Month: November 2017

In-Between Thankfulness and Homelessness | What to Celebrate and Lament This Week

Celebrate: In-Between Thankfulness   It is late November and the weather has been unseasonably mild in Minnesota, extending our fall well past the usual onslaught of snow and ice. The late afternoon light has been so warm that I’ve managed…

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Beauty for Ashes | Afternoon Prayer

Father, there is nothing that has happened to me or will happen to me, nothing that I’ve done or will do or has been done to me, that you do not know about. Even my wounds, which have made me…

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The Effects of Grief During the Holidays

For the first thirty years of my life, my family held fast to the same Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions. Grandma’s warm, pink applesauce passed around her crowded oblong table. Bundling up and trudging through the Christmas tree field the day…

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Keep Magic in Christmas

When my children were finally old enough to do more than cry and crawl, I began a family tradition many others have around the holidays: the advent calendar. The goal was to plan an activity of some kind—large or small—for…

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Far from Joy | Afternoon Prayer

Father, this afternoon I am far away from joy, from that unshakable delight you’ve promised I can find in you. The events of the day, the heartbreaking circumstances of this world, the burdens of human life have conspired to strip…

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I Don’t Measure Up | Afternoon Prayer

There’s no end to the rat race of our culture, no finish line where I can finally take a breather and enjoy my accomplishments. Lord, my best consistently feels like it’s not enough to get me to the top or,…

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Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent

I ordered Enuma Okoro’s book, Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent, sight unseen on the internet several years ago. It has become a treasured yearly companion, giving me space to process waiting, worry, doubt, and what it means when…

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Interview with Amy Peterson | Dangerous Territory: My Misguided Quest to Save the World

Who was your favorite missionary growing up? Who is your favorite missionary these days? When I was a child, my favorite missionary was absolutely Amy Carmichael. She shared my name, she shared my desire to serve God wholeheartedly, and she…

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When You Pastor a Church You Wouldn’t Attend

My wife and I had the same conversation almost every Saturday night for at least two years. It was like clockwork. Or maybe it was like a ritual–but not the sacred kind. It went like this. One of us would…

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Our Souls Are Thirsty | Afternoon Prayer

Jesus, I thirst this afternoon. I’ve wandered away, off on my own to do and interact and be without any help from you. It would seem that, after all this time, I’d have finally gotten it through my head that…

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