Archives For March 2017

“[T]he Benedict Option is a call to undertaking the long and patient work of reclaiming the real world from the artifice, alienation, and atomization of modern life. It is a way of seeing the world and of living in the world that undermines modernity’s big lie: that humans are nothing more than ghosts in a machine, and we are free to adjust the settings in any way we like.” Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation (236).

If you’re a Christian, don’t read this book unless you are truly willing to face the deep realities that Rod Dreher presents within its pages.

But if you are a Christian, you really should read this book.

It will move you to change your life.

And you will find it is not the same book some critics have described.

The Benedict Option is not a call for the faithful to cloister ourselves in a monastery or don white robes and sit on a mountaintop awaiting the Apocalypse.

Dreher calls us to a more focused faith walk, to “be the church, without compromise, no matter what it costs” (3, emphasis Dreher’s).

He calls us to a deeper prayer life. A life steeped in community with other faithful Christians. A life that looks very different from the lives many of us lead–pursuit of consumerism and busy-ness with splashes of church sprinkled between. Continue Reading…

In a nutshell, when we concentrate on teaching the deep truths of our faith rather than superficialities, that effort will, for example, lead us back to the early saints who risked their own lives caring for plague victims.

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So much of life is,

Like a footprint in the sand,

We work so hard,

But our marks wash away to nothing

On a road to nowhere.

 

But One marks each step,

Notes its direction,

Its influence,

Its intention,

Its imprint. Continue Reading…

Communities know what those in their communities need. Or at least we should know.

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A Change of Seasons

March 20, 2017 — 1 Comment

Today is the first day of spring. A new season to find new plantings.

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I’ll be wearin’ the green today! My maiden name is Bulger–doesn’t get more Irish than that!

But today honors a saint. A man who planted the Gospel–planted churches–throughout Ireland.

Thomas Cahill calls him the first missionary.

If you’re wearin’ green today or not, enjoy the shamrocks. Patrick used them to explain the Trinity.

He spread the light of the Gospel.

Be the light. Continue Reading…

Seven loaves and a few fish,

Five loaves and two fish,

Two copper coins,

What they had, all they had,

Five talents, two, one,

Multiplied or buried— Continue Reading…

“Whatever talents I have, I almost squandered until a handful of loving people rescued me.” J.D. Vance

He has become the voice of an unheard America. A part of America that has lost the American Dream. The dream that, if you work hard, you can make a good life.

J.D. Vance grew up in Rust Belt, USA. His grandparents had migrated from Kentucky to Ohio–but never escaped their hillbilly roots–until Vance graduated from Yale Law School. Yet he doesn’t seek to disassociate himself from his forebears. He carries with him lessons they taught.

His journey to Yale is remarkable. But many of his peers remain in Appalachia living unremarkable lives. Their dreams are not remarkable. They have lost hope.

Many analysts blame the economic downturn for this lack of hope. But as with every sociological phenomenon, there are many factors.  Continue Reading…

Ministry looks more like sacrifice. And people who sacrifice for a greater good are not asleep.

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For you are dust, And to dust you shall return,” Genesis 3:19b.

Lent started on Wednesday. For many, even some Christians, it was just another day. But it begins a season I mark every year now.

As a child, I didn’t work very hard at Lent. I’d decide to give up potato chips until there were some potato chips around. Then I’d switch to something else, like chocolate. And then, to something else. I was like Huck Finn deciding what not to steal today. Continue Reading…