Data on the Difference Dads Make

My childhood in western Kansas "middle of nowhere" country was more privileged than I could have possibly understood at the time. Everybody I knew had a father, most of them seemed pretty awesome, and mine was the best of them all. But fathers are disappearing, says Paul Raeburn in his fascinating little book Do Fathers … Continue reading Data on the Difference Dads Make

Castles, Catch and Kairos: Relearning Play in an Age of Digital Distraction

I once asked a kindergarten boy if there was anything he'd like me to tell his mom, who'd asked me to call her after a counseling session with her son. "Tell her to get off the phone!"  he snapped with a bitterness that took me by surprise. "What?  You mean she talks on the phone a … Continue reading Castles, Catch and Kairos: Relearning Play in an Age of Digital Distraction

Lamenting Notre Dame’s Losses: “Heaven in Stone and Glass”

When I heard, on Tuesday of Holy Week, that Notre Dame Cathedral was engulfed in flames, I immediately texted my oldest son, the family's intrepid world traveler who had just returned from Paris and had visited Notre Dame only days before. (We differ philosophically, but he graciously allowed me to share his photos in this … Continue reading Lamenting Notre Dame’s Losses: “Heaven in Stone and Glass”

How to Speak of Easter Joy without Harming the Humble Christ/Plus Easter Playlist

Swiss painter Eugène Burnand renders the confusion and hope of Peter and John’s first Easter morning with such poignancy. They’d learned of the resurrection from some women friends who’d been told by an angel, and particularly from Mary Magdalene, told by the risen Christ himself, to tell them.  And then they ran to see that tomb.  They wouldn’t … Continue reading How to Speak of Easter Joy without Harming the Humble Christ/Plus Easter Playlist

Holy Saturday: Harrowing the Hell in Our Hearts (plus more songs for Holy Week)

It was on a Holy Saturday about ten years back that I first saw an image of the "Harrowing of Hell," a depiction of Christ entering the realm of the dead and releasing the souls imprisoned there (1 Peter 3:19). We proclaim it in the Apostle's Creed:  Jesus Christ "suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, … Continue reading Holy Saturday: Harrowing the Hell in Our Hearts (plus more songs for Holy Week)

A Holy Week Playlist: Music for Meditating on the Death that Changed the World

"This is it!" I once heard a priest, robed in red, proclaim on Passion Sunday. "This week is the center of our faith." And so it is. This is the week to ponder the meaning of the Christ, the Cross, the Death that changed the world. "Long before [Matthew] Arnold's sea of faith began its … Continue reading A Holy Week Playlist: Music for Meditating on the Death that Changed the World

Satan’s Sifter: Why Judging Others Is Always Wrong

"Simon, Simon, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat." I find those words some of the most troubling in all scripture. I know what happened next. The night of Christ's execution was the night of Peter's sifting. The overconfident man whose passion for Christ was so strong he proclaimed that … Continue reading Satan’s Sifter: Why Judging Others Is Always Wrong

Brother’s Keeper: A Playlist for Growing a Merciful Heart

Lent can make you appreciate the length of a lived-out 40: Christ's 40 day fast, Noah's 40 day float trip, Israel's 40 days of wilderness wandering. Forty days takes discipline and desire, and it helps to know going in that there will come a point where you might just want to quit. I've found it … Continue reading Brother’s Keeper: A Playlist for Growing a Merciful Heart

Aslan, Ashes and Jonah: the Incredible Opportunity of a Lenten Prophetic Witness

One of my favorite moments in The Chronicles of Narnia occurs in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when Aslan, the golden-lion Christ figure, breathes life into creatures who had been turned to stone by the White Witch. Having released the statue-captives from bondage, Aslan immediately prepares them for battle: The stone lion Aslan … Continue reading Aslan, Ashes and Jonah: the Incredible Opportunity of a Lenten Prophetic Witness