Sharp About Your Prayers

the challenges, absurdities, and joys of an urban faith

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Entries Tagged as 'Faith and the City'

Sooner or Later… Church!

April 27th, 2017 · No Comments · Faith and the City

Church is the textured context in which we grow up in Christ to maturity. But church is difficult. Sooner or later, though, if we are serious about growing up in Christ, we have to deal with church. I say sooner. Eugene Peterson A clergy friend of mine once said, “God sure chose a crazy, leaky vessel to help […]

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Temperance — Virtue #4

March 24th, 2017 · No Comments · Faith and the City

A few years ago, the acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns turned his attention to a fascinating thread in the tapestry of American history: Prohibition. With an eye for quirky characters and an ear for the idiom of the age, Burns’ series unpacks the events leading to the adoption of the 18th amendment to the Constitution […]

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The State of Your Faith

February 9th, 2017 · 2 Comments · Faith and the City

Do me a favor. Please take 10 minutes at some point today and consider this question: “How’s your faith?” Here’s how I suggest you proceed. Go somewhere quiet — somewhere you will not be interrupted. Close your eyes. Now, take the pulse of your soul. Ask yourself, “How would I describe the current state of […]

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Up Against the Holy

February 3rd, 2017 · No Comments · Faith and the City

This week I have been thinking about the word “sacred.” What does it mean for something or someone to be “holy”? To some people the word “sacred” distinguishes between the mundane parts of the world (buses and spreadsheets and really good chicken parm) and the holy things that reside in church cabinets (beeswax candles, water […]

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Holy Graffiti

January 5th, 2017 · Comments Off on Holy Graffiti · Faith and the City

Dear Friends in Christ: Today is Epiphany — Jan. 6. After the 12 days of Christmas, Christians move from celebrating the birth of Jesus to contemplating the revelation of Christ to the world. In other words, Epiphany is Jesus going public. During Epiphany, we contemplate the transformative things that happen when people from all walks […]

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Gaudete Sunday

December 8th, 2016 · Comments Off on Gaudete Sunday · Faith and the City

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. –Isaiah 35 Friends in Christ, The Third Sunday of Advent is upon us. Tradition calls this Gaudete (gow-da-tay) Sunday. It is the Day of Joy. Isaiah 35 […]

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Skeletons in the Closet

October 28th, 2016 · Comments Off on Skeletons in the Closet · Faith and the City

This week I finished Hillbilly Elegy, a gripping memoir by J.D. Vance. Vance tells the story of growing up in Ohio and Eastern Kentucky, in America’s Rust Belt. The book provides an unflinching description of a poor Appalachian family of Scots-Irish descent who faces disappearing coal and steel jobs, the scourge of highly addictive drugs, and […]

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Come Home

September 8th, 2016 · Comments Off on Come Home · Faith and the City

Our God, our Help in ages past, Our Hope for years to come, Be Thou our Guard while troubles last And our eternal Home! — Isaac Watts Dear Friends in Christ, Where is home? Is “home” where you were born? Or is “home” is where you pick up your mail? Is it where your parents live? […]

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Sacred Backstory

September 2nd, 2016 · Comments Off on Sacred Backstory · Faith and the City

An actor prepping for a new role opens her script to search for backstory. A solid backstory brings a character to life. It chronicles triumphs and struggles. It focuses on moments when a person’s virtues and flaws come into focus. You don’t know someone until you know his or her backstory. Not really. So, what […]

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Summer Books 2016

May 27th, 2016 · 2 Comments · Faith and the City

In his memoire, Confessions, St. Augustine famously describes his life’s lowest point. One afternoon, while taking inventory of his misery, Augustine is overcome. He has a public meltdown. Crouching under a tree, sobbing uncontrollably, he pours out his heart. Eventually, he blames heaven for his predicament. “How long, O God,” asks Augustine, “will you be angry?” […]

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