The Ladybug vs The King

I walked into a Bible college auditorium filled with undergraduate students to hear a man I deeply respect preach about restorative justice work. I walked in late, having mistakenly assumed that chapel happened in the chapel and not the main auditorium, but I caught the end of the last worship song before the message: BeholdContinue reading “The Ladybug vs The King”

The task was to dissect the story of the Israelites and the golden calf with high school youth. I went straight to jealousy, and we easily talked about coveting cool shoes, the newest iPhone, easily earned high test scores, raw hockey prowess or the attention of a particular person being given freely and enthusiastically toContinue reading

Unchristian Certainty

I am walking with youth through a unit on Faith and Science. Can you believe in God and science, the Bible and evolution? Can you seek God in what you know as well as what you don’t? I’m finding the matter at hand repeatedly comes back to unfair assumptions about certainty. Certainty has become a valueContinue reading “Unchristian Certainty”

God’s Jokes

Each fall I retreat with youth, away from the city. Away from the city, where one need not be so on guard, the beauty of giving to all around many again rise in you. –Rumi In past years, I have been in charge of the teaching on fall retreat. I pick a theme, research, acquireContinue reading “God’s Jokes”

Letting Go

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. –Buddha September, for me, is still filled with the childhood feeling of fresh starts. When I was young, it meant new notebooks and a new teacher. As an adult,Continue reading “Letting Go”

Mother, Now Saint

A mere 19 years after her death, Pope Francis declared Mother Teresa a saint last week. In his homily during the ceremony at the Vatican, Pope Francis commended Mother Teresa for her generosity of mercy and for defending the discarded of society. Indeed, in her tireless work, Mother Teresa gave people dignity by seeing theirContinue reading “Mother, Now Saint”

God With Us on the Move

A friend of mine spent ten weeks working at a migrant center in Tijuana this summer. Tijuana is a city generally seen as the last stop for migrants from Central America trying to cross into San Diego. Lately, the center is also housing large numbers of people from all over the world seeking asylum andContinue reading “God With Us on the Move”

As it is in Heaven

There is an ancient ceramic dish that sits in the Aga Khan Museum attributed to Samanid Iran. The color and decoration are vibrant and refined for its time, and the inscription reads: Generosity is a disposition of the dwellers of Paradise. In our world, at times, there seems to be a powerful centripetal force pullingContinue reading “As it is in Heaven”

Neighbors on the Path

It isn’t a new lesson, but it is one I have to keep revisiting. The Good Samaritan. One man in Jesus’ parable saw the humanity of the man on the side of the road naked and broken. One man stopped. One man did what it took to ensure the victim’s full restoration. It seems soContinue reading “Neighbors on the Path”

Simple Prayers

Praying can be intimidating because, well, God can be intimidating. If we have not established a regular prayer practice, that first prayer in a while can feel forced, awkward, inauthentic, or riddled with guilt. Whatever do we say to God? Where do we start? I usually start by remembering that prayer does not have toContinue reading “Simple Prayers”