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Religion


Join Us for Palm Sunday!

This week we’re streaming the service from All Saints Winter Park FL, with Stuart Shelby presiding and Paul Zahl preaching:

Dear Pastor, How Is Your Soul?

Dear Pastor, How is your soul? I only ask because things are a bit wild right now. The ground feels a bit shaky; the future uncertain. You have become a new kind of pastor to meet a new kind of world. You are rising to meet an unprecedented challenge. You are live-streaming, prerecording, checking-in, and […]

Remembering Sy Sperling — and Your Pastor, Minister, or Priest

A timely suggestion from a pastor friend of Mbird. Pour one out (pluck one out?) for our man Sy Sperling, the greatest theologian of late-night TV ads from the early 90s and late 80s. He died in February at age 78. Don’t remember Sy Sperling? What are you, Gen Z? He was everywhere on TV […]

Daniel Defoe on Preaching During a Pandemic

A resonant passage from A Journal of the Plague Year 1665, in which the author of Robinson Crusoe describes some of the preaching in London during that catastrophe, ht WDR:

Neither can I acquit those ministers that in their sermons rather sank than lifted up the hearts of their hearers. Many of them no doubt did it for the strengthening the resolution of the people, and especially for quickening them to repentance, but it certainly answered not their end, at least not in proportion to the injury it did another way; and indeed, as God Himself through the whole Scriptures rather draws to Him by invitations and calls to turn to Him and live, than drives us by terror and amazement, so I must confess I thought the ministers should have done also, imitating our blessed Lord and Master in this, that His whole Gospel is full of declarations from heaven of God’s mercy, and His readiness to receive penitents and forgive them, complaining, ‘Ye will not come unto Me that ye may have life’, and that therefore His Gospel is called the Gospel of Peace and the Gospel of Grace.

But we had some good men, and that of all persuasions and opinions, whose discourses were full of terror, who spoke nothing but dismal things; and as they brought the people together with a kind of horror, sent them away in tears, prophesying nothing but evil tidings, terrifying the people with the apprehensions of being utterly destroyed, not guiding them, at least not enough, to cry to heaven for mercy.

Join Us For Morning Prayer

This week we’re streaming the service from St Albans in Waco, TX, with Aaron Zimmerman preaching:

Up All Night With the One Who Never Sleeps

You sure picked a high time to be a pastor, I said to myself. Ugh, you’re telling me. Ever since I was little, I knew that pastoring would be in my future. Being the son and grandson of pastors, you can imagine the inevitable bombardment of questions, usually something like, Are you going to be […]

Things My Grandmothers Taught Me That Are Helping Right Now

It is perfectly acceptable to save .02 ounces of macaroni and cheese in a Cool Whip container with a tin foil top. There’s nothing wrong with constantly having a pound cake in the house. There’s nothing wrong with elastic waisted pants. Children can watch hours of television and still feel loved if you offer them […]

I Take It Back

I got what I asked for and I was wrong. (Isn’t that usually how it works?) Not long ago I wrote about wanting to skip church. Making every excuse I could to try to get out of it. Dreading Saturday nights before I’d have to go the next day. As “good” as I know church […]

Barbie Bread and Fresh Fruit

I left the house and our two toddlers’ sides for the first time today in nine days. Knowing that I could not physically stay in our home and see any metaphorical fruit from the two-hour break that my husband was able to give me after he lead Morning Prayer via Facebook live this morning, I […]

Faith of Our Mothers

We’re living in unprecedented times. At least that’s what everyone is saying. And it’s true. There’s never been a time in our history when this many people have been using Zoom to make conference calls. But this is not the only time that people have faced catastrophic circumstances. The world has been a scary place […]

Exposure Control and COVID: Finding Contentment in Quarantine

This one was written by Greg Gelburd. It could be a dark planet on Star Trek, but alas it is instead a micro-particle (almost as tiny as the mesh in my N95 mask) that is causing havoc on the blue planet. Side-by-side, two hundred of the viruses would be almost visible. As we socially isolate […]

The Blessing (in which I begrudgingly admit everything will be alright)

I am what my therapist calls a catastrophizer. I always play out the worst-case scenario in my head. I have done this for as long as I can remember. I used to think that it was just a way of being prudent and planning ahead. I have learned in the past few years that it […]