Watch and Wait

When I first got back to Westminster from a summer sabbatical, I preached a sermon on God’s action in our lives. I talked about how God is always present, always moving, always acting in our lives, even when it feels like God is doing none of those things. I talked about how God has a habit of taking God’s people into the wilderness, or waiting room, and leaving them there for a season. I talked abo…

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Habits of the Heart: Compassion

I’ve been reflecting on some of the more negative habits of the heart in recent weeks, including fear and anger. Now I want to focus on a couple of alternatives that might serve as antidotes to the darker side of those habits, beginning with compassion. Compassion means to feel for people in a way that wants to help relieve their suffering. The feeling comes naturally to most of us when we see a…

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Sabbath Rest: Trust

In Exodus 16, God had just delivered the people from years of slavery in Egypt. Instead of jumping for joy these newly freed people griped and disobeyed regularly. They complained about the menu (or lack of it). “Why couldn’t God have just left us in Egypt rather than saving us?” they grumbled. “There we could sit by the pots cooking meat and eat our fill of bread. " So God gave them daily food te…

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Listen and Hear

Listen and Hear A few years ago, I was driving through town on my way to House of Manna to work at my internship there. I have this terribly bad habit of listening to music far too loud in my car, like probably going to do lasting damage to my ear drums loud. I like to feel the kick drum, not just hear it. On this particular day, I had gone back to hear one of my favorite albums from one of my…

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Habits of the Heart: Anger

Like fear, anger appears to be trending in our time, especially during this overwrought season of looming elections. It’s no coincidence that anger and fear run together. Both arise in response to threats, real or imagined, and each comes naturally as an impulse to survive. Fear famously evokes the inclination to fight, flee, or freeze, and if you choose to fight, it helps to be angry. Anger g…

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