July 11, 2020

Losers Who Win

8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring […]

The Contexts of Faith

Much Christian piety and spirituality is romantic and unreal in its positiveness. As children of the Enlightenment, we have censored and selected around the voice of darkness and disorientation, seeking to go from strength to strength, from victory to victory. But such a way not only ignores the Psalms; it is a lie in terms […]

Nouwen on Waiting

By Chaplain Mike For your contemplation today during this season of Advent, here are some words of profound insight from Henri Nouwen. Advent is the time when we practice the discipline of waiting. We focus our attention on the hope to come. We set our hearts on God’s not-yet-seen promises rather than our unfulfilling circumstances […]

A Favorite Children’s Advent/Christmas Book

By Chaplain Mike My entry for a recommended Christmas book is one we read for our children when they were young. It was written by one of my favorite authors, a woman renowned in children’s literature: Madeleine L’Engle. Her award-winning book, A Wrinkle in Time, is a classic that still captures my imagination. L’Engle’s Christmas […]

The Imagination of Faith

By Chaplain Mike What part does imagination play in faith? Can “truth” be communicated through legend, folk tales, poetry, and music? Many Christmas songs have little to do with describing detailed historical facts. Instead, they evoke images from nature, the Biblical narratives, and the cultures from which they arise to help us not only understand […]

Advent III: Gaudete!

By Chaplain Mike As we light the third Advent candle, we thank God for his gift of joy. This is Gaudete (Rejoicing) Sunday. In the midst of Advent’s long journey, our worship on this day calls us to lift up our eyes, focus anew on our destination, and find renewed strength and refreshment from realizing […]

It’s a Wonderful Gospel

By Chaplain Mike What do you need when you have spent your whole life giving to others, sacrificing your dreams to do the responsible thing, being the person others count on when the chips are down; when you are tired of being “that guy” that everyone looks to but no one appreciates? What do you […]

God With Us

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—‘tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.” As a writer, these words by Mark Twain evoke a resounding Amen deep inside me. How many times have I labored for an hour or more to fix one sentence that […]

The Real “Santa Claus”

By Chaplain Mike In this morning’s post, we talked about the difference between Biblical Christianity and the “Disney-ized” version so prevalent in America today. Another example of turning a classic tale into a shallow, sentimentalized version for mass consumption (more in our culture than in the church) is what we have done to the story […]

Advent II—How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place

Note from CM: As we light the second Advent candle, we thank God for his gift of peace. Ephesians 2 speaks of the peace Christ brings to those far and near, calling them together into the one household of God (Eph 2:11-22). Thanks to Damaris today for the following meditation on God’s dwelling place. “How […]