered … Continue reading Do You Realize Who You Are?
“Is God in Cyberspace?” Tom Friedman says that’s the best question he’s ever received on a book tour. He didn’t have a ready answer - it sent him thinking, pondering, asking other people. A good question deserves the respect of patience, wrestling, and consideration. Friedman could have given an impromptu answer. Instead, he queried others. … Continue reading Is God In Cyberspace? (Reflections on Tom Friedman’s “Thank You For Being Late”)
I’ve been reflecting these past few months about my hopes and dreams for my family. And one of those dreams is that everyone in my family would not simply survive, but thrive. Surviving is about the basic requirements of life: food, shelter, safety, and relationships. It even includes a basic sense of purpose in life … Continue reading 4 Basic Qualities that Will Move You From Surviving to Thriving
So you’ve made a commitment to growing spiritually in 2017? You want to be spiritually stronger, wiser, and more grounded? You want 2017 to be a year of exponential growth? That’s what this series on Fruitful Discipline is all about. (Update on January 11, 2017: Listen to the corresponding sermon series on our Covenant-First Presbyterian YouTube … Continue reading Learning the Discipline of Loving
People ask very good questions. Yesterday, one of our congregation members emailed me, asking, “How would you characterize Christian spirituality?” There are libraries on this subject, degree programs requiring years of study, and licensed practitioners of “spiritual formation.” Christian literature abounds with books by the giants of spiritual formation: Anthony of the Desert, Saint Benedict, … Continue reading What is Christian Spirituality?
The Holy Spirit will guide you in all truth (John 16:13)How does that work?Subtly, I think. I’ve listened to friends tell stories about powerful visitations of the Holy Spirit. Inevitably the tale begins with, “Now, promise me you won’t think I’m crazy.” Then comes the account: an angelic visitation at a young man’s bedside, a … Continue reading Sanctified Intuition – the Holy Spirit At Work
My friend Tim Fary told me once, “We Calvinists really love God the Father a lot; we like Jesus the Son; but the Holy Spirit is a total stranger.”It’s only funny because it rings so true.Fix your attention on some other group of American Christianity, and I’ll wager you’ll find a similar engrossment with one … Continue reading How Many Christians Are Functional Unitarians?
“Have you asked Jesus into your heart as your personal savior?” Growing up in the Bible Belt, I often heard the question. A question asked by well-meaning people, earnest people. For certain, that question played its part in many a spiritual wakening.But is it the right question? Are we even offered a question? Are not … Continue reading Who have you asked into your heart?