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Liturgy as Story

Liturgy as Story

I know that not all of us come from so-called “liturgical” traditions, but all of us do use a liturgy of sorts. Liturgy is a compound Greek word meaning “public work” that is associated with the corporate act of worship.  A liturgy is any expression of that public...
Third Third Preaching by Mark D. Roberts

Third Third Preaching by Mark D. Roberts

I’ve heard a lot of sermons during the past 60 years. And I’ve preached a bunch too, well over a 1,000 sermons during my years as a pastor. So, I was surprised when, a couple of weeks ago, I heard something in a sermon I had never, ever heard before. I was shocked....
Feeling our Mortality During Lent

Feeling our Mortality During Lent

In the past week, I (Stu) have experienced some rather wild circumstances. The most significant was waking up last Thursday with incredible stomach pain in the middle of the night. After trying to “gut it out” (pun intended), I eventually relented, woke my...
An Unforgettable Walk With Jesus

An Unforgettable Walk With Jesus

Have you ever walked and prayed through the Stations of the Cross at a retreat center? Or done a virtual “prayer walk” using the stories and prophecies of Christ’s passion that go with the ancient Stations? I have. Many times. It’s truly unforgettable. Divine mercy...
Unholy Power Plays

Unholy Power Plays

One of the three diabolical tests of Jesus in the Judean wilderness is the “temptation to be powerful” as Henri Nouwen puts it in his 1989 reflection on Christian leadership, “In the Name of Jesus.” Satan’s offer to grant Jesus subordinate authority over the kingdoms...
The Value of Lent (Part II)

The Value of Lent (Part II)

I think it was about a year ago I was talking with a close friend from seminary and he said something that has stuck with me ever since. What he said was something to the effect of, “I really look forward to Lent these days because it’s a chance to...
The Value of Lent (Part I)

The Value of Lent (Part I)

As someone who grew up Catholic but who “crossed the Tiber north” in middle school (to Presbyterian land), I’ve experienced at least a few different perspectives on whether or not Christians should participate in the season of Lent. The argument I...
Blessed Are the Meek?

Blessed Are the Meek?

I don’t like to be meek. I like to be in control. I like to be right, independent, strong, organized, able to handle whatever happens to me, viewed positively by people and on top of my emotions. I am a “Gut” personality on the Enneagram. That includes Perfectionist...