I've been here at St. Andrew's Abbey, for a couple of days now. The monks have managed to green up the grounds near the monastery, but we're a stone's throw from thirsty desert hills. It's not too hot here, with the elevation a little higher. The nights are cool, and it only gets hot in the afternoon. We prayed Psalm 63 . . .
Church Encounter Series
It was Sunday morning, and I was in Southern California, so I had to go to Saddleback Church. Saddleback is famous for its pastor, Rick Warren. Rick Warren is known for his books, praying at the Presidential inauguration, and for being a public figure in evangelical church circles. The church was started by Warren in 1980, and it's . . .
Walking around sunny, prosperous southern California I thought, "Do people ever get depressed in California?" I'm sure they do, but it's hard to see why. This place is great. Beaches, culture, food, celebrities--this place has all the pluses. The only drawback is the traffic, but I've found people here are a little . . .
My break from traveling is almost over, and in a couple days I'll go to California. It's been a good break, but I'm ready now to see and do new things.
I've been thinking, this summer, about welcoming the stranger. A basic instruction in the Rule of St. Benedict is "All guests who present themselves are to . . .
Church Encounter Series
On Wednesday night I went to Willow Creek Community Church. Can I tell you that Willow Creek Church is big? When I say "big," you need to adjust your understanding of big. The parking lot is big enough to have numbered sections, and I still couldn't find my car after the service. Driving up to Willow Creek, the . . .
I've traveled for 18 days now. Tomorrow I go home. I've never, I think, in my life been away from my home for this long. I'm exhausted, tired, and road weary, but I still don't want the trip to end. When I started envisioning this sabbatical time, I knew I wanted to go to Italy to visit Benedict's monastery in Monte . . .
Iona is described as a Holy Place. Some call it a “thin place,” where the separation from Heaven and Earth is thinner and a spiritual encounter is more commonplace than the rest of the world. I’m not sure how to describe Iona, but I can say it’s different here. There’s a deep history of faith on Iona, with St. Columba coming here with . . .