the blog


Today & St. Martin, Bishop of Tours


tumblr_mdt8114ntB1rz3pvdIn morning prayer today the homily shared connected our lectionary passage and the story of St. Martin of Tours (read a bit more about it). The story was about him cutting of a piece of him military cape and giving it to a homeless beggar. He had a dream that night of a Jesus wearing half of his cape and awoke realizing what he should have done. Essentially to give everything to Jesus and to his neighbor!

It’s veterans day. I really appreciate the lectionary passage from Matthew 25:34-40 (the I was sick, I was in prison, I was a stranger, I was naked… and you took care of me passage). That connected to the commemoration of St. Marin of Tours, a military general who encountered Christ, gave his all to Jesus and became a force for peace and charity in the world, eventually being elected bishop. A great way to frame the day I do believe.

I’m seen by some as disrespectful of veterans and a poor excuse for an American or something like that. This is mainly because I hold to convictions of non-violence and am skeptical of political systems and violent means of progress. I rather seek to pledge my allegiance to God and God’s kingdom, making Jesus my King and his teachings my rule of life and the constitution of my home.

But with all sincerity, I don’t want to be disrespectful to veterans and those who have served and sacrificed for this country and other countries. As a friend and mentor once said to my wife and I, “honor what is honorable.” I want to do that. So thank you women and men who have served and sacrificed. I’m sorry you had to do that, I long for the coming of God’s kingdom, where all will be new and there will be no tears or separation, strife or death. Rather, there will be shalom—everything in it’s right place and in right relationship with all people and things. I struggle with language that gives credit for my wellbeing, safety and freedom to anyone other then my God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

So I long for this, for the veteran and for the farmer, for those who might be called enemy and for those who I call friends… I long for all of creation to be at peace because of the knowledge of Jesus, sacrificed for all, for the redemption of sin and the hope of life everlasting. I pray come Lord Jesus, come. Come this day and in all days, until you come one day to make all things new.

My response is to try and live into the already of God’s kingdom rather then excepting the not yet of it. This is not without its faults because of my failure and lack of faith but don’t mistake it for non-action. Despite the sinful sloth I all to often sit in my prayer is that the video of freedom and peace we find in the scripture would lead me, would lead the church to radical action. I pray I and we would have the imagination for this Jesus kinda of action.

I pray God will give me the vision and the courage to live and a disciple of Jesus, acting for peace and reconciliation, for justice and truth, for unity and charity… all with the example of Jesus, the one I follow before me!

Just some thoughts.

12232839_972607742778353_1999867474744436856_oOur Collect for the day…

Lord God of hosts, you clothed your servant Martin the soldier with the spirit of sacrifice, and set him as a bishop in your Church to be a defender of the catholic faith: Give us grace to follow in his holy steps, that at the last we may be found clothed with righteousness in the dwellings of peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

PS: to my friend who my raise an eyebrow at the “Pray for us” line. Just look at it like you’re asking a brother or friend to pray for you. The idea is that all are alive in Christ, a communion of saints or a great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1) you might say. Alexander Schmemann explain this best for me, I can’t remember ware, maybe in his book Great Lent: Journey into Pascha book or For the Life of the World… can’t remember but he’s awesome and helped me to be a little less squeamish when it come to this aspect of the faith that has long been practiced.



DEEP FOCUS // Music Monday


Well, it’s Memorial Day and I’m at Starbucks reading. Bummer I know but they call it seminary. And man, I’ve got A LOT of reading to do.

But since it is Monday I thought I would share this Spotify playlist I am have been listening to.

The title is DEEP FOCUS (which I need) and it’s brilliant!




What’s Next


91fMDDmbJPLFirst, I’d just like to say THANK YOU for joining me on this “ordinary” journey. It’s such a privilege to be able to journey with folks through the calendar, this amazing and beautiful way of living the story of Jesus and living into the life of Jesus and the life of the church—the Gospel.

I’ve found the liturgical calendar to be extraordinarily life giving for me and my life with God. It’s why I have written these books and shared them with you as a resource and devotional help. I hope, I pray that this has been helpful, instructive and inspiring in your pursuit of Jesus and the Kingdom that is always and already near.

As I mentioned in the book, the season of Ordinary Time is only half way through. We’ve still got 13 more weeks! For me that is good news. I need all the time I can get to follow Jesus in my everyday, ordinary life.

I wanted to give a few resource here that might help you over this second half of Ordinary Time to stay on point while you make this journey. Then after these resources I’ll tell you a bit more about this project I am working on and how you can keep going!

Some Resources for Ordinary Time
(some of these you may have picked up on as you read the OT book)

The Lectionary Page :: This is a really simple way to get the Sunday lectionary scripture reading and to follow the calendar of feasts and fasts and things like that. It’s simple but helpful.

The ESV Bible Webpage has a great little site and if you click on PLAN and then on DAILY OFFICE LECTIONARY it will take you to daily readings, all of which come from the Book of Common Prayer and church calendar.

Pray As You Go is a great resource, I use it regularly. A brief audio guided prayer to get your day started.

The Trinity Mission is a great resource for daily prayer. On the site you can follow along with morning, mid-day and evening prayers (as found in The Book of Common Prayer). You can even listen to an audio version or just read along. Again, this site follows the lectionary, the church calendar readings. You can click on their daily scripture readings and get easy access to the daily office scripture readings, also found in The Book of Common Prayer .

And here are a couple books I would recommend if you want to follow along that way.

Living the Christian Year: Time to Inhabit the Story of God :: Bobby Gross

Journey into the Heart of God: Living the Liturgical Year :: Philip H. Pfatteicher

Following Jesus: Biblical Reflection on Discipleship  :: NT Wright
Mark for Everyone :: NT Wright

To be honest, there are not a ton of devotional resources on Ordinary Time. Even some of the books above aren’t specifically on Ordinary Time or might not be exactly a devotional on this time of the year. Your best bet might be to grab some kind of book or devotional on discipleship or on Christian living. Anything that will take you deeper into one of the these themes of this time of the year.

Here are a few recommendations

The Cost of Discipleship * The Divine Conspiracy * Simply Christian * One Life * The King Jesus Gospel * A Long Obedience in the Same Direction * Mere Discipleship 


This project through the liturgical year is really meant to be a resource and a help to church communities, youth groups, families and individuals. It’s an introduction and devotional resource for folks, leading them into the beauty and depth of the Christian Year.

So far I’ve written three books in this series; AdventLent and now Ordinary Time. These three books make up approximately half the calendared liturgical year. My hope would be that people grab these and journey along with their community and with their families. I also hope this wets your appetite for this sort of thing and that in a year of so you’re ready for the rest of it!

Over the next year I hope to be writing the remainder of the years daily devotionals and meditations. The hope would be to compile all the content of the three books already written and the new content I will be writing, creating one book to rule them all (or something like that). One book to lead you and your community through the entire year of the church calendar.

What I need / How you can help

I need your input, your feedback and your participation. The more feedback we get, the more sales of the existing books and the more demand we have for this entire projects completion the faster it will all get done and the more incentive my publisher will have to get it out there. 😉

I would love to hear from you!
email me:
email my publisher: The Youth Cartel

And do all the tweeting, facebooking, instagramming, yelping, woofing or whatever clever social media platforms you have to spread the word of the books and share your thoughts.

Amazon is also a really big deal! If you’ve read any of the books and want to leave your feedback on Amazon, that would be incredibly helpful!

Thanks friends! I look forward to continuing this journey with you and with Jesus, our risen and reigning Lord!

Grace and peace



Learning to Prayer


My time at Nashotah House has begun!

This week is orientation. All week, all the time! It’s a lot, but there is a lot that goes on at this place. Most notably, every day starts with morning prayer at 8 am, then bells ring at 12:30 pm for mid-day prayer, and then we gather again for evening prayer at 4:30 pm.

Everything revolves around this rhythm of prayer. Our life, our community and our learning all are rooted and sustained by this practice of prayer.

If nothing else is formative at Nashotah House, I know beyond a doubt this will be (even though I am quite sure many other things will be as well).

I thought I would share a prayer all the students and faculty pray every day at evening prayer.

11891237_10153607230635956_4106079202307804684_nA Prayer for Nashotah House

Bless, O Lord, this House, set apart to the glory of your great name and the benefit of your Holy Church; and grant that your Name may be worshipped here in truth and purity to all generations. Give your grace and wisdom to all the authorities, that they may exercise holy discipline, and be themselves patterns of holiness, simplicity, and self-denial.

Bless all who may be trained here; take from them all pride, vanity, and self-conceit, and give them true humility and self-abasement.
Enlighten their minds, subdue their wills, purify their hearts, and so penetrate them with your Spirit and fill them with your love, that they may go forth animated with earnest zeal for your glory; and may your ever living Word so dwell within their hearts, that they may speak with that resistless energy of love which shall melt the hearts of sinners to the love of you.

Open, O Lord, the hearts and hands of your people, that they may be ready to give and glad to distribute to our necessities. Bless the founders and benefactors of this House, and recompense them with the riches of your everlasting kingdom,
for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Know that Andrea and I are also praying for you—our friends and supporters. This will be a challenging chapter of our story, but one we are excited about because we know it will shape and mold our family for the ministry God has before us. And we know we have a great team of friends who are praying for us and supporting us every step of the way! Thank you!
Grace and peace



If you’re following along…


If you’ve been following along on my web guide, connected to my Ordinary Time book, SORRY! I know the that last week or so has been a bit spotty when it comes to timely posts. I think i’m all caught up, that’s the good news. Also, this is the last week! If you’ve tracked along this far, awesome! You should let me know, I’ll figure out a prize to send you!!! (seriously!)

But things have been crazy for the last couple weeks because my family has been on the move!

If you’re interested in hearing more about that go over to our family website and check it out!

But no fear! We’re back on track and almost to the finish line!

Thanks for following along! I would love to hear how the book has helped your life with God over these 9 weeks of Ordinary Time!

Grace and peace



FOLLOW // Music Monday


Over on the Ordinary Time Web Guide we’re looking at the idea of “FOLLOW” all week. After all, one of the most ordinary parts of being a Christian is following Jesus. With that in might I spent a couple hours scrolling through my iTunes library and scrolling through Spotify to find some classic song with the work “follow” in their title. Some of these are Christian some are not, but they are all great songs!

I hope you enjoy! I sure had fun finding them.



Fundraising opportunity


To be honest, I wasn’t all that excited when I realized I was going to need to be a fundraiser for the foreseeable future. I’ve done bits and pieces in the past and always struggled with asking people for money.

At this point, my family is three months into raising funds for the first year of the vision we believe God has given us. We’re trying to raise $56,843.00 to cover our seminary and living expenses. Throughout this process, I have read several encouraging books and had numerous encouraging conversations. And the biggest miracle of all isn’t that we have raised over 60% of our funds, or that in the process I find myself growing and learning because of this difficult task, but that my aversion to fundraising is nearly gone! It’s still hard, and I realize that I’m only beginning. But to see how the Lord is providing and how our community of friends are coming around us and believing in what God is up to in our lives has been a truly amazing thing!

Like I said, we’ve raised a little over 60% of our goal. All in all, we need $11,218 more to meet our goal and be fully funded for our first year of seminary, with church planting in mind.

Our prayer is that we are fully funded by the end of the August!

We’re still looking for a few partners. Is that you?

One cool opportunity we have right now is the Nashotah House Matching Funds Scholarship. You fill out THIS FORM :: Seminarian Support Donation Form and send it directly to Nashotah House with your attached check. When someone gives in this way, Nashotah will match up to $4,500 in seminary tuition and expense. For example, if you give $50 directly to Nashotah House, they will match it and we will receive $100 toward our seminary tuition. (Get more information on this opportunity here).

Andrea and I have also set up a giving / partnership page on our website If you’ve been asking, “What is he talking about?” as you read this blog, you can find all the details there.

I’ve always struggled asking people for money—really, asking people for help. But in the Kingdom of God we participate together in God’s work, always willing to help and partner with each other for the good of the Kingdom and good of the world.

Sometimes asking is really hard.
Sometimes giving is really hard.
Sometimes receiving is hardest of all.
But asking, giving and receiving free, unmerited, unearned, 100% grace is something we must all learn—most importantly in our relationship with Jesus, and also in our relationships with one another.

I’m learning, growing, receiving and, with God’s help, living every day more fully in the Kingdom of His Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13-14).

Here’s a bit from one of those books I mentioned. So good!!!

“We may think of fundraising as a necessary but unpleasant activity to support spiritual things. Or we might believe that fundraising reflects a failure to plan well or trust enough that God will provide for all our needs…
From the perspective of the gospel, fundraising is not a response to a crisis. Fundraising is, first and foremost, a form of ministry. It is a way of announcing our vision and inviting other people into our mission. Vision and mission are so central to the life of God’s people that without vision we perish and without mission we lose our way…
Fundraising is proclaiming what we believe in such a way that we offer other people an opportunity to participate with us in our vision and mission.”

From A Spirituality of Fundraising by Henri Nouwen

Thanks, friends!



REAL :: A life of transfiguration


Icon_of_transfiguration_(Spaso-Preobrazhensky_Monastery,_Yaroslavl)Every once in awhile I will share a bit form my book Ordinary Time. This week the big idea was REAL, talking about the reality of the kingdom that sometime we can’t see but is always and already there. It is this reality that should shape and guide our lives, even in the face of the dark and negative realities that scream for our attention and smack around with fear and despair.

We also experience the feast of the Transfiguration this week. One of my favorites! The Transfiguration is a guiding story in this conversation. I wanted to share this Saturdays meditation and couple quote from this week to help you engage this story and to encourage you to begin to live a life of transfiguration.

DAY 70 // Luke 9:28-36

Transfiguration always seems to be followed by difficulty and darkness. It’s as if the higher we climb on the mountaintop, the further into darkness we descend on the other side. For a moment, we have glimpsed or tasted the beauty of the Kingdom, but we are soon reminded of our broken and bent world.

Maybe this is not such a bad thing. Instead of feeling disillusioned when we encounter darkness in or around us, one of the best things we can do is to take some simple steps to live as Kingdom people. To live as people who participate in the Kingdom of God breaking into our present age in big and small ways. We see, experience and participate in the in-breaking of the Kingdom every time we care for the sick, sit with the lonely, lift up the poor and broker peace.

Don’t make the highs what you live for. Don’t numb or distract yourself from the problems around you. Instead, let’s become a people who help answer the prayer “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done” in all our ordinary moments. This requires living a new kind of reality, one we caught a glimpse of on the mountain and now bring crashing into our everyday lives.

What is your response to the darkness and difficulty you face in your ordinary life? Do you shrink back and look for distraction, or do you figure out how to help the Kingdom break in?

A few meditations

“The world around us tells us that life is about money, security, power, success. Yet the Gospels tell us that life is about something completely other. Real life, the Gospels tell us, is about doing the will of God, speaking for the poor, changing the lives of widows and orphans, exalting the status of women, refusing to make war, laying down our lives for the other, the invisible, and the enemy. It is about taking everyone in instead of leaving anyone out.”

— from The Liturgical Year: The Spiraling Adventure of the Spiritual Life by Joan Chittister

“The Transfiguration reveals and outlines the whole mystery of salvation. And his transfiguration invites us to transfigure with him.”

— Andreas Andreopoulos: This is My Beloved Son

“[The Transfiguration] stands as a gateway to the saving events of the gospel, and is as a mirror in which the Christian mystery is seen in its unity. Here we receive that the living and the dead are one in Christ, that the old covenant and the new are inseparable, that the Cross and the glory are of one, that the age to come is already here, that our human nature has a destiny of glory, that in Christ the final word is uttered and in him alone the Father is well pleased. Here the diverse elements in the theology of the New Testament meet.”

— Arthur Michael Ramsey: The Glory of God and the Transfiguration of Christ





The Prayer of Examen


One of the greatest tools I’ve encountered for my ordinary life is St. Ignatius’ Prayer of Examen.
Here is a version I created, pulling from a handful of places.


BEGIN :: Become aware of God’s love and presence. Remind yourself

that God is with you. There is nothing to fear; you are safe and loved.

THANK :: Bring to mind the good things that God has brought into your life, and let gratitude begin to bubble up. What gifts, big or small, has God given you today? Thank him for every good and perfect gift.

REVIEW :: Ask God to show you where you have failed, fallen or sinned in the past day. We’re talking about sins both known and unknown. Ask God to bring to mind any and every time you turned from his leading.

NOTICE :: Look back on your day again, each and every thing you did. Relive what you thought about, wanted and felt and desired during those moments. Begin to sense God’s activity. When were you cooperating most fully with God, and when were you not?

FORGIVE :: With confidence ask God, the one whose loving presence has been with you and is always with you, to forgive you for all the moments you went your own way. Remember the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).

RESPOND :: Ask yourself, “Going forward, how can I receive and participate in God’s grace, resolving to live as a cooperative partner with God for his glory and the good of my neighbor?

END :: Saint Ignatius recommends you end with The Lord’s Prayer, found in Matthew 6:9-13.


This week in the Ordinary Time devo is on EXAMEN. And of course, The Examen of St. Ignatius is a big part of that. We need to examen our lives on a regular basis and do the work of daily discipleship in the way Jesus!
I also post this examen here for the student I’m hanging out with in Texas! I hope it helpful!!!



Here are the questions for South Texas Small Group Leaders…

Day #2 :: EXAMEN

Do you ever look at your inner life, your life with God and ask “how’s it going?”
Read Psalm 139 – now make it your prayer.

Have you opened the deepest parts of your life to God?
Do you let the Spirit of God love and lead you on a daily basis?

Do you believe that you are loved by God?
Examen your life and action, now ask that question again.

What are you ambitions and desire about?
How could you turn your ambitions and desire toward God and for God?



An Experiment in Virtue


The following are some virtues you may feel lead to incorporate into your life this week.

My hope is that the virtues and vices listed here and that you see on the corresponding  cards can be helpful tools to identify areas in your life that maybe you want or need to grow in. Or maybe you see the vice that opposes the virtue and realize this is something you struggle with and now you know what virtue you need to begin to pray about and cultivate in your life with God’s help and grace.

Print out the card if you want. Stick it somewhere prominent to help you remember what you’re focusing on.

Remember, virtues are holy habits. To develop these virtues, these holy habits in your life you will need to be intentional, prayerful and relentless in your pursuit of Jesus, who perfectly lived each of these virtues.

NT Wright say that learning to live the virtious life is like learning a new language. Yep, it’s hard but will be exactly what you need in order to feel like your primary citizenship is in heaven, which it is if you’re a Christian.

* Virtue Banner

NOTE: Over this past year a team of folks at the Church I worked at lead our 6th grade students through a class we called Virtues.  A group of women who have been studying Christian Virtue for years developed this curriculum and we spent the year walking students through it. It was a smashing success! Room to grow and things to dial in but it was great. Most of what I will share here (specifically the cards) was taken from this resource.

I won’t give a really through explanation here. Do some more research, look up some scripture and thing about how these virtue play themselves out in your own life. And then most importantly, pray about God helping you to develop these virtues in your everyday, ordinary life!

Virtue Courage vprintVirtue Courage Back vprintCourage / Fear

We see this all over the scripture but I don’t think courage often crosses our mind as a virtue. But we think about fear A LOT!

This is one of those vices that might more properly highlight your need for the corresponding virtue, in this case courage.

So what are you afraid of? Are there fears that dominate you life? That freeze you and keep you from being bold in your faith, vulnerable in your relationships, committed in your community? Do you feel unsafe and insecure because of fear. Maybe it’s time you let Jesus begin to help you withthe virtue of courage!

Another note on courage. I don’t think courage is the absence of fear but it is the ability to stand in the face of fear and feel safe, secure and empower by the Holy Spirit of God. More on fear soon (it’s next week theme)!

Scripture to check out
Deuteronomy 31:61 John 4:18, Joshua 1:1-18


Virtue Forgive vprint

Virtue Forgive Back vprintForgiveness / Grudges

I remember reading Matthew 6:14 & 15 for the first time and looking up (as if God is up in the sky or something) and saying, “really”. It’s so harsh and emphatic but it’s there. Forgiveness isn’t something that is optional. NT Wright says that forgiveness is like breathing. We first must breath in the breath of God, the forgiveness and grace of God and then we are able to exhale forgiveness to other, even people who it may be hard to forgive or don’t deserve to be forgiven. But Jesus seems to tell us that forgiveness isn’t an optional virtue, it’s one we must constantly be developing in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Forgiveness is also nuanced.
Forgiving isn’t necessarily forgetting.
It seems often forgiving  is more about the forgiver then the forgiven.
Forgiveness is something we have all been give but it’s also something that has been withheld from us at times. It would be helpful to think about how you feel when a friend forgave you and when a friend withheld forgiveness. Meditate on those feelings and see what it prompts in your heart and mind.

Then there is the vice = the one who holds a grudge.
Are you more know for forgiving or for holding onto a negative emotions and hurt feelings. Do you have a running scorecard in your head of all your friends and enemies. Tallying up wrongs against you and nice things done to you.
If you live by the scoreboard this is a virtue you need to learn to live and practice.

Scripture to check out
Matthew 6:7-15Luke 23:34Colossians 3:12-17

Virtue Prudence vprintVirtue Prudence Back vprint

Prudence / Impulsivity

Prudence was a fun one for me to dig into. It’s not a word we often use in our everyday vocabulary but it is something we do practice one way or an other. Because prudence is essentially wise and Godly decision making.

We are called to make wise and Godly decision in big things and also in the small things. I think we often forget about the small things and think we can save our relying on God, seeking God, being guided by God’s word for the big things, the real big things in life. But the virtue of prudence is about building a habit of seeking God in every decision, especially the small things so that when the big decisions come you already have a holy habit of practice a Godly, Spirit lead path of discernment and decision making.

Here are 2 tips I share with my students to practice and grow into the virtue of prudence in your everyday life.
#1. Know where you live, where your primary residence is.
If you were driving a car in England you but forgot and were driving like you were in the USA you would be in big trouble! Car would be honking and driving straight at you! But if you keep in mind that your in London, know that cars driving on the “wrong” or other side of the street you  would make the wise decision to drive like they drive. Or if you were in Mexico on a mission trip you wouldn’t go the kitchen sink and pour a glass of water. You’ve got to keep in mind where you are when making even the most normal everyday decisions.
Our primary citizenship is in heaven we are told. And when make decisions we must remember that. Let the rules and ethics of the Kingdom of God be our guide in how we treat people, how me eat with people, how we work with people, pretty much how we do everything.
#2. Know who your king is.
Your king is Jesus! No other rule or authority is more important that him in your life. We respect, honor and pray for our countries president or queen or ruling officials (depending on where you live) but always and every time we make our final decision based off what our king has told us through the scripture, community, tradition and Holy Spirit. First and foremost we live under the loving authority of King Jesus and all we say and do should be influence by that reality.

You will run into some of these idea in the weeks to come but if you want a sneak peak and great resource to growing in prudence or wise and Godly decision making skip ahead in your Ordinary Time devo to page 80 and check out the 8 steps for discerning the will of God and making good decisions.

If you want to go deeper into this I would suggest reading the following scripture and talking with some friends about how prudence and discernment was made in these Bible stories. Think about how the 2 tips above may have been implemented in these stories.

Mark 10:17-22 // Mark 1:16-20 //  Luke 10:30-35 // Luke 15:11-32 // Matthew 25:14-28 // Acts 5:27-42
(These stories all include some decision making, some prudence. But in some of these stories the decisions made are difficult and maybe not what we would have chosen. But in each of these stories prudence is exemplified in one way or another and we can learn from each story.)

Scripture to check out (more specifically on prudence)
Matthew 6:1,  Deuteronomy 6:31 Corinthians 2:12-14, (pretty much all of the Proverbs but these specifically) Proverbs 10 & Proverbs 14 (especially verse 15),  Amos 5:13

(I wasn’t planning on giving such through suggestions for the virtues above. For the rest of these I will just give the cards, a thought and a few verses to go with them. If you have question or want to have some conversation about these verses post a comment, I’d love the hash em’ out!) 


Virtue Generosity vprint

Virtue Generosity Back vprint Generosity / Stinginess

I might say closed handed living. I love the picture of a person living with their hands open, receive all the gifts and graces of God but also giving as freely as they have received.
If you read the early chapters of Act and pay attention to the these early Christians and the kind of community they were participating in, you will see this virtue of generosity on display in some amazing ways. Act 2:42-47)

Scripture to check out
Romans 12:6-8, Luke 6:38, Leviticus 19:9-10, Isaiah 58:10-11, Luke 3:10-11, 1 John 3:17

Virtue Gratitude vprint

Virtue Gratitude Back vprint

Gratitude / Unthankful say the opposite of gratitude is ingratitude. In our culture I thing corresponding vice to gratitude might be entitlement. This sense that you deserve certain rights and privileges even if it is at the expense of other. Gratitude tries to help us see that everything is a gift. Thanks be to God!

Scripture to check out
Genesis 17, 1 Chron. 16:8, Hebrews 12:28, Psalm 100, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Psalm 95, Philippians 4:4-9

Virtue Humility vprint

Virtue Humility Back vprintHumility / Pride

I think humbly is a tricky one. If you think you got it you probably don’t and if you think you don’t you probably do. Hmmm. It’s one of those virtues to be cultivated in community and really rooted in love for God and love for your neighbor. When you do those things well through the power of the Holy Spirit you will them be able to love yourself in healthy and Godly ways. Humility isn’t hating yourself it’s Philippians 2, “counting others more significant than yourselves”.

Scripture to check out
Philippians 2:1-11, I Peter 5:5-6, Matthew 18:4, Matthew 23:12, Proverbs 15:33, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Psalm 25:9, Proverbs 3:34, Matthew 11:29, Ephesians 4:2, James 4:10

Virtue Joy vprint

Virtue Joy Back vprintHappiness & Joy / Sorrow

Some old timers like John Wesley often used the word happy as an equivalent to joy. Most time these days we would frown on that because of the shallow modern notion of being “happy”. This is also why I’m not sure sorrow is the best vice to connect to this virtue. Maybe a hopeful sorrow or a despairing sorrow. Think through this yourself, what is the vice that keeps you from a deep and profound joy, the kind of joy you can experience in the midst of difficulty and sadness.

Scripture to check out
Psalm 68:3, Psalm 21:6, Proverbs 12:20, Isaiah 35:10, Ecclesiastes 3:12, James 5:13, Hebrews 12:2, 1 Peter 1:8

Virtue Integrity vprintVirtue Integrity Back vprintIntegrity / Dishonesty

If there is a virtue that Christian leaders need to embrace and grow in these days it the virtue of integrity. We see pastors and leaders falling into sin and scandal around every corner. All of us have influence and leadership in some capacity, we all need to always be growing in integrity and honest. What we do in private should line us in an increasing way with what we do in public.

Scripture to check out
Romans 12:2, Philippians 3:12-21 (19), Colossians 3:1-17, Psalm 143:10, Matthew 6:1-4

Virtue Love vprint

Virtue Love Back vprint

Love / Selfishness

We just spent a week talking about love, growing in love and letting real, authentic, Christ centered love be a growing part of our life. This kind of growing, authentic love is a virtue, a holy habit we are all called to grow into. If you need some refreshers turn back a few pages in your Ordinary Time book but spend some time thinking about how love might be a growing holy habit in your life.

Scripture to check out
Deuteronomy 6:5-10 & 7:9, Romans 8:35; 37-40, 1 Corinthians 13 (of course), John 15:1-17, 1 John 2:1-17 & 3:11-24

Virtue Meekness vprint

Virtue Meekness Back vprint

Meekness / Uncontrolled Anger

I might put the vice to meekness as “last word-itis”. It’s kinda like arthritis but instead of your bones hurting you pride hurts if you don’t get the last word. There are a lot of nuances to meekness and a lot of interpretations as to what it means but my favorite and the one I think lines up the best with the sermon on the mount and the beatitude of  “blessed are the meek” is the interpretation that meekness is all about proclaiming you truth and not needing to have the last work or for everybody to think you are right about any given issue. Jesus was said be meek by many of the biblical authors. My perspective on this is that Jesus proclaimed his truth and with confidence and security in his fathers love, he left it at that. He didn’t need to win the argument or beat people over the head with this truth. He stated is, giving it to the hearer as a gift and then let them do with it as they will. This was his exemplification of meekness.

Scripture to check out
Matthew 5:5, 2 Corinthians 10:1, Matthew 11:29-30, Ephesians 4:1-2, Titus 3:2, Psalm 22:26, Psalm 37:9-11

Virtue Patience vprintVirtue Patience Back vprintPatience / Impatience 

It was pointed out to me that the scripture says more about patience then any other virtue, excluding love. I take that to mean patience is a pretty important virtue. I think that is only increasingly true in your fast-food, tech world. This idea that we must wait on the Lord, seek him and his will instead of just going out and getting and doing what we want when we want it. Patience is truly a virtue we all should desire to grow into. Sabbath would be an important part of this conversation. And if you’re a parent, try and see your kids as a gift—patient producers even—in your life! Lines and traffic could be seen the same way!

Scripture to check out
Exodus 34:5-9, 2 Peter 3:1-18, Colossians 1:9-14 & 3:12, 2 Corinthians 6:4-6, Luke 21:19, Romans 8:25, Revelation 1:9
(The scripture of patience are endless… just do a little searching on Bible Gateway and you’ll find a ton!)