The Spirituality of Travel

We don’t often realize it, but Jesus traveled a lot. He was always on the move in the Gospels, from Jerusalem to Galilee to Samaria to Nazareth. He traveled places his disciples didn’t want him to go. He traveled by himself when he needed a rest. He traveled where there were crowds depending on him. […]

Mindfulness and Ministry: Cognitive Based Compassion Training

I’m re-doing my CPE. That’s right. I did it already: not just one unit, but four, and now I’m doing it again. That story will be told in a separate article. This article is about a valuable practice I learned about in my second-time-around second unit: Cognitive Based Compassion Training, or CBCT. 

Peace is a Practice (Book Review)

In her book Peace is a Practice, artist and musician Morgan Harper Nichols posits that finding peace is not finding a state of being but rather joining a river flowing all around us. Perhaps the reason we aren’t at peace is because we are so busy that we miss the river of peace flowing slowly […]

The Language of Trees

I learned a few weeks ago that trees talk to one another. They develop this network—nutrients sent and received in an underground web. When a tree is dying, it starts to send its signals out to the rest so that they both know what danger is lurking near – and so that they have the […]

My Not-So-Dirty Secret

I first began writing romance novels when my twins were five months old; I was hooked up to the good old Medela breast pump and hunched over the laptop. I’d recently fallen back in love with reading the genre, with its unabashed celebration of female sexuality and romantic love. I was adjusting to my new, […]

Healing and Hope: Carol Howard Merritt’s Healing Spiritual Wounds

Unlike Carol Howard Merritt, I grew up in a small, progressive American Baptist congregation. In my church life, I grew up in a place that invited questions, encouraged me to pursue deeper meaning, and embraced me wholly as I was created. However, I also attended church camp. I loved camp, and it helped shape my […]

Stumbling Towards Bethlehem

“While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”               Luke 2:6-7 I discovered I was pregnant one early autumn […]

Faith, Interrupted.

The widow of Zarephath had no oil or bread but she did as Elijah said, and was able to feed Elijah, herself and her son until the rain returned. (Summarized from 1 Kings 17:8-16) Last year my life exploded. A mental illness I didn’t know I had shifted into full bloom, landing me in the […]

A Spirituality of Exhaustion

by Lara Blackwood Pickrel This summer has been no different than any of the other summers experienced in the decade I’ve spent as a youth minister: campfire smoke, bug spray, a few thousand miles packed sardine-style inside rental vans, silly bands (this year both on the radio and on teenagers’ wrists), mandatory abuse reporting, saggy […]