Positive Psychology and the Gospel  

By Rev. Michael Lessard, CEO of Pastoral Care Associates A movement of philosophical and psychological thought has gained a pervasive hold on the media, politics, education, religion and corporate America. It is called Positive Psychology and our culture is swimming in it. It was first promoted by Martin Seligman as a response to the model of mental illness and therapy that, until the 1990s, focused on treatment and ongoing medical and therapeutic interventions (Seligman & Csikszentmihali, 2000). Seligman wanted to…

Remembering is Key to Renewal

By Dustin+ Messer,  All Saints Dallas When you feel spiritually stale and lost, remember the time in which you were first found by God. Today, many Christians feel lost. The world feels new and scary. This feeling of disorientation—personal, cultural—is nothing new for God’s people. The Prophet Jeremiah knew this feeling all too well. He was living in a time of cultural upheaval and societal injustice. Does that sound familiar? Personally, he felt betrayed and isolated—he never married because God…

This Changes Everything!

By The Rev. Dr. Jay+ Wright, Associate Priest, All Saints Dallas The resurrection of Jesus changes everything. It has reoriented history, the world and the entire created order, and it changes us, too. That’s why we take 50 days to celebrate resurrection. That’s why we keep shouting “Alleluia!” That’s why we meet every Sunday: because resurrection has changed everything.

Lent and the Gospel of Suffering

by Deacon Lyn Baker In the popular mind, Lent is associated with penitence. There is a tradition of “giving up” something we enjoy. In my case, this is definitely food. On Ash Wednesday this year, I decided that I would fast for the noon meal. This is not heroic, I know. By dinnertime I was ravenous. As I ate the chicken noodle soup, my whole body relaxed in gratitude. I was more grateful than ever for the gift of food….

If We Only Know Scripture as a Text, We Don’t Know it at All

by Dustin+ Messer, All Saints Dallas If we want to be formed in the faith, we’ll need to know Scripture. More to it, we’ll need to know Scripture as Scripture. Because if we only know Scripture as a text—a thing that we read individually, rationalistically and with modern eyes—we actually don’t know it at all. In his book The Death of Scripture and the Rise of Biblical Studies, Michael Legaspi skillfully shows that the Enlightenment attempted to fit the Bible…

31 Bible Reflection Tips

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” Psalm 119:18 1. Emphasize: Pause on each word of a verse, emphasizing it as you read it, and unpack it. (“I have stored up your word …”: personally accountable, deliberate, not dependent on others. “I have stored up your word …”: habitually, ongoing.) 2. Pray, Read and Pause: Pray. Then start reading until the Holy Spirit causes you to pause and reflect. 3. Opposites: Consider the opposite…

Focusing on Christ’s Victory During Lent: Helpful Tools

by Jason+ Radcliff There are certain tools I have found to be particularly helpful in focusing on Christ’s victory in my own life during the season of Lent. It is important to start small. For example, denying myself a second cup of coffee in the morning reminds me that it is God who gives me strength, not caffeine! Fasting can be a particularly meaningful way to intentionally remind myself that God provides for me. Whether it be the full Lenten…

Relying on Christ’s Victory in Lent

by Jason+ Radcliff In his classic introduction to the “ascetic” or spiritually disciplined life in his book Way of the Ascetics, Tito Colliander says: “The holy Fathers [and Mothers] say with one voice: The first thing to keep in mind is never in any respect to rely on yourself. The warfare that now lies before you is extraordinarily hard, and your own human powers are altogether insufficient to carry it on. If you rely on them you will immediately be…

Lent Fasting for a Changed Heart

by Ron+ McCrary, All Saints Dallas Lent can be the most spiritually transformative season in the Christian year because of its tight focus on employing powerful spiritual disciplines. Confession, solitude and silence, as well as added devotional practices, are just a few. Fasting has had dramatic effects on my journey of transformation of character into the likeness of Christ. But first, a word of caution:

For You This Christmas

By Mark+ Browne, Rector of Christ Church in Midlothian, Virginia I would like you to think of the person here on earth who is the most precious to you. For me it is my wife, Yolie. Now, if you are an animal lover or pet owner, think of the most precious pet you ever had. I think for me it was our golden Labrador, Ronan. In terms of value, how many Ronans do you think Yolie is worth to me? An…