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Prayer

I sat stunned, angry and brokenhearted after reading the horrific news: More than 300 people killed in a terrorist attack at a mosque in Egypt. I began the day by meditating on Psalm 16:11. “In your presence is fullness of joy.” Next, I spent some time meditating on Romans 14:17 about the righteousness, peace and […] Read More

I was in Myanmar last week with a group from Central Baptist Theological Seminary. We visited churches, the Kachin Baptist Convention, a camp for internally displaced persons, two drug rehabilitation centers, two theological schools and the Fountain of Love Orphanage. At each stop, a leader invited me to say words of encouragement and then offer […] Read More

It is interesting to notice how commonly political leaders now say – in regard to the victims of something like a natural disaster or the latest mass shooting in the U.S. – that “our prayers are with them.” I find myself wondering what this means. I do not decry the compassion and sympathy indicated by […] Read More

One of the growing concerns I have as a pastor attempting to lead and love in this current era is what seems to be a nation’s fading capacity to be shocked. Events and realities that would have left us aghast even one generation ago have tragically become normalized as a part of the daily news […] Read More

The disciples of Jesus noticed that he prayed a lot and that things seemed to happen when he prayed. Most of his disciples likely were raised with the Torah and understood prayers: morning and evening prayers, prayers of repentance, prayers of mourning and supplication, prayers of thanksgiving and joy. Yet, they wanted to see God […] Read More

John Berger, the radical art critic who taught us all how to look at our representations of the world in the 1970s, wrote in 2006, “Misinformation is developing its techniques.” The followers of Jesus have been onto this for a while – after all, Paul said that the god of this age had blinded the […] Read More

Editor’s note: This article has been revised to remove a statement about William Sloane Coffin being kin to Harry Emerson Fosdick. They were not related.Most ministers I know pray for courage daily. Ministry is a sacrificial act that requires risk, reconciliation and intuition. It is a craft that pastors shape over time, a vocation forged […] Read More

I don’t always find it easy to pray. Often I’m overtired, distracted, caught up in tasks, pressured by work, short on time, lacking the appetite for prayer or more strongly drawn to do something else. But I do pray daily, despite the fact that I often don’t want to and despite the fact that many […] Read More

Among my many books, and settled on my many shelves, are a number of writers whose work is a balm in Gilead – a tonic for the creeping weariness of spirits jaded by a world too much in our faces. Isaiah wrote some of his greatest poetry to a people in exile, religiously dislocated, culturally […] Read More

Many are anxious as a rending of the health care safety net is transpiring. Decisions are underway that threaten to exclude a growing sector of the population from basic access. The tension between federal and state responsibilities will only grow, and each will resort to blaming the other. Preserving the wealth of the few by […] Read More