Spiritual direction — January and February

Editor's note -- copy of email sent to my spiritual director this morning, updating and summing up the past month and a half. Posted here, along with earlier updates, so I can tabs on the direction I'm taking as it evolves. Hi Sister -- A quick note to confirm our appointment for 2:30 p.m. Monday … Continue reading Spiritual direction — January and February

Theology, shmeology — take 2: When is an answered prayer like a kick in the pants?

Picking up on a thread -- more like an internal dialog -- that started last month when I was reading a copy of James Hazelwood's new book, Everyday Spirituality, in the doctor's office. Hazelwood is the bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's New England Synod, and he had some interesting things to say … Continue reading Theology, shmeology — take 2: When is an answered prayer like a kick in the pants?

Ebenezer Scrooge, Luther's sermons and Swedish-American history: A New Year's resolution (of sorts)

On the way back from visiting family in the Quad-Cities on Christmas Day, we tuned in to the public radio station from Champaign. As we zipped down Interstate 155 from Peoria to Lincoln and onto I-55 toward home, they aired a dramatic reading from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. A 45-minute dramatic reading was the … Continue reading Ebenezer Scrooge, Luther's sermons and Swedish-American history: A New Year's resolution (of sorts)

Herding cats: Not just for cowboys and ad agencies — it worked in Copenhagen for pastors and music directors, too

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=60&v=vTwJzTsb2QQ&feature=emb_logo So when I should have been working on my article about church polity in Swedish-American Lutheran congregations in the 1850s, or thinking about getting it off the back burner at the very least, I drifted into one of those clickbait websites for animal lovers (called Pawpulous), and got to watch what I think must … Continue reading Herding cats: Not just for cowboys and ad agencies — it worked in Copenhagen for pastors and music directors, too

‘A harvest, crop of things sown’: White nationalist violence brings back memories of civil rights backlash, prize-winning editorial in The Atlanta Constitution

President Trump checked all the right boxes – well, some of the right boxes – after a self-identified white nationalist allegedly shot 22 people to death in El Paso to persuade “the Hispanic population …  to return to their home countries.” Ignoring any echoes of his own earlier Twitterstorms urging migrants and "American-born congresswomen of … Continue reading ‘A harvest, crop of things sown’: White nationalist violence brings back memories of civil rights backlash, prize-winning editorial in The Atlanta Constitution

Taking stock of spiritual formation — over the month of May and the past year

[Copied from my other blog Hemlandssånger, June 8.] Copy of email I sent to my spiritual director this morning, archived here as: (1) a record of issues we've been taking up along the way; and (2) a reminder of my overall direction so I can consult it when I need to get off of tangents … Continue reading Taking stock of spiritual formation — over the month of May and the past year