This summer has brought a series of stunning videos from the Center For Medical Progress to our computer screens. These unfiltered videos highlight the secondary business of the selling of baby body parts after an abortion has been performed. They’re barbaric and gruesome, and all of the spin in the world `splainin’ away the cavalier talk by Planned Parenthood execs of Lamborgini purchases and how to get the most money out of each aborted child’s body parts doesn’t erase the hideous truth about what’s been going on right under our collective noses for years.
Even some who’ve been staunch pro-abortion defenders have had to rethink the consequences of their position. In his piece entitled “I Don’t Know If I am Pro-Choice Anymore”, Daily Beast columnist Ruben Navarette, Jr. recognized that he can’t unsee what he saw in those videos: [Read more]

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We’ve underestimated the presence of grace among us. We’ve built up a callus over it with our cynicism and the religious certainties that render us incapable of being surprised. 

If we’re to wait, we must relearn the extravagance of grace. – Sue Monk Kidd

I’ve been blogging my way through Sue Monk Kidd’s 1990 book about midlife, When The Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction For Life’s Sacred QuestionsClick here to read earlier posts in the series.

This chapter focuses on getting and staying still when our instincts tell us to do something – anything to put an end to the disorientation of this life transition. A gripe: though she uses some big terms like ‘Divine center’ and ‘grace’, she offers only cursory explanations of these terms, which can leave some readers with the task of filling in the blanks. Certainly it is possible to infer meaning from context, but these concepts are too big not to clarify her use of them. The mushy, vague spiritual language in the first few pages of this chapter left me a little disoriented.

Thankfully, her focus becomes somewhat tighter as she unfolds the notion of cocooning with God through waiting prayer. [Read more]

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One of my favorite questions to ask both old friends and new acquaintances alike is “What book or books are you reading right now?” I’ll share the contents of my current pile of books, and I’d love it if you’d share the title of a book or two you’re reading (or have read recently). If you’ve read more than half of it, please add a thought or two about what you’re enjoying – or not. I’m always looking for more great reads to add to my stack. [Read more]

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(This post is part of the Patheos “Why I Am Still An Evangelical” conversation.)

My four decades in the Evangelical world has been a pilgrim’s road trip. I came to faith in 1974 in the waning days of the Jesus Movement, and have since swum laps in a variety of different streams within Evangelicalism: fundamentalist, second- and third-wave Charismatic, conservative and progressive non-denominational congregations, house churches, Messianic Jewish congregations*, and local churches with a strong Evangelical flavor that were part of historic, mainline denominations.

I’ve been burned by a couple of these churches, and burned out by a few others. I know of at least two people who tell me they believe I’m on the verge of crossing the Tiber, and a half-handful of others, empowered by their Comment Section anonymity, who have suggested I might be a borderline heretic.

I don’t quite know how to respond to the why I am still an Evangelical without first clarifying via a couple of questions. [Read more]

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Aug

11

2015

Puppy Days Of Summer

We may be in the dog days of summer, but this year’s record rains have made this season more of a wet puppy where I live.  Though it’s late July, the back-to-school commercials are already saturating the airwaves. Our calendars may tell us a new year starts on January 1, but there is a “new year” feeling about early September for many of us, isn’t there?

Recently, I finished edits on my book for NavPress about the calendars that shape our lives. The working title is Everyday Eternity: How the Jewish Feasts and Christian Calendar Point Us At Something More. The book is scheduled for release next year. It will offer readers a lively devotional background look at each calendar’s key days or seasons, along with information about how and why the church moved from one calendar to the other, and application about what each of our days, both holiday and ordinary day, tell us about how to steward and celebrate the time God has given us.

You may be looking ahead to your September “new year” schedule – or trying not to think about it yet! In either case, I hope these words from the current introduction to the book are an encouragement to you as you consider how you structure your days: [Read more]

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