After spending far too long contemplating how to share the audio for my forthcoming book, Letters to the Beloved, I finally settled on podcasting each chapter. My plan is to release one chapter each day, though knowing the realities of life, I may end up missing days too. I plan to bounce around, though Paul’s letter to the Galatians is up first, 1 John is on deck, and Matthew’s gospel is in the hole, which will take us well over a month. As of today, I have the introduction and Galatians 1 uploaded.
I welcome any feedback, comments, and especially encouragement. If you have the ear of a publisher who would just love to pick up my project, let me know.
Please consider subscribing to the podcast so that you receive all of the updates. By tomorrow, it should be on all of the major aggregators like iTunes and Spotify.
A few weeks ago, Andrea Wenburg interviewed me for her Voice of Influence podcast on the topic of wholeness and human flourishing. We talked about neuroscience, spirituality, and creativity. If you want a short overview of why I speak and write so much about the ideas of wholeness and integration, this would be a great place to start. Andrea is not only a great interviewer, she is a great thinker too. I would encourage you to check out her other materials as well.
Why are the nations so angry?
Why do they waste their time with futile plans?–Psalm 2:1
Eugene Peterson published Earth and Altar: The Community of Prayer in a Self-Bound Society in 1985, which as far as I can tell is now out of print. Peterson’s core message in this book is that America was a “self-bound society” in need of unselfing. Its message is as relevant today as it ever has been. His prescription–prayer–also seems as relevant as ever.
In the book, he presented eleven psalms as frameworks for prayer, encouraging his readers to gather together eleven times to pray for the “unselfing of America.” Although we cannot now gather as we once did, I would like to invite as many of you as are willing to commit to praying each of the psalms at least once per day for a week. Each weekend, I will share a link to the Psalm in the New Living Translation, but feel free to choose whatever one you might like or, each day, pick a new translation. Read it slowly, meditatively, and prayerfully.
I will also include chapter highlights that might help with understanding Peterson’s thoughts on the Psalm and, for the particularly adventurous, I will include a link to the audio of the chapter read by yours truly.
The first is Psalm 2, which you can access here.
Some thoughts from Chapter 1 (here is the chapter audio):
- America is in conspicuous need of unselfing. Concerned citizens using the diagnostic disciplines of psychology, sociology, economics, and theology lay the blame for the deterioration of our public life and the disintegration of our personal lives at the door of the self: we have a self-problem and that problem is responsible for everything else that is going wrong (p. 13).
- The only way to escape from self-annihilating and society destroying egotism and into self-enhancing community is through prayer (p. 15).
- The self is only itself, healthy and whole, when it is in relationship, and that relationship is always dual, with God and with other human beings (p. 16).
- Prayer is a repair and a healing of the interconnections (p. 23).
If we are to correct our abuses of each other and of our land, and if our effort to correct these abuses is to be more than a political fad that will in the long run be only another form of abuse, then we are going to have to go far beyond public protest and political action. We are going to have to rebuild the substance and integrity of better minds, better friendships, better marriages, better communities.Wendell Berry, A Continuous Harmony
This weekend, I taught a sermon titled Sacred Interruptions, a topic I’ve been thinking about for a couple of years. I’ve always thought it would make for a good book, but for now, a sermon will have to do.
Briefly, I explored how we make sense of interruptions as Christians. I proposed the the acronym SEARCH for how we might live.
Lamentations 3:1-3, 21-25
You can listen here.