The Middle of the Wilderness

In the dreaded five minutes of saying hello to my neighbor every Sunday, I know we’ll come to a point where I’ll be asked the questions, “What brought you here? Why did you move?” I give them the one second answer to why we uprooted our lives in Las Vegas to move back to Southern […]

Prayer Made Sense When Henrí Nouwen Told Me to Give Up

My oldest son, who is almost five, carries a sea turtle stuffed animal with him just about everywhere he goes. Sea turtle chats with the lobsters at the supermarket, goes down the slide at the playground, and provides a comfortable conversation starter when he’s surrounded by adults and other children at church. With sea turtle […]

The Mast Year

We have an acorn problem. That is a total understatement. We are currently being held hostage by a number of acorns I previously did not believe was possible to be shed from one oak tree. The sky is literally falling. After a few months of scratching our heads and wondering if our beautiful oak trees […]

Does Your Church Smell?

I had read two books on Orthodox Christianity. That’s it. So obviously, I had no idea what to expect when I visited St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church for its Sixth Hour Prayer service. What I did know was that for some time now, I’d felt a deep desire to silence myself before the Lord, and […]

Skepticism and Singleness

“God? If you’re real, please be real to me.” I had prayed this prayer before, but much more calmly, confident God would come through. But he hadn’t, and this time it was with much more anguish that I cried out to him, or maybe to nothing, in my head. I kicked off my bed sheets […]

A Different Kind of Unity

Wherever I found religion in my life I found strife, the attempt of one individual or group to rule another in the name of God. The naked will to power seemed always to walk in the wake of a hymn. – Richard Wright   Nestled between the land masses we call Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan, […]

Strange Comfort in Dark Times

When the world is bleak, where can comfort be found? Last week, after the US election results came in, even the mood here in the UK was sombre. While many rejoiced that Donald Trump was elected, my Facebook thread was full of people genuinely fearing for their life, home or livelihoods. Whether it was because […]

Would the Real Christian Please Stand Up?

For a long time, I questioned what justice had to do with Christianity. I know. It probably sounds as ridiculous to your ears as it does to mine, but this was the school of thought I ascribed to when it came to matters of faith. I remember milling around the Back to School Fair the […]

Being Ministered To on a Mission Trip

I woke up on a cot in the gymnasium with butterflies in my stomach. I’d brought a sleeping bag with the intent of sleeping on the hard floor, but after suffering from an awful case of indigestion, I was offered one of the few available cots. I seemed to be feeling back to normal, except […]