The Beauty of Complexity

In Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard's Pulitzer Prize winning book (1975), she writes the following: The point of the dragonfly's terrible lip, the giant water bug, birdsong, or the beautiful dazzle and flash of sunlighted minnows, is not that it all fits together like clockwork--for it doesn't ....--but that it all flows so freely wild,... Continue Reading →

Stay Curious

"How do you fight cynicism? Stay curious." This is my third year teaching at a school in the Kansas City area. Each of the past two years we have begun back-to-school teacher training with a sermon from a local pastor, a message reminding us of our duty to mold the children and young men and... Continue Reading →

“Advent”: A Poem

Advent We hold on to our demise-- what things we hold on to! Lamp-posts line cold streets: lightless, lifeless, leafless poking about in irrelevance. Rosy cheeks cross rosy streets, a subtle blush sponged upon the winter droll; everything is fine. “Say it enough, and it's yours if you just believe,” thumped from a television set,... Continue Reading →

“Waiting Is an Art”

"...And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that all our ideas are wrong, and that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyes... Continue Reading →

“Back to School” Is Not Just for Kids

  "The time has come to revive an idea that once seemed natural: the student's life as a Christian calling." Dr. Leland Ryken, author and professor, writes this in a chapter that he contributed to Liberal Arts for the Christian Life. For Ryken and many Christian educators (like myself), education is not a season of life meant... Continue Reading →

Yes, You Can!

I really don't like prosperity preachers (do we remember the private jet fundraising debacle?); the worldview they offer is so hollow and contradictory both to Scripture and basic human experience. The biblical narrative is pretty clear: God made all things perfect, the first humans fell from grace in an attempt to become divine themselves, God began... Continue Reading →

Worship: The Flame of Life

[This post was featured on The Avenue Church's blog and podcast, For the City.] The word worship elicits all kinds of images. One person may think of pew on pew on pew leading up to a large Gospel choir in the front of the sanctuary. Another person may recall the used and careworn pages of... Continue Reading →

November 5th

Bare trees with branches, tentacle-like, grasp. Exposed bark. Leaves cling to a few oaks, green tinged with yellow, orange, brown. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. God has given us nature to surround us and wrap us like a garment, and I have had only a few moments of electrifying clarity... Continue Reading →

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