Jump Back, Satan: The Spiritual Tune-Up of Lent

Posted on February 13, 2024
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Lent is Like a Necessary Tune-Up Lent gets my attention. It is kind of a tune-up, and just like my car, I require this kind of fine-tuning at least once a year. Spanish reveals the very worthwhile pun of “auto examinación,” (“auto” referring to the self) or “self-examination,” and signals the forty days of Lent….

The Collect For Purity: A Rookie Anglican Guide

Posted on February 5, 2024
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The Collect for Purity is one of the gems of Anglican liturgy. It is a prayer both appealing at first glance and also one that invites a depth of reflection: on preparing the heart for worship, on the Trinity, and on the Catholic and Reformed aspects of Anglicanism. It is good we have so much…

Sitting with the Unrepentant Heart

Posted on January 23, 2024
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Morning prayer complete. Emails checked. A cup of hot tea steeps nearby. Outside, snow falls, and the weak winter Alaska sun tries valiantly to peek over the horizon and the puffy, icy clouds—just a hint of gray, a portent that day is almost here. It’s a holiday. Nothing to do. There are no agenda items….

A People of One Book

Posted on January 19, 2024
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“I want to know one thing—the way to heaven…Let me be homo unius libri [A man of one book]. Here, then, I am, far from the busy ways of men. I sit down alone: Only God is here. In his presence I open, I read his book; for this end, to find the way to…

Waiting: A Christmas Reflection

Posted on December 30, 2023
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It never ceases to amaze me how quickly our culture can move from holiday to holiday. Of course, most of this is driven by the incessant consumerism with which Americans are obsessed. In Fairbanks, Alaska, where I live, the average first snowfall is October 2. Christmas decorations, gifts, and retail specials are already on the…

The Good Grief of Advent: Living in the Longing

Posted on December 15, 2023
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“I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel. I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I’m still not happy. I always end…

Hymn Guide: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

Posted on October 27, 2023
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“A Mighty Fortress” is a defiant hymn of faith in Christ in spite of the world, the flesh, and the Devil. First published in 1529, with lyrics and music by Martin Luther, the hymn quickly became the anthem of the Reformation, reflecting the evangelical appeal to the gospel of Christ even above the church’s authority….

Psalms and Prayers for Times of War

Posted on October 11, 2023
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How can we pray in times of war? Sadly, this question is always relevant because, on this side of eternity, war is always with us. Jesus himself reminds us that, before his second coming, there will be “wars and rumors of wars” and that “nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matt. 25:6-7),…

St. Aidan and the Legacy of Lindisfarne

Posted on August 31, 2023
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Long before the Reformation, the groundwork of the Anglican tradition was laid. Saints across the islands of Great Britain and Ireland spread Christianity to a previously Pagan people, with expressions that often differed from those in Continental Europe. Because of their influence on our tradition, these saints are usually listed among the Anglican commemorations in…

You Visited Me: Prison Chaplaincy in the ACNA

Posted on August 10, 2023
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“I was in prison, and you visited me.” Those are the words of Jesus to His disciples, to His body, to us, the Church, in Matthew 25:36. These are words that Father Julio Valenzuela takes to heart as a prison chaplain at a federal correctional facility in New Mexico. The days are long as a…