Unending Diversity

On a walk over lunch today, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the diversity of the universe. I was struck by the vibrant fall colors on the ancient oak trees that surround my office, and how the leaves are all an expression of the genetic personality of the tree but how each leaf is distinct unto […]

Prevenient Courage

Sometimes, when I walk the neighborhoods of my town, I imagine Silverton as it will look after the full reconciliation of all things. I see the people, places, and non-human creatures of my community finally, fully themselves. It’s not a very specific vision of flourishing but it is a great source of hope and inspiration […]

Thoughts from Chico

One of the reasons I most wanted to leave Chico eight years ago was because I had lost all patience with the university’s Greek life. Driving through the heart of the Greek blocks, watching yet another gaggle of drunk kids stagger across the street, I wanted to roll down my window and shout, “How does […]

The Life of Faith Hinges on Gratitude

I think the life of faith hinges on gratitude. I’ve been slowly reading Lewis Hyde’s “The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World.” One of the points Hyde makes, drawing from anthropology, mythology, and fairy tales, is that a gift hasn’t been fully received until it has been given away again. There is […]

Calling All Grand Mothers

Alice Walker’s poetry collections have the best titles: “Hard Times Require Furious Dancing,” “Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful,” and “The World Will Follow Joy: Turning Madness Into Flowers.” In honor of National Poetry Month, I’m posting thirty poems in thirty days. Poem #12 was from Walker’s “Hard Times…” collection. A few years ago, […]

Holy Saturday and Unanswered Questions

[Author’s Note: A couple years ago I was asked to contribute to an article for Relevant Magazine about “five things we wish our pastors knew.” Other contributors included Anne Marie Miller, Enuma Okoro, Matthew Paul Turner, and Jason Boyett. I wrote my piece as a kind of open letter to our church’s new pastor. I’m reposting it here because it was written […]

Inhabit Conference

  I’ll be speaking at Inhabit this year, my favorite conference.