Contemplative

It always comes up. In conversations around my friends at the seminary, as everyone this time of year is trying to sort out what we're going to be doing next, and many of my friends are desperately searching for jobs, the question is almost always asked: Why would you want to do youth ministry? People have a hard time believing that I would enjoy dodgeball (I do), and week long mission trips…

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Why do we pray?

People’s questions about prayer are often about “how do I pray?” What techniques can I use to make my prayer time more meaningful? A better first question is “why do I pray?” All of the instructions and techniques are of little value until we wrestle with why we pray in the first place. If we only explore the how and not the why we will have another thing that we can do but little understanding of the re…

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Faith and Magic

The Harry Potter novels, and other stories of their kind, have been hugely popular for lots of reasons: they’re well written, the characters are engaging, the plots are compelling, and they invite people into all sorts of fantasies and adventures. And not least, in the center of it all is the perennial appeal of magic. Magic is fascinating because it has to do with power and control. Harry and h…

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Restless Hearts Transformed By Prayer

Last week’s post explored our need to be transformed by God’s love, and the ways in which spiritual disciplines are avenues that lead to this transformation. For the next several weeks we will delve into several specific disciplines. Today: the spiritual discipline of prayer. Consider something that Frederick Buechner wrote: We all pray whether we think of it as praying or not. The odd silence we fal…

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