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Friday March 22nd 2019

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Posts Tagged ‘jesus’

Hope Tempered With Tears

Hope Tempered With Tears

Back when I was being trained for pastoral counseling, the spirit of this verse was often emphasized: “Like vinegar poured on a wound, so is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.” (Proverbs 25:20) In counseling, you’re taught a lot about listening, about empathy, but as much as anything, you’re taught not to tell a person in the pit of suffering: “The sun will come out tomorrow!” Most of the time, that’s not what they need to hear. They mostly need you to join them in their [...]

8 Questions: Why Spiritual Self-Examination Matters (sermon audio)

8 Questions: Why Spiritual Self-Examination Matters (sermon audio)

Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Jesus once said that his disciples would know the truth, and that the truth would set them free. This sermon asserts that the truth we’re encouraged to know isn’t just the truth about God, but also the truth about ourselves. With as much honesty as we can muster, we must ask: Who am I? Why am I here? What do I want? Is there a difference between what I say I want and how I’m living my life? What does [...]

This Is My Father’s World

This Is My Father’s World

It seemed to me at the time that I had stumbled upon the Last Homely House. And once I’d arrived there, I never wanted to leave. That is…until I got a look inside. As much as the natural world outside the house seemed like Elrond’s Rivendell, the inside felt more like Gollum’s hellish cave. The current resident kept it very dark. Blankets over windows, few lights, low ceilings. The house reeked with the smell of cigarettes and dog urine. The walls were murky, the tile and [...]

The Last Homely House

The Last Homely House

It seemed to me at the time that I had stumbled upon the Last Homely House. That rainy, misty day, I wandered in my car like Tolkien’s Bilbo on his way to Rivendell. Upward through the North Carolina mountains, around one bend and still another, finally making a slow decent, I found this small stone-wood-built, 50-year-old house above 4,000 feet. The property that day was deep within a rain cloud. Surrounded by close-knit Smoky Mountain peaks, it seemed to float upon a lofty, mystic [...]

Vengeance Is Mine: An analysis of the spiritual origins of violence and murder

Vengeance Is Mine: An analysis of the spiritual origins of violence and murder

(Note: This may seem a departure from the typical theme of this blog, but given the recent rash of mass shootings, I though it appropriate to re-print an article I wrote several years ago on the subject. Specifically my analysis considers the spiritual origins and causes of such violence. The context of the (more…)