One morning in the second full week of Lent, I woke up to the first sign of Easter.
This Lenten season I find myself reflecting on the spiritual discipline of confession. What does a healthy practice of confession look like both individually and collectively?
In 2006, a Kansas City pastor challenged his congregation not to complain for 21 consecutive days—the time, he says, it takes to break an ingrained habit. (Photo by philm1310/Pixabay)
“You better stop whinin’, pinin',” Dolly Parton sings in her song, “Better Get to Livin'.”
If you’re “underpaid or under appreciated,” you’ll get no sympathy from her.
Her advice: Stop complaining and “better get to livin’.” Get your “dreams in line and then just shine, design, refine 'til they come true.”
Reverend Will Bowen could say “Amen” to that, albeit without the country twang.
In 2006 the Kansas City pastor challenged his congregation not to complain for 21 consecutive days—the time, he says, it takes to break an ingrained habit.
“We are a mystery to ourselves, a bundle of contradictions. We are inherently prone to self-deception, particularly when it comes to justifying our own behaviours and assumptions. We are not nearly as pure or virtuous as we imagine ourselves to be. We are, each one of us, capable of beautiful and terrible things. We are human beings.” (Photo © istock.com/fotogeng)
Something needs to be done about all the hate in the world.
This morning I encountered no fewer than three pieces of media expressing incredulity that the internet seems not to have transformed humanity into an oasis of harmony and mutual understanding, but has, instead, degenerated into a cesspool of anger and ignorance.
Lent is a 40-day season on the church calendar that brings the story of Jesus into the nitty-gritty of community life. It brings the story into everyone’s own particular time and place.
A year ago, when a colleague and I spent an intense two days in the beautiful Fraser Valley of B.C. with the writing team for our Leader magazine, I met this passage again as part of the 2016 lectionary texts for Lent.
A few weeks ago in the first Sunday of Lent I challenged our congregation to fast from the fruits of privilege. One minor act on my part has been to ride the bus as often as possible. As a country-boy the bus has always been a source of fascination for me and this spiritual exercise paid dividends this last week as my experience ended comprising about half the sermon
Every year around this time, a lot of Mennonites across Canada do something very un-Mennonite, they give something up for Lent. The idea behind the modern Lenten fast, where people give up something they like, so that when they feel the urge to have that thing, they are supposed to think about God and their reliance on God. It's usually most effective if the thing you're giving up is something you've sorta convinced yourself that you need or are semi-addicted to. The problem of course is that it requires you to admit that you are half addicted to something.