A View from the Pew: Counting All the Blessings

Counting the money received in the offering each week is one of the myriad tasks of church life that falls into the “thankless job” category. You may not even know who does it at your church. It’s a behind-the-scenes job well suited for the kind of church member who avoids the spotlight and prefers to do their “good deeds in secret” (Matt 6:4).

With All Your Heart

Good counselors ask good questions. The counselor who helped me work through my season of depression once asked me a question that revealed a source of my pain and a path I needed to take toward healing. She asked, “Who knows your whole story?”

Pray at All Hours

While we have come to expect a twenty-four-hour news cycle and, if we could, we’d stare at our social media feeds for just as long, the idea that God speaks at times and days other than at 11 a.m. on Sunday mornings continues to be a stretch for many people.

Death and All of His Friends

Earlier today, the oldest and I were riding in a car to an appointment. He was having a rough morning of his own doing and I wanted him to get re-grounded before we set off on the day. So I plugged in my phone and I played the Coldplay song “Strawberry Swing.”

Connections 06.04.2017: The God of All People

This morning as I write, the screen is blurry through tears. I can’t stop thinking of an arena full of excited, joyful young concertgoers who had no idea of the horror that was about to unfold when their show ended. Last night (May 22) in Manchester, England, yet another terror attack claimed the lives of innocent people—this time following a concert by American pop singer Ariana Grande.

Connections 11.13.2016: It’s All About the Presence

On the day before Mother’s Day in 2004, my Good Wife and I purchased a slate sign about the size of an automobile license plate from a vendor at the Charleston (SC) City Market. We had two lines of text inscribed on it.

The Great Cloud

I have been thinking a lot about my spiritual journey recently. The truth of the matter is that whatever has been done to get me to the nebulous “here” of being ordained is not solely my doing. Not even close.

Connections 10.23.2016: Lord of All

These are tough times to be active on social media. Hurricanes. Floods. Racially motivated riots. Shootings. LGBTQ rights. A more-contentious-than-usual presidential race.

Formations 06.05.2016: All You Have to Change Is Everything You Are

Why are so many celebrities willing to sacrifice who they are in order to achieve success and fame? Jan Aitken, a life coach based in Dunedin, New Zealand, recently pondered this question after watching a documentary about Janis Joplin, a stellar blues singer.

Gotta Catch ‘em All

A major event came and went on February 27th on which the church as a whole was, as far as I could tell, troublingly silent on. Yes, I understand the issues inherent to suggesting some form of deep homogeneity to our religion.

All Quiet on the Sunday School Front

One of the Saturday night fears of Sunday morning small group leaders is having to face a crowd of learners resistant to joining discussion on the day’s lesson. Few teaching challenges are more daunting than finding fresh ways to draw in a reticent class.