The Tender Mercies (Sermon)

This is an adapted form of the sermon I preached on the First Sunday of Advent, November 28, 2021. The texts I preached on were not the usual texts of the day. Rather, they were Luke 1:67-79 and Matthew 2:1-12. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people … Continue reading The Tender Mercies (Sermon)

Labyrinth #44: Christ Lutheran Church, Hellertown, Penna.

I enjoy walking labyrinths. Labyrinths are maze-like structures that have been used as spiritual tools for centuries. There are many of them around, and I am in the habit of trying to visit a lot of them. For more information about labyrinths, check out The Labyrinth Society. Find where labyrinths are in your area at the … Continue reading Labyrinth #44: Christ Lutheran Church, Hellertown, Penna.

My Two Wolves

There’s an old story I’ve heard many times throughout my life. I encountered it again a few days ago at the Alternatives Partial Hospitalization program. It’s a story that’s sometimes called “The Two Wolves.” It goes something like this: An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” … Continue reading My Two Wolves

I Accept the World Around Me

Yesterday, I blogged about radical acceptance (a concept from dialectical behavioral therapy), the practice of choosing to accept reality as it is, rather than getting upset or angry about how things are. It doesn’t mean that we approve of this reality, or even that we choose to passively do nothing about it – it just … Continue reading I Accept the World Around Me

I Accept Myself

There are many things in my life that seem to cause me distress. But it’s not the things themselves that cause the distress – it’s my response to them that causes it. I think this is kind of like the Buddhist teaching that suffering is caused by our attachment to things. It’s not the thing … Continue reading I Accept Myself

The Hardest Words to Say

I have noticed that I have a very difficult relationship with some words. For instance, the sentence, you’re welcome. When someone thanks me for something, I usually respond with, “No problem,” or, “Sure,” or just a nod. I can’t get myself to say the words, “You’re welcome.” I’m not entirely sure why, but I think … Continue reading The Hardest Words to Say

That’ll do, Self. That’ll do.

A long time ago, I read about the difference between maximizers and satisficers. As I understand it (which may be incomplete or just plain wrong, I’ll admit), a maximizer is someone who always needs to find the perfect answer for something, and a satisficer is someone who determines a level that is “good enough,” and … Continue reading That’ll do, Self. That’ll do.

Pleading Guilty

Today was the second day of my ten-day program at Alternatives, the partial hospitalization program at Lehigh Valley Hospital. One of the things we learned about today was a type of therapy called “Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy,” or REBT. I found that this type of therapy really resonated with me. It was created by Albert … Continue reading Pleading Guilty

Untying the Gordian Knot

So today was my first day at “Alternatives,” a Partial Hospitalization program at Lehigh Valley Hospital. Partial Hospitalization is a program offered by many hospitals that provides intensive mental health care. It’s called “partial” because you spend a certain amount of time there each day, and then go home at night. At Alternatives, I will … Continue reading Untying the Gordian Knot

“The Lepers in Your Head” / Chapter Eleven: The Bridge

This is the conclusion of a novella I’ve written. It will be published here one chapter at a time, roughly twice a week. Trigger warning: this story is very dark, and may be triggering for those with suicidal ideation. It’s also not the kind of thing you’d expect your pastor to write. So, fair warning. … Continue reading “The Lepers in Your Head” / Chapter Eleven: The Bridge