When I think of the title of my blog—An Old Song with a New Dance—and what was happening in my life when I chose it, I think of forming a new way of life out of the patchwork of history and culture that has had an influence on who I am and what I care about. I think about Medieval monks and about living in a big house with another family leading to a painful schism. I think about the longing for connection with other people and with God that led to trying something new. I think about the dark night of the soul that followed the dissolution of that community. I think about learning from a new community what serving and community and faithfulness and love look like.Read More Re-Write
This week, each year, my family joins with millions of other Americans to celebrate certain values, to be mindful of the good things in our lives, and to feast. We rejoice in unity and gratefulness. As I approach my practice of meditation this week, I feel drawn to the biblical book Philippians. There are several […]Read More With Thanksgiving
What does it do to a person to be told that the suffering they experience isn’t real because it isn’t as bad as all these other groups? What does it do to label a person as evil because he has other concerns than the ones we hold dear? What does it do to stifle a person’s needs because we think their resentment is misplaced?
I think it creates Trump supporters.
I think we, the champions of the downtrodden, are in part responsible for people turning to the only person who told them their concerns mattered, that their problems were worth talking about, that they weren’t the bad guys.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Trump himself is a cancer spreading through this country, spouting hate and spreading blame by feeding people’s misguided ideas about who causes the problems we face as a nation. The problem is that he sprinkles in some truth with his lies.
And—this is important—the people who voted for Donald Trump… are not Donald Trump.
They are the marginalized majority.Read More A Time to Break Down and a Time to Build Up
So far, I have learned that doing the steps of centering prayer is simple. Learning to enter into prayerful meditation requires a lot of practice, but I am happy to realize that mindfulness meditation is very similar mentally and is good preparation. The significant difference is the foundational goals and internal posture. Mindfulness meditation is about personal and interpersonal health. Centering prayer is about orienting your will toward Christ so that your spirit, mind, and emotions, given by God, can be renewed and uninhibited in its quest for relationship with God. I plan to refocus my meditation practice on this when my MBSR course is completed.
One of the more interesting side effects of developing a meditation practice and contemplative prayer discipline is the lines of thought I have been inspired to follow. One has been a breakthrough in my understanding of biblical wisdom literature. I have understood for many years that wisdom literature is not intended to be read as commands, and it is meant to stimulate the thoughts of the reader. However, it is only now that I have realized that Proverbs is not intended to be practical advice either. It is meant to be prompts for meditation.Read More With All Your Mind, Part 04: Discovery
What do you do when you have a master’s degree in the divine, a bachelor’s degree in the study of the Bible and biblical languages, have built your identity on the depth and wisdom of a spiritual life you have always hoped was meaningful for more people than just yourself, and you’re even in the middle of writing a series of blog posts about prayer and meditation, and in an instant, you no longer believe? What do you do when you’ve defined your life as a search to find the right steps to dance to the ancient and eternal song composed of God’s love and the music fades from hearing?Read More When the Music Fades
We were not made to be mindless. We were not made to be loveless. We were not made for violence or fear. Perfect love casts out fear, and we were made to immerse our wills, our hearts, our minds, and our souls in the vastness of divine love. We were made to let that love renew us and change us and lead us to think about love, feel love, and live love in tangible ways.Read More With All Your Mind, Part 03: How God Changes Your Brain
I’ve been thinking about writing a post on abortion for some time. I mentioned it in my last post, and I received responses from people saying they were looking forward to it. But now that it comes down to it, I don’t wanna. Honestly, it’s kinda scary. I’m fairly confident everyone will hate me when […]Read More Pro-Abundant-Life
I really can’t stand church marquees in general. They are almost always obnoxious or embarrassing. They’re not too bad when limited to announcing times for events and no more. This time, though, one was likable enough to go viral and start showing up all over Facebook, etc. and it was from a church right here […]Read More I Heart Hateful Christians
Now that we have been living in the Lents neighborhood for over a month, and without housemates for over three months, I feel like I am beginning to understand more clearly just what came from trying to live in our intentional community. Chrissy and I still believe we were called to join with the people […]Read More Training in Failure
Balance. Moderation. Truth. Love. Faithfulness. Wholeness. These words are what come to mind when I think about trying to maintain equilibrium in my life. They are what come to mind when I think about what we strive for when we seek to avoid extremism. I’ve talked about wild overcorrections in conversations with Chrissy and others. […]Read More Following Jesus: Walking the Narrow Road