The Circles of Faithful Presence: An(other) Interview with David E. Fitch

Practical Theology is theology from below. That is, practical theology is rooted in reflections about God’s activity in the world in real time. Eugene Peterson reminds, “Matter is real. Flesh is good. Without firm rooting in creation, religion is always drifting off into some kind of pious sentimentalism or sophisticated intellectualism.” (The Contemplative Pastor, p.68) Read More

On My Soapbox or, Choose a Pattern to Protest the System

We all use the soapbox. Given the current Election Cycle we hear many on their soapbox. Preachers are no exception. Read More

Applauding Personal Success While Interested In Others Failure: An Interview with KrisAnne Swartley

For the better part of ten years we traveled I-35 between Dallas and Oklahoma City. It would be hard to underestimate the number of times we took that route that traffic was not slowed by an accident. Whether traveling north or south we often reveled in our success at not being a victim of a fender bender. But, invariably we, along with evidently every other road warrior, appeared very interested in whatever failure caused the accident in the other direction. Welcome to flawed formation. Read More


Some ongoing rattling around my head from Sunday’s texts from Matthew 5.

When we talk about our motivation for love we reveal a bit of our own transformation, or lack thereof. We Christians often talk of the command to love our neighbor. I wonder what it means that we continue to repeat that as command long after we have declared that we have been gripped by the love of God? Put another way, if the Story of Jesus is transformational, then why must we talk of love as command rather than response? When we tell another that we must love then what does it mean about our volition or want to love?

This from yesterday’s Daily Dig kept me thinking on these things.

Daily Dig for February 24


Jim Wallis

As long as we do not pray for our enemies, we continue to see only our own point of view – our own righteousness – and to ignore their perspective. Prayer breaks down the distinctions between us and them. To do violence to others, you must make them enemies. Prayer, on the other hand, makes enemies into friends.

When we have brought our enemies into our hearts in prayer, it becomes difficult to maintain the hostility necessary for violence. In bringing them close to us, prayer even serves to protect our enemies. Thus prayer undermines the propaganda and policies designed to make us hate and fear our enemies. By softening our hearts towards our adversaries, prayer can even become treasonous. Fervent prayer for our enemies is a great obstacle to war and the feelings that lead to war.

Source: Seeking Peace

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One Was Not Enough . . . It Took Two, and Really Three

A recent study suggested that men who have daughters tend to become more conservative. I get the point of the piece but I question the conclusions. What really happens is that children tend to shape their parents more than they, their parents that is, are willing to admit. Relationships, loving ones, leave both people different, changed.

I often hear couples describe how the other person changed. The truth is both partners change. We are often unaware of our own transformations. Patty and I look back at photos of our dating years and it is clear there are physical changes. I had way more hair 34 years ago. We frequently note the ways we have grown up. After all, we were just kids.

If living with another person does not effect much change, add in another human being, even two. And that brings me to the nexus for this post. I want to think I am self-aware enough to know that the sorts of sanctifying experiences that have made the most marked differences in me as a human being have come being Daddy to two daughters. Our two girls are both very different and very much alike. Making adjustments to the first daughter after growing up with two brothers certainly came with starts and stops. Or to borrow a phrase from my childhood, it came a bit herky-jerky.

Add in that second daughter, the one they say makes a great man, at least in the wisdom of a couple of friends who proudly are Daddy to two daughters, and any balance one thought they had with the first is immediately destabilized when he realizes they are their own people. This is surely not a discovery made only by Daddy’s of daughters. But, I would not know about raising sons. Ask me about being Doc to two grandsons in the future and I may be able to draw some comparisons.

Twenty-five years ago we carefully navigated a foggy street to Charlton Methodist Hospital in Dallas, Texas. We barely made it to the hospital before Tommie was born. I admit to being glad I did not add mid-wife to my resume that morning. Looking back over the past twenty-five years I am proud to say that indeed these girls made their Daddy. And, it took not just one (Patty) or two (Kimberly) but three (Tommie) to bring out the best in their Daddy.

Tommie, we hope you enjoy number 25 knowing how much your Mom and I love you and are so very proud of you. We are all better people because of you. And, I think I speak for Patty, Kimberly, Craig, Jason, Cohen, and Max.

See you at Dairy Queen soon.

"Tommie at 25" - Copyright 2013 Todd Littleton

“Tommie at 25” – Copyright 2013 Todd Littleton