09 Mar 2017

Scandalous Sacredness: Until the End of Time

This article is Part II of the Scandalous Sacredness: A Note from the Chaplain Chronicles series.  To view Part I, click here. “Doubt is Christian participation in the weakness of God, the weakness of the cross” — E. Frank Tupper My mentor told me, time and time again, that one day I would have a patient that got to me. My supervisor and several senior nurses told me it’s inevitable for anyone in a caring

Larry Brown 0
17 Feb 2017

The Telltale Heart

Do You Listen to Your Heart or Does it Listen to You? In our increasingly self-centered, self-satisfying culture we are propagandized by Hollywood happy endings and pop songs to listen to our hearts. When considering a new or an old relationship we are told to listen to our heart. When faced with personal loss we are expected to move on from it. The Roxette duo sings, “Listen to your heart / when he’s calling for

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25 Jan 2017

St Xenia’s Day

For the past few years, I’ve marked St Xenia’s Day by writing about a topic that has become dear to my heart: miscarriage. Although my family has been through the pain of miscarriage several times, the first stillbirth I was close to in physical proximity was named Xenia, the daughter of close friends. Of our named lost infants, the first, Kaylee Dawn, was born before we knew anything about saints and their celebrations; and the

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
09 Jan 2017

The Key to Christian Growth

The Key to Christian Growth “If man were happy, the less he were distracted the happier he would be, like the saints and God. Is therefore the man who finds delight in diversion not happy?” Blaisé Pascal, Pensees As most battle-hardened christians know, seasons that contain suffering and hardship can produce vast amounts of growth in one’s life. In a sense, suffering and hardship are simply the lock on the door which leads to Christian

Micah McMeans 14
06 Jan 2017

The Beauty of House Church: Communalism-Lite

My second year of theology school I took a course on Christian communalism. My instructor, Luther E. Smith, utilized a book he had written on the topic as one of the course texts. Throughout the semester we studied a variety of spiritual communities– some good, some bad, and some ugly. In the context of the course, I remember being profoundly impacted by three different expressions of Christian community– L’Arche, Koinonia Farm, and the Amish. We

Jarrett Dickey 0
12 Dec 2016

The Backdoor to House Church

I am the assistant pastor of a network of house churches.1 On Sunday mornings, we meet in two locations—one in a northern suburb and the other in a southern suburb. Throughout the week, we host Bible studies and small groups in private homes located in several different cities scattered throughout the greater region. My duties primarily involve preaching, leading worship, teaching Bible study, discipleship, and pastoral care. In addition to my pastoral work, I am

Jarrett Dickey 6
25 Nov 2016

Five Ways to Respond to Questions About Your Love Life This Holiday Season

The hashtag #OverheardAtThanksgivingDinner trended on Twitter recently. Of the first twelve tweets I saw, twenty-five percent mentioned vexatious comments from family members concerning one’s relationship status. It’s a universal phenomenon—you go home for the holidays, you see someone that you haven’t talked to for a few months or more, and they ostensibly voice their surprise that an attractive, young catch like yourself hasn’t made it to the altar yet. My late Grandma Louise was a

Logan Williams 3
31 Oct 2016

It’s A Wonderful, Cellular World

Part One Too often we accept without question the conditions that our collective mastery of nature has imposed upon us. In passive acquiescence to these conditions—which are rendered present by today’s pervasive technologies—the human capacity for change becomes limited by “the work of our own hands.” We are trapped within the very environment that we painstakingly endeavored to create. Those who are inattentive to this reality are inevitably pulled toward the gaping maw of habitual

Benjamin Winter 2
28 Oct 2016

Squirrel Life

A pair of squirrels is playing tag in the autumn sun: around the fir, across my porch, over my roof. They flirt their tails and chirrup, they thunder boldly through the day, through life. Perhaps I envy them their simple lives—unworried about elections or the future. Yet, the squirrel can’t think about the fact that it is a squirrel. It can’t wonder what the purpose of its life is or if it matters in the

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13 Oct 2016

The Intricacies of Porn Addiction: Neccessary knowledge to Overcome

The Intricacies of Porn Addiction  The slogan “fight the new drug” has become increasingly popular, for which I am incredibly thankful. Yet, I also know that awareness and a list full of porn’s consequences is simply not enough to save people from this addiction. I also personally know how this “drug” can seemingly feel like an unconquerable enemy. So, I write this piece because after years of fighting, I believe that I have found the

Micah McMeans 8
04 Oct 2016

Blessed: Prosperity or Presence?

One of the most quoted scriptures is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” It is plastered all over pretty sunset pictures and inspirational posters. It is hung in our houses and on bumper stickers on our cars. It is tattooed on our bodies. It is recited by athletes as they step onto the court or field.  But how often do we hear the verses right before it? It’s

Rebecca Barrett 2
15 Sep 2016

Scandalous Sacredness: A Note from the Chaplain Chronicles

I spent a little over a year in a Clinical Pastoral Education program as a Chaplain Resident at a major hospital in North Carolina. Throughout my tenure there my most difficult and emotionally rupturing visits concerned the end-of-life of young parents with teenage children or younger. My parents were monumental to getting through my teenage years. We were close. My confidence, esteem, personality quirks, and idiosyncrasies (although I hesitate to admit it) would probably not

Larry Brown 3
14 Sep 2016

Things I’d Rather Do on Sunday Morning Than Go to Church

The following, as the title of the article slyly implies, is a list of things I’d rather do on a Sunday morning than go to church. I am being only partly facetious with these. Make a fancy breakfast. I’ve taken a liking to the art of cooking these past couple years, and weekend mornings are an exceptional time to practice the craft. Duck confit rolled into crepes; poached eggs over arugula and toast, smothered in

Chris Casberg 2
05 Aug 2016

One…One Flesh…One Body

Somehow, upon turning thirty-one, I became more interested in blog posts about relationships, health, and inspiring fictional characters. I started thinking more about my retirement plan and drinking Jasmine green tea. I’m still sane, I promise. My proof? I have not stooped to getting into yoga (probably because I’m not flexible—among other reasons). Nor have I taken to drinking copious amounts of pour-over coffee…or any other kind of coffee, for that matter. I save so

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03 Aug 2016

Holy Crap: Prayerful Thoughts from the Changing Table

Thanks for joining us once again here on Holy Crap, our completely fictitious weekly blog where the riches of Christ meet the realities of parenting. This week we feature Chris, whose first child, Madeleine, turns eight months old next week. Here is a collection of various thoughts on parenting in the faith that he’s provided for us. The modern name Madeleine comes from Magdalene of Mary Magdalene fame. This disciple of Jesus is sometimes identified

Chris Casberg 3
08 Jul 2016

What is Love?

To love is to give— to give yourself, your heart a door flung wide to give another power over you to wound. . . . . . or to heal If God is Love, then think of the power He gives us over Himself, how He gave Himself so fully to us, Wounded for our healing     to love is to give. . .

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27 Jun 2016

The Inconvenient Reality of Happiness

The Inconvenient Reality of Happiness (and How to Find It)  The quest for happiness controls our entire lives. Every action, every choice, every decision we make is controlled by our longing to be content. Think about it. If you could ask yourself after every voluntary action why you did said action, the answer would always lead to the desire to produce happiness. For example, why do people go to work? To have a job, to

Micah McMeans 5
30 May 2016

Preparing to Bear Persecution

There is no need to obscure or deny what everyone already knows, either subconsciously or plainly, to be ominously true; the idea of persecution is terrifying and intimidating. It is something we often relegate to the realm of “super-Christians.” Persecution, at least in this context, is not the occasional slighting comment made in our direction or the under-the-breath mutterings we hear when we espouse Christian convictions in the course of conversation. In consideration of this

Alyssa Hall 2
24 May 2016

To My Single Christian Friends; Why Wait?

In the world of Christendom, marriage is looked upon as a holy sacrament, a demonstration of Christ and the church, the subject of political debate, or worst of all the inevitable conclusion of a heart-connection between two people. The issue with this perspective is not that marriage is bad for relationships, but that for many people it has become a destination to reach, not necessarily a journey to be started. The difference is similar to

Charles Heyworth 4
19 May 2016

Why the World Revolves around Marriage and Romance in Modern Civilization—and How This has Euthanized All Other Relations

The title of this article indicates a premise to which I have given much thought in recent times. Everywhere one turns in modern culture—from every film, story, show, or advertisement produced by our media, to the billboards on the highway, to the “Single and over 40?” signs stuck in the ground down the road from my place, to the sermons, marriage seminars, or dating and purity rallies of Church and youth group culture, to the

Joseph Green 6