Allow for Space in the Music

Allow for Space in the MusicAcknowledging the Mystery of Pain The other day I had the privilege of hosting a Renovaré Webinar with Mark Buchanan and Douglas Kaine McKelvey, entitled: Good Grief: How Can We Respond to Sorrow and Loss in Life-giving Ways? Our conversation reminded me of this column, originally written a little over a decade ago but, in my experience, more true than ever. A few years ago,

The Case for Confession

The Case for Confession The Importance of Naming and Owning Our Sin When our friends’ son Sam was young, he was attached to a stuffed animal named Lamblamb. Two things made Lamblamb unique. First, Lamblamb was a hybrid species. Flowing from his blue lamb head was a matching fleece blanket, making him a versatile companion. Second, Lamblamb had a propensity for crime. Our friends had a gas fireplace which became

The Grace of Wrath

The Grace of WrathIs there any story about God that isn’t a love story? I was a columnist at Christianity Today for five years. This piece, from 2008, was one of the first I ever wrote for them, and it was almost the last. It unleashed a flood of hate mail (ironic given its subject matter)—folks objecting strongly to my argument that there is no “shadow side” to God’s love.

Getting Creative

Getting Creative: Our urge to make stuff tells us something important When COVID-19 first hit, and it started to dawn on us that life-as-usual might be cancelled for a while, I noticed something weird. People were crafting. Seriously. A scroll through social media in the early days of the pandemic revealed all manner of projects. Knitting. Painting. Beading. Landscaping. Sourdough-ing. Faced with something that felt a bit like the end

Transformation Takes Time

Learning to Trust the Slow Work of God My colleague Brian and I were discussing the work a promotional agency was doing to encourage people to visit articles on Renovaré’s website. (Renovaré is a Christian spiritual formation organization. I serve there as the director of education.) “This agency means well,” Brian said, “but they keep suggesting headlines like ‘Four easy steps to spiritual growth.’ If we want to be accurate,

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