September 21, 2020

On “Soft” Racism

On “Soft” Racism Hi, my name is Mike and most of my life has been lived in a culture of “soft” racism. “Soft” racism is my phrase for the mindset of people — like me — who grew up in a homogeneous white culture. I was raised in the Midwest, northern Illinois to be precise. […]

My life these days (in song)

My life these days (in song) (Warning: some strong language) • • • It’s the weight of the world But it’s nothing at all Light as a prayer, and then I feel myself fall You got to give me a minute Because I’m way down in it And I can’t breathe so I can’t speak […]

Wednesday with Michael Spencer “The lived spiritual life is a frequent contradiction.”

Wednesday with Michael Spencer “The lived spiritual life is a frequent contradiction.”  From a 2007 post: “Mother Teresa and the Mystery of God’s Absence” Christianity’s promises of the present presence and apprehension of God are not simple. In many ways, it seems to me that neither scripture nor recorded experience gives a coherent, teachable view […]

Another Look: If you are not afraid…

Note from CM: I wrote this post in 2013. I don’t recall off the top of my head what prompted it, but I do know why it speaks to me today. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, indeed as it continues to surge here in the U.S. without any signs of abating, I have never felt […]

“Your relationship with God grows uniquely in the soil that is your journey through life”

My friend Dory recently wrote: This year has been transitional for me, and I hope I’m not nearly done yet. I have deliberately stepped back from everything I thought I knew about traditional Christianity, racial divide, politics, racial bias, the meaning of freedom, and the response of the church to government oppression. I have asked […]

Buechner: “My own heart let me more have pity on.”

“My own heart let me more have pity on.” By Frederick Buechner I certainly am always at war one way or another with myself, and some of them are wars I must fight to try to slay the demons, to kill the dragon, to lay the ghost to rest. But there are other wars you […]

Tuesday with Michael Spencer: No Regrets

Tuesday with Michael Spencer No Regrets (from 2009, edited) Young folks in ministry. Adults living in regret. This is for you…. There was a time, in the last decade, that I constantly and painfully struggled with regrets about various choices I’d made in my life. I regretted not finishing doctoral studies. (I made it 37 […]

Of uncles and the tapestry of life

We buried my last uncle yesterday. I am now bereft of uncles and aunts; our small family tree has been trimmed back to an even tinier size. My uncle was a Marine, a decorated Korean War veteran, Purple Heart and Bronze Star. When he returned home, he devoted himself to studying and became a Doctor […]

Being Merciful to Yourself (especially for caregivers)

Being Merciful to Yourself An excerpt from Guide Them Safely Home, Lord: A Caregiver’s Companion Mercy triumphs over judgment. – James 2:13 * * * I recently read an article by Marian Friedrichs in which she shared the following experience: One Saturday, when I confessed yet again to judging other people harshly, the priest told […]

Bonhoeffer: Who Am I?

This poem is from one of Bonhoeffer’s final prison letters, shortly before his execution. Though most of us are not facing certain death as he was, nevertheless I find the expressions in this poem relevant to what we may be experiencing and feeling in these uncertain days of pandemic and lockdowns. • • • Who […]