Ash Wednesday: The Gift of Lent

Ash Wednesday: The Gift of Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday. It’s the first day of Lent. For years, that would have been completely lost on me. “What in the world is Ash Wednesday?” Most Baptists like me back in the day would have seen it as a “them” practice. Definitely not for “us.” But now I am...
Contemplative Prayer in Real Life

Contemplative Prayer in Real Life

In recent years, I’ve come to find the practice of contemplative prayer especially helpful. Sometimes it’s just simply being quiet in God’s presence for fifteen minutes. Sometimes it’s allowing a biblical phrase to be a place to which I keep bringing my attention back...
Practicing Silence in Church

Practicing Silence in Church

When we gather as the church, we have sometimes placed more value on speaking the words of our heart to God than we have on cultivating an attentive, listening heart before God. Many struggle with any silence in church. We might do well to let the wisdom of James...
Unhurried Planning: Setting Goals with God

Unhurried Planning: Setting Goals with God

I caught the flu on Christmas day. That was not one of my year-end goals. That sentence sounds like a novelty holiday song like “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” but I can tell you it wasn’t nearly as fun. We had family over and I just wasn’t at my best. Even now, a...
Advent: A Battle for Joy

Advent: A Battle for Joy

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:22-23) It’s the third week of Advent, and the theme this week...