Somewhere to Be

I know I’m technically on a “blogging sabbatical,” but I decided to interrupt it to offer a few reflections and observations on a trip I’m presently on to Israel and Palestine. One of the things we consistently hear wherever we go in this conflicted area is, “Tell others what you have seen and heard with […]

What We’re Trying to Say

The shooting at a Quebec City mosque that killed six people has been on many of our minds over the last few days. There has been the predictable outpouring of support and outrage on social media. There have been vigils and prayers and marches organized in response. There have been expressions of love and care for […]

The Things Jesus Doesn’t Do For Us

We often hear a steady stream of words about what Jesus “did for us” around this time of year, around this stage of Holy Week. Last night, at our church’s Maundy Thursday service, we shared a simple meal together and walked through the familiar story from Jesus’ arrest to crucifixion. We do the same thing each year, and each year […]

Call to Prayer

My first night in the West Bank came to a rather abrupt, if expected end with the Islamic call to prayer (adhan) outside my window at 4:00 am. The song from the muezzin was haunting and beautiful. And rather longer than I expected. Given that I had collapsed into bed around 9 pm the previous […]

You Have Heard it Said… But I Say to You

So, terror remains on everyone’s minds. Paris, of course. But also Beirut, Baghdad, Kenya, and the countless other less glamorous places in the world, places deemed unworthy of inspiring memes and hashtags or temporary profile pictures or any of the other ways that we express our compassion and outrage and brand ourselves appropriately during dark and fearful […]

Kings of Our Own

For the last few days, I’ve been sifting through the mental notes and impressions collected during my time spent last week at the final event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Ottawa and the NAIITS (North American Indigenous Institute of Theological Studies) 2015 Symposium near Chicago. In many ways, I have been feeling that […]

What Do You Want Me to Do For You?”

When I was younger, I would often hear or imagine some version of the “If you could ask God any question in the world, what would it be?” I had a long list. What’s the point of angels? What’s with all the killing in the OT? How old will I be in heaven? Did Methuselah […]

Signs

What would you think if you were walking or driving down the street and you saw a sign that said, “Honk Less, Love More” or “Follow Dreams, Not Crowds” or “Have a Great Day?” Would these signs make you happier, or at least more inclined  to behave decently? Might they help lower crime? Would they boost morale ? […]

Things That Make For Peace

Like many over the last few weeks, I’ve been following with a mixture of interest, despair, anger, hopelessness, confusion, and weariness the latest round of conflict in Israel and Palestine. Like many, I have read countless articles and op-ed pieces trying to explain, advocate, condemn or make some kind of sense of a senseless situation. […]

Thank You… For Now

The mind of a teenage boy is, I am discovering, a fearful and wonderful thing. Beautiful, strange, unpredictable, irrational, surprisingly generous, unspeakably kind, maddening… All within a few hours, sometimes. Yesterday, I bought my son new strings for his guitars as a few of the old ones had snapped. He came home from a youth event […]

We Start and Stop with Jesus… At Least We Should

Over the course of the month of May, the MennoNerds blogging collective that I am a part of has been reflecting upon how “Anabaptist distinctives” impact our thinking and living in the world.  A while back, fellow MennoNerd, Tyler Tully wrote a piece called What are Anabaptists? where he outlined three core Anabaptist convictions: The centrality of […]

Love is Our Fixed Address

A few days after Nelson Mandela’s December 5 passing, I checked out his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom from the local library. This morning, I turned the last page. The book was, of course, inspiring, illuminating, heartbreaking, stunning, rage inducing, hopeful, profound and a whole host of other superlatives. Given the subject matter and the […]

2013 in Review (And a Thank You!)

So, 2013 is drawing to a close, which means it’s time to take a peek in the rearview mirror and reflect a bit on the year that has nearly passed.  In the blogging world, this means—what else?!—highlighting the most read posts on this blog over the past 365 days or so.  It’s an imperfect tool […]

Thirty Things I Like About Christianity

We are halfway through Advent, and I’ll confess to occasionally feeling just a little bit restless and uninspired.  The same texts from Isaiah and the gospels that we rehearse every year.  The same rituals and routines, the same hopes and promises voiced, the same baby in the same manger with the same cast of characters.  […]