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Devotions

April 18, 2019

Enemies have a way of bringing friends together. 

You’ve experienced this plenty of times. Someone comes to you and complains about somebody else, and you say, “Oh yeah. She’s the worst.” It’s a moment of togetherness, of solidarity between you, and it feels good. You g...

March 30, 2019

My youngest child is wiggling her front tooth. It’s a thrill, it’s a project, it’s unmitigated glee. I’ve seen this before.

A kid waits for the first loose tooth longer than they wait for Halloween, for summer vacation. When’s it gonna fall out? My friend’s already lost...

March 21, 2019

9 killed at the Buddhist Temple in Waddell, AZ
6 killed at the Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, WI.
9 killed at Mother Emanuel in Charleston, SC.
26 killed at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX.
11 killed at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA.
50 killed at...

March 8, 2019

When somebody gets baptized in church, it's a celebration.  People go out to lunch afterward, or somebody hosts a party.  Gifts, cake, lots of hugs.

Read the gospel stories of Jesus’ baptism, and at first you’d think things were going just that way.  The momen...

January 25, 2019

A few years ago I led a small group of 10 married men, that met weekly to talk about faith, family, and the meaning of life.  One time, when our discussion had gotten focused on conflict at home, I asked the guys, “When was the last time you said to your spouse, “I’m s...

January 18, 2019

Several years ago, a person I had been very close friends with did something extremely hurtful, and it changed our relationship forever.  In the years since, I’ve wondered if he was being cruel, or just clueless, but either way, the thing that happened ended our friend...

January 11, 2019

Broadly speaking, forgiveness is held up as essential to a good life.  It’s a virtue.  It’s something decent people do.
 
In practice, in real life, forgiveness is much more of a puzzle, and a much heavier lift. 
 
When a person does real harm to another, when the...

December 21, 2018

When the angel Gabriel told Mary she would have a baby, he said, ““You will bear a son, and name him Jesus.  He will be great, and will be called Son of the Most High… his kingdom will have no end.”

Christians embrace and repeat this claim about Jesus - that he is great...

October 30, 2018

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 5:10

I’ve been thinking of these words as I reflect on the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

The attack on Tree of L...

September 5, 2018

“If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it.”

That’s a saying from Richard Rohr, the Catholic teacher whose wisdom on suffering, aging, self-knowledge and peacemaking has shaped the thinking of many spiritual seekers and leaders in our time.

If y...

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