My latest post is up at the United Church of Christ's blog:
One of my daughter’s favorite shows at the moment is “Thomas the Tank Engine.” I haven’t yet figured out what she likes most about it, whether the stories or out of a growing fascination with trains. I suspect that it’s the latter.
A constant theme of this show is “usefulness.” Thomas is always trying to be useful, hoping that he can accomplish his tasks in a timely and efficient manner. He savors the praise of the island mayor when he is told he is a “very useful engine.”
I think this message from a seemingly benign children’s program reflects a common aspiration that many have.
Wait, didn't you just release a new book in June? Why, yes, I did. The story goes that I sent a proposal for Wonder and Whiskey pretty much on a lark, just to see what would happen. When I didn't hear back for a while I assumed that nothing would come of it, and turned my attention to the idea for Prayer in Motion instead. Then in the middle of receiving some interest for the latter, I heard back from Wipf and Stock about publishing the former. So as strange as it seems for me to be publishing two books pretty much back to back, it's all due to a fortunate series of events and coincidental timing.
So, what's this book about? As a pastor and spiritual director, I've accumulated enough anecdotal evidence that a lot of people find prayer difficult either because they don't thi…
Faithful God, our ears are often closed to so much. We miss the needs around us because we're so preoccupied with our own desires. We don't heed the possibility of new things in our midst because we've become comfortably numb with what we've long been doing. We are unwilling to listen to your presence because acknowledging it might ask something of us that we're not ready to accept. Whether of our own making or due to complicating factors in our lives, we don't, can't, or won't hear what you wish to show us.
Our hope and prayer this day is that you take us aside to show us what we've been missing. Unstop our ears to your gifts. Speak your healing word of "Ephphatha" for us to be open to your speaking of renewing and grace-filled truths into our hearts. Through Jesus, show us what we've been ignoring whether in our own lives and in the lives of others so the movement of all your creation toward restoration and who…