John Starck

According to my calculations, I've consumed 79,000 meals over the course of my life. Only a few stand out: my first meal served by my future mother-in-law, the dinner where we learned of our daughter's engagement, and dining at Wendy's to satisfy...

read more

Gregory of Nyssa

Of the 39 Old Testament books, none is more difficult to interpret than the Song of Songs. It has no obvious religious content, and God's name never appears in the text. On the surface, the book reads as a romantic interplay between a bride and...

read more

Gotfried Arnold

Church leaders branded him a radical, the enemy, and a traitor to his own denomination. Gottfried Arnold (1666-1714) hardly fits the stereotype of a militant firebrand. He was a devout and earnest Lutheran pastor who preached thoughtful sermons and...

read more

Johann Arndt

It has been said, "The longest journey you will ever take in your life is from your head to your heart." Although the distance between our heads and hearts is a mere 18 inches, taking what we know about God and acting on it is no simple task. How...

read more

Nicholas Ridley

The origin of the nursery rhyme Three Blind Mice dates to 1609. Many suspect the author intended it as an ode to Queen Mary, who sixty years previous had orchestrated the deaths of three Anglican bishops for treason and heresy. Queen Mary,...

read more

Roland Williams

Roland Williams (1817-1870) made two lasting contributions to Welsh society. First, he introduced rugby to Wales, now considered by many to be its national sport. When Williams became Vice-Principal of St. David's College (now the University of...

read more

Nicholas of Cusa

Smart people know how much they don't know. Socrates said it well, "I know I am intelligent because I know nothing." His quote is sometimes paraphrased in more familiar words, "The only true wisdom is knowing that you know nothing." This seeming...

read more

Nicolai Velimirovic

Today's prayer took me back to a 2023 Super Bowl ad. For real! A series of black and white photos of violent confrontations flashed on the screen, accompanied by the song "Human" by Rag'n'Bone Man. At the end of this mysterious sixty-second ad, the...

read more

Henry Martyn

Henry Martyn (1781-1812) was a stellar student at Cambridge University in England, well on his way to becoming a professor or lawyer. Yet he suspected something was missing, "I obtained my highest wishes but was surprised to find that I had grasped...

read more

William of St. Thierry

Christian mystic is a term used to describe William of St. Thierry (1075? -1148). Mystic is a slippery, vacuous word. For the record, it's not a synonym for people who do weird things in the name of God. Christian mystics are people who seek direct...

read more

Hudson Taylor

They called him the "black devil" for wearing an English black overcoat on the streets of Shanghai. The trappings of his Western European culture had become a barrier to the Chinese people, communicating that Christianity was a foreign religion....

read more

John Angell James

It was the annual meeting of the London Missionary Society. I know it doesn't sound like much, but it was a big deal in those days. You needed to arrive two hours before the service if you wanted a seat. What attracted so many people to Surrey...

read more

Barnabas

Some people are best known for their nicknames. Honest Abe is one that comes immediately to mind. Joseph, a Levite from Cyprian, was given the nickname Barnabas by early Christians, meaning "son of encouragement." Most every time he is mentioned in...

read more

Ignatius of Loyola

Generosity originates in the heart of God. Consider what God has made. The Lord didn't cut corners in Genesis. The world God has fashioned is lavish and teeming with extravagant abundance. God's ultimate act of generosity is sending his one and...

read more

William Bright

I had not heard of the term "Shiny Object Syndrome" until recently. It's a phrase used in business to describe our infatuation with new, trendy ideas. We chase after the latest novel idea until the next best thing comes along to divert our...

read more

Melito of Sardis

Melito of Sardis (?-180) was both tough and tender.  He had the audacity to make a bold request of the Roman Emperor yet did so nicely.  Melito sent his “Apology for Christianity” (apology means defense) to Emperor Marcus Aurelius in 170AD.  His...

read more

3rd Century Hymn

My original baseball card collection is likely buried deep in an Ohio landfill. My mom threw away my cards while cleaning my room out after I left home. Really, Mom? You trashed my Mickie Mantle's rookie card! She felt so remorseful about it later...

read more

Damien

The bishop appealed to local priests for volunteers to serve a remote leper colony in Hawaii. Four priests answered the call, including a Belgium priest who came to the Hawaiian Islands as a missionary in 1864. Joseph de Veuster (1840-1889) adopted...

read more