Tag Archives: prayer

Helping Your Prodigals to Come Home … and Stay Home

Prodigals. Every church family has them and every church wants them to come home. We preach about it, sing about it, and pray about it. We want the Christian whose life has blown apart because of sin to repent and be restored. We welcome the prodigal to sit in our office and talk…

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I Am Not a Robot: Resisting the Quick Fix Culture

Most churches publish a prayer list of some type. The majority of prayer requests on these lists are appeals for healing from serious illnesses, chronic diseases, scheduled surgeries, emergency surgeries, and traveling safety. How often do you find listings on church prayer lists for depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, uncontrolled anger, chronic sorrow? Each congregation…

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The Privilege of Participation

Lisa has two young children. She is married to Andy, a kind man who works hard and cares about Lisa and their kids, but he doesn’t share her faith. Every Sunday morning Lisa takes her kids to church while Andy swims and lifts weights at the local gym. While she wishes he would come to…

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Dispatch from the Contemplative Ministers’ Initiative

I’m currently with 23 other ministers at the Montserrat Jesuit Retreat Center near Dallas. We are here as part of the Contemplative Ministers’ Initiative, coordinated and directed by the Siburt Institute at Abilene Christian University. CMI is now in its third year. As the name suggests, the aim of the program is to…

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How Do You Catch a Wave Upon the Sand?

There are two questions that I hear as a spiritual director more than any others. One is, “What is spiritual direction, anyway?” and the second is, “How do I learn to pray contemplatively?” I prefer to answer the first in person, but maybe we can begin to grasp the second together. In its…

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Texting as a Spiritual Discipline

I’ve observed over the last 25 years that scapegoats are really popular. When I was growing up television was the major evil, blamed for all sorts of unhealthy human behaviors. Interestingly enough, in college, as a communication major, my research revealed that television wasn’t the first scapegoat. Movies preceded television. Radio preceded movies.…

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From Judginess to Fruitfulness: When to Speak Out and When to Remain Silent

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about when, where, and how to speak out about social issues such as immigration, race, and religion in public discourse. Do I say something from the pulpit or does that make it a bully pulpit? Do I post stuff and fight the futile battle for moral high…

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