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You are Acorn and Oak

Once upon a time, in a not-so-faraway land, there was a kingdom of acorns, nestled at the foot of a grand old oak tree. Since the citizens of this kingdom were modern, fully Westernized acorns, they went about their business with purposeful energy; and since many were midlife, baby-boomer acorns, they engaged in a lot…

Thai Boys, My Boys

On Tuesday, when the last four boys and their coach were rescued from that watery cave/grave in Thailand, I was alone in my car listening to the radio. As I heard how young boys who could not swim—much less cave-dive in inky blackness—were fitted with masks and led underwater through harrowing passages, I found myself…

Basic Training for the Soul

What do you do in a crisis? I read this week about a spiritual director who was taking flying lessons. The man asked the instructor why they used flight simulators so much. He replied, “In the moment of crisis, you will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your training.” The temptation is…

A Lesson in Humility

No matter that we may mount on stilts, we still must walk on our own legs. And on the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom. -Michel de Montaigne, essayist (1533-1592) When an Archbishop of Canterbury visits, it’s a big deal. He’s a big deal. He lives at Lambeth…

In Praise of Boring Church

“For me, I like to go to church on Sunday mornings to organize my thoughts, organize my week, and be quiet. And you don’t walk out of a church because you’re bored. You go to church to be bored–to have that time. And you can have it in your room in the lotus position or you can have it…

Becoming an Ex-Suicide

  The Marines have a saying, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.” We all love the soaring poetry of the Prayer of St. Francis, but have we even noticed that it ends with that jagged truth, “it is in dying that we are born to eternal life”? A cross lies…

Forty Years. One Rule.

Marriage tips spiritual

At dinner on Sunday night, the fortieth anniversary of our wedding, my son-in-law said, “I want some tips on 40.” Pam and I looked at each other, wondering where to start. We offered a few impromptu reflections and shared some of our funniest and most joyful moments. Driving home later than night, Andy’s question still…

Why Christians Must Speak Out Against Racism

On Tuesday Starbucks had to shut down its whole operation, sit down with its 175,000 employees and try to tell them that it’s not ok to call the police when two black men are standing in your store and not ordering anything because they’re waiting for a business meeting. That would have been a good…

ErrBnb

It was such lovely long drive up the Niagara river—we took the slow scenic route after crossing the Canadian border—so that by the time we arrived in the picturesque village of Niagara-on-the-Lake we were eager to find the darling little cottage we’d be staying in for the week. We turned on Victoria Street, pulled into…

Big Worries? Chunk Down.

artificial intelligence spirituality

Everybody’s worried about A.I., Artificial Intelligence. Computers are already beating us at picking stocks and diagnosing cancer. There are already speech programs that can detect sarcasm, and algorithms are writing music, painting canvasses and telling jokes. We’re all worried that the “Robocalypse” will steal more than 800 million jobs in the next decade. But the…

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