Carrying the Angel’s Words

My oldest two children came into our family as a foster-to-adopt placement. We were told that their biological dad was not in the picture and mom would not be able to get custody. They were foster children that would be available for adoption soon. James was three and a half. Jasmine had just turned two.…

Longing for Restoration: Psalm 80

–By Ben Wideman (originally published December 2, 2014) We all long for restoration. We live in a culture that is consumed with fear that we aren’t good enough. Our fears make us worry about finding the right job, and keeping that job when we find it. We have fears about health and security, about finances…

After the Election

My stomach feels sick because I’ve been crying. Curled up in a ball under my covers sobbing. I stayed up too late and woke up too early. And I know I’ll crash and burn in a few hours, but there’s no way I can sleep right now. I could give you the litany of my…

The Mountain of Fear and the Mountain of Joy

[This reflection is excerpted from a sermon I preached on Hebrews 12:18-29. You can find the full text here and the audio here.]     Generally, I find the section headings in Bibles less than helpful. But the section heading for this week’s scripture stopped me in my tracks: “The Mountain of Fear and the…

On Worship, Freedom, & Fear

The Wild Goose Festival is a gathering at the intersection of justice, spirituality, music and the arts. Happening June 26-29 outside of Asheville in Hot Springs, NC. You can get more information and tickets here: www.wildgoosefestival.org. I am honored to be part of the Wild Goose blog tour and connect through cyberspace with many other people…

We Will Not Fear?

(Below is an excerpt from last Sunday’s sermon on Psalm 46. You can find the full sermon here.) According to the psalmist, God’s presence with us now, our knowledge of God’s presence with God’s people–Jacob and others–in the past–this means that we do not need to be afraid. The psalm opens with these words of…

Sermon Snippet: Luke 13:31-35

Our gospel reading for this week is really a rather odd bit of scripture. Only five verses and still we have two distinct parts. In the first, Jesus is warned—by the Pharisees no less—that Herod is out to kill him. Jesus responds by calling Herod a “fox” and saying he will go to Jerusalem anyway.…

Advent Reflections: Zechariah

For the Monday prayer practices during Advent, I will be posting reflections on different characters from the Advent and Christmas stories. I pray a blessed and holy Advent for you all! The reflection below is adapted from a sermon I preached a few years ago. The scripture reading is Luke 1:5-25. – – – –…

Morning Prayer

I realize that sometimes this blog can make it seem like I have a lovely, holy, prayer-filled, pious life. That I sit around all day reading scripture and coloring in my prayer journal. So I feel compelled to tell you that I re-started my daily morning prayer practice two days ago. So grateful to the…