Grief


Q: What are the principal kinds of prayer?

We are preparing some of our youth at St. B’s for confirmation and in so doing are working our way through the Catechism: An Outline of the Faith. As I was preparing last week I noticed the question referenced in the title. The Catechism reads as follows, Q: What are the principal kinds of prayer? A: The principal […]


Toppled Cross

Entering into Lent

An essay for St. B’s quarterly bulletin, The Branch. Growing up in an evangelical Presbyterian church I had never understood Lent until I was in college. I do not mean to suggest that my parents or the pastors did not know about Lent, but it was not something observed in our church and is largely […]


2016 – Remembering, Grieving, Coping, and Loving 2

The last week of any year is always given over to “Best and Worst” lists of the past year. This year there is a much greater awareness than usual that part of reflection involves grief and sorrow. Many are distraught with the results of the US election or the Brexit vote. Others grieve the fact […]


Intent is important

I am working my way through D. A. Carson’s How Long, O Lord? In his section on “The Suffering People of God” Carson deals carefully and gently with what I consider the heart of the problem for the suffering of the faithful. How do we know what is “discipline” from God and what is, in Carson’s wonderful phrase, “the […]


Remembering our Dead

Elizabeth’s essay Día De Muertos: Eat, Speak, And Remember posted this weekend. It is a wonderful reflection on the importance of remembering those who have died. As some Christians create these atrocious “hell houses” and most Americans get a bit silly with their costumes, this season can also be a gracious reminder that we are never […]


Celebrate Your Love 

The following is an essay I wrote for the local paper that appeared in last Sunday’s edition (September 8, 2016). Tuesday was the 4th Annual Mack Brady Memorial Match. Penn State beat Ohio State 4-2.  Learning to Live: Celebrate Your Love A few weeks ago I was in Pittsburgh speaking about suffering and grace. I […]


Fall into the arms of God

Proper 19 (24) (September 11, 2016), Trinity Church, Tyrone, PA Readings: Exodus 32:7-14 Psalm 51:1-10 1 Timothy 1:12-17 Luke 15:1-10 Today is the 15th anniversary of the attacks on New York City and Washington, DC. Thousands lost their lives that day and thousands more have died in the conflicts since. Students in college today have […]


The Ghost of Johnny Cash

I have mentioned elsewhere on the interwebs how much I enjoy Kerosene Halo, the latest project by Michael Roe of the 77s and Derri Daugherty of The Choir. I have been playing the latest albums quite a bit and have even created a playlist of Kerosene Halo, Michael’s and Derri’s independent work, and the Lost Dogs. […]


Do all deserve to die or do all die?

Reading D. A. Carson’s How Long, O Lord is bringing me to terms with some of the more basic premises that I was raised with, that on some level I still believe, but when taken to an extreme I realize are not only problematic, but wrong. For example, Carson here is commenting on Luke 13:1-5, a […]

Toppled Cross

Leave It There 1

An old song with a new rendition by Derri Daugherty. It is a bit sappy (and I appreciate Derri’s updated lyrics, see the strikeout below) but it is a message I need to hear on a regular basis. If your body suffers pain and your health you can’t regain, And your soul is almost sinking […]