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Vaughn Nelson

Longing for Good News about Bad Shepherds

Watch out, you shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture, declares the Lord. This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, proclaims about the shepherds who “tend to” my people: You are the ones who have scattered my flock and driven them away. You have not attended to their needs, so I will take revenge on you for the terrible things you have done to them, declares the Lord. I myself will gather the few remaining sheep from all the countries where I have driven them. I will bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply.

Isaiah the Candidate

Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live.

Freedom without the Fine Print

The following had its origins in a homily I offered at the 8:30 a.m. Liturgical Service at La Sierra University Church in June. One of the Scripture passages for the day was the well-known Galatians 5:1, 13-28, Paul’s declaration of freedom in Christ, followed by his list of fleshly vices and fruits of the Spirit. While at first thought I would opt for one of the other passages that week, as this one is so well worn, some further reading and reflection drew me in.

Artisanal Spirituality: Creating Space for Hand-Crafted Faith

Occasionally, I listen to a podcast called “Homebrewed Christianity” hosted by a handful of PhDs in Theology and Religion who also happen to be involved in local church ministries of various sorts. (They also happen not to be teetotalers, as you may have guessed.) Episodes feature interviews with a huge variety of authors, thinkers, artists, and scholars who contribute in some fashion to Christian thought and practice. The tagline usually contains some variant of “…bringing you the best nerdy audiological ingredients so you can brew your own faith.”

Spirituality and Religion: Crossroads or Intersection?

“I’m spiritual but not religious.” You’ve heard it a hundred times, and so have I. To put my cards on the table, I’m not a fan of that statement. Separating out spirituality from religion seems ridiculous to me. As if being “spiritual” is a conscious pursuit that one can so easily divorce from a “religious” context. As if the human exercise of spirituality could have survived through the ages without its cultivation in religion contexts.

La expiación y la armonía universal

(Traducido por Carlos Enrique Espinosa)

El sábado pasado canté en el coro de mi iglesia. No solemos tener un coro—y menos en Navidad para cantar los pasajes favoritos del Mesías de Haendel. El coro ocasional de una iglesia es siempre una aventura fascinante. Los que sólo calientan asientos se transforman en primeras figuras, mientras que los que alguna vez cantaron en el colegio descubren que la “atrofia” también se aplica a las cuerdas vocales. Pero el director desesperado nunca rechaza a un voluntario.

Atonement and Universal Harmony


Last Sabbath, I sang in my church’s choir. We don’t usually have a choir—just at Christmas to sing the favorites from Handel’s Messiah. The occasional church choir is always a fascinating affair. Pew warmers turn prima donnas, while former collegiate choristers discover that “atrophy” applies to vocal cords, too.

Pieces of April


In the American ideal, Thanksgiving is nothing if not a family holiday centered on a meal. Christmas has its gift-giving, Valentine’s its chocolates, and Independence Day its fireworks. It’s hard to imagine Thanksgiving, however, without a meal shared with family and friends.

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Sat, 08/05/2017
Dr Lisa Clark Diller

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