How Does Christmas Feel?

When I was a high school student, I did not compile a particularly enviable record as an athlete or as a scholar. I did, however, achieve a fleeting measure of notoriety as an Elvis impersonator.

The Weight of Pain

Why does pain almost always seem to weigh more, to have more substance, to impact us more powerfully, than joy? For many people, the moments that have been most life-changing have been, not the moments of joy, but the moments of pain.

A Prayer for When Exhilaration Gives Way to Routine

We live on the highs, don’t we, Lord? At least you may have noticed that we try. Of course, this isn’t realistic. But that never keeps us from striving. We become accustomed to the thrill. Addicted to the high of achievement and feedback. We get used to accomplishment and growth.

Hard Things Are Hard

Hard things are hard. Sometimes life is just plain hard. You can’t escape it or get around it; you just have to live through it.

Imagining God

How do you and I imagine God? I realize that God exceeds our capacities for imagination, but most of us live with some mental image of the Divine. It’s almost necessary. For example, when I pray, I can’t speak with any intimacy to something that is formless, shapeless, and total mystery.

Unless You Come unto Me as These

This one is going to be a problem for us. You know that most adults have forgotten that they were children once upon a time. In fact, how long has it been since most adults have included “once upon a time” in any sentence?

Between What We Dreamed and What We Got

After all those years of stumbling around in the middle of nowhere, dealing with all the conflict and controversy of his contrary constituency, you’d like to think that Moses would get to lead the parade into the land of promise.

People Go Where They Know

As a teacher (regardless of the age group we teach), one task is to communicate to those who come each week that we are prepared for them.

The Theology of Extremity

What matters most to God? In recent years that question has grown larger and deeper at the center of my soul. My struggle to discern what really matters most to God has settled around a rather unsettling phrase: “the theology of extremity.”

The Gripping Reality of the Spiritual “Dark Night”

We all know the hard-luck person (that’s what he gets labeled) who seems to encounter one tragedy after another. Sometimes, the tragedies seem to pile up on each other. Maybe you have been that person.

Formations 08.17.2014: NBA Star Acts Like a Role Model, if He Is One or Not

NBA great Charles Barkley asserted, “I am not a role model” in a 1993 Nike commercial. “I am not paid to be a role model. I am paid to wreak havoc on the basketball court.”