Blog

Easter Expectations and Real Life

Post Image

I’ve lived in New England long enough to know that spring isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Jill and I initially discovered this almost 40 years ago, during our first year in New England. It was spring break at Yale Divinity School, so it was spring, right? Spring in Southern California, our home […]

read more

An Early Spring Retreat: “Doing” for God Gives Way to Being with God

Post Image

March came in like a lion and went out like one too, with 18 inches of snow falling here March 31 and April 1. Despite a snowy beginning of spring, we’ve had several visitors, including one exhausted pastor making his first ever retreat. I spent some time listening to his story. Exhausted, he had come […]

read more

Upgraded Security on Our Website

We discovered a few days ago that the blog page of our website had been hacked. We took down the inappropriate content of the hacked pages and upgraded our security. So, now, all is well. Please note that the “Donate” button on our home page is a link to PayPal. That link was and is […]

read more

The Spirituality of Taking a Vacation

Post Image

We just returned from a trip to Nova Scotia, and I realized something important about vacations: you cannot arrive at relaxation until you leave behind your normal routine. In other words, changing your geography changes your attitude, outlook, and even your emotions. So why is that? For starters, to leave behind the place where your […]

read more

A Late Autumn Walk at Dusk

Post Image

(Note: this first appeared on the Internet Monk, February 5, 2016.) Dusk is my favorite time for walking, when the sun has just set over the western hills so that the last light of the day slowly dims like embers of a fire going out. Night is ascendant, but, for a few minutes at least, […]

read more

That We Might Be Happy Together Again: A Meditation on Christmas

Sometimes at Christmas we get so caught up with the magi, shepherds, and  the barnyard animals around the manger that we forget about the birth that the birth of Christ set into motion. Sometimes, the familiar nativity display so dominates our imagination that we forget the purpose of the One who was born. The One […]

read more

Thanksgiving: You Can’t Sell Gratitude

As I write, the Halloween decorations are being taken down and the Christmas decorations are going up. Halloween candy is selling at half price to clear the way for Christmas candy. Yet again, the marketing steamroller of these mega-profitable holidays has gone right over Thanksgiving and squashed it. It’s hard to make money on Thanksgiving, […]

read more

The Bloody God and the Bleeding God

I’ve been reading the Old Testament. It’s a great story, despite Leviticus’ by-laws and Numbers’ numbers. However, reading it is an unsettling experience. As I started to note the body count, it seemed to me that God was a lot like the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland, with her constant cry “Off with their […]

read more

Religious Virtuosity: The Spiritual Life on Automatic Pilot

Growing up is, among other possibilities, a process of learning how to do things. We learn to walk and talk, to tie our shoes, and to tell the difference between the men’s room and the ladies’ room. Much of what happens later in life builds on such foundational skills. For example, we learn to drive […]

read more

Warm Hearted Waiting in a Cold Season

Advent dates back to the mid-sixth century. By the 13th century, the whole church recognized the four Sundays leading up to Christmas as a period of preparation for Christ’s coming. If Christmas is a birthday party for Jesus, then Advent is a time to ponder what that birth means—and the fact that Christ changes everything. […]

read more