Monthly Archives: October 2013

A new paganism, or the new Jerusalem?

Is the church in this part of the world (North America) verging toward a new brand of paganism? One of my colleagues wrote recently that “many (if not most) American churches emulate the ancient pagan religions in one regard: we neglect mission.” “The American church,” he wrote, “approaches evangelism, mission and outreach pretty much the […]

On not being well adjusted

“The last thing you want to be is a well-adjusted person,” according to Lenore Bierbaum, one of my undergraduate psychology professors. “What you want to be,” she said, “is a person who adjusts well.” Life is not static; it’s dynamic, always in flux, always changing. If I’m alive, I’m adjusting. To the extent I stop […]

The most important voyage of discovery

“What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous.” (Thomas Merton)

Words and heart

“Let your words be the genuine picture of your heart.” (John Wesley)

On the power of the heart

“Is your heart as true to mine as mine is to yours?” Knowing the answer to that question was more important to John Wesley than knowing what anyone believed. “If it is,” he would say, “then give me your hand” (2 Kings 10:15). If our hearts are bound to one another in love, if we […]

The hardest battle

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.” —e.e. cummings

Guinness and God

Drink more beer. That’s what I said when the bishop asked what we could do to create a climate in which we might better hear God’s word to us. The idea came from something Martin Luther said: “While I drink my little pint of Wittenberg beer, the gospel runs its course.” It’s what the Taoists […]

Enron and the church

Enron, the giant energy company that experienced a colossal self-destruction in 2001, is still providing lessons for us, this time in the newsletter of Laura Stack (The Productivity Pro). The lesson she draws is about how the company’s top executives completely lost track of the company’s mission and values and instead “focused on feathering their […]

The simple life

“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple […]

On the power of gratitude

It’s a difficult and costly thing, trying to live up to the expectations of others: difficult, because those expectations are often unspoken and impossibly high; costly, because trying it draws us toward living someone else’s life at the expense of our own, which in the end leads to a kind of death. My father taught […]