Eugene Peterson on parables

I’m reading through The Contemplative Pastor by brother Eugene Person. Have you ever read something that articulates a concept for the first time that you have sensed to be true for a long time? This book affords many of these moments. Here’s one:

Jesus continually threw odd stories down alongside ordinary lives (para, “alongside”; bole, “thrown”) and walked away without explanation or altar call…Parables subversively slip past our defenses. Once they’re inside the citadel of self, we might expect…a sudden…palace coup.

But it doesn’t happen. Our integrity is honored and preserved. God does not impose his reality from without; he grows flowers and fruit from within.

God’s truth is not an alien invasion but a loving courtship in which the details of our common lives are treated as seeds in our conception, growth, and maturity in the kingdom.

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A woman’s journey through the first trimester

Charging at the waves with a glass in my hand, as Aaron Weiss so deftly put it, pushes up against the unparalleled feelings I have felt thus far.  It seems some days I would charge into the wild joy I felt, knowing life was inside me, made by love.  Charge like a wild mare I would and then collapse into a wall of despair as if all the wind had been swept from my lungs. Can any pregnant woman relate? Maybe any woman can relate. And so begins the recounting of my first trimester.

Continue reading A woman’s journey through the first trimester

A dozen 20-somethings gather around 2,700 year-old Isaiah. Normal?

As we do most every Tuesday night, Jennifer and I welcomed a less-than-a-dozen-but-sometimes-more friends over to share time in the Bible, prayer, and (hopefully) loving community together. I was surrounded by friends, some of whom are nearly kin, and some of whom I don’t know quite as well yet. As I sat among a bunch of twenty-somethings¬†discussing a nearly 2,700 year old text (Isaiah 46-47) with honesty and humility, I felt great gratitude and love for these folks. We weren’t just examining the text–we were allowing it to examine us (as our very own Ray Sikes has put it).

We feel most connected, I think, when we gather around something outside ourselves that bears upon us all… Continue reading A dozen 20-somethings gather around 2,700 year-old Isaiah. Normal?