Origen of Alexandria

I had a flashback as I researched today’s prayer. I was enamored with Superman as a boy, this “Man of Steel” who was “more powerful than a locomotive and able to bend steel in his bare hands.” Today’s prayer was offered by the original “Man of...

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P. T. Forsyth

The preacher chosen to give the prestigious Lyman Beecher Lectures at Yale University in 1907 created quite a stir. Peter Taylor (P. T.) Forsyth (1848-1921) gained a reputation early in pastoral ministry for his unpredictable pulpit utterances and...

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Puritan Prayer

Researchers call it "Facebook Envy." Looking at your friends' exotic vacations, beautiful children, and fabulous social lives can leave us feeling lonely, self-critical, and depressed. Social media-induced envy is but a new twist on an old human...

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St. Augustine

They certainly qualify as a power couple. Anicia Fortunia Proba was born in 357 AD into an aristocratic family in Rome and married Sextus Probus, a high-ranking Roman proconsul. Together, they became the wealthiest family in the Roman Empire. They...

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St. Dominic

Entering an arranged marriage seems inconceivable to me. I'll choose my own wife, thank you very much. Yet, in 12th-century Europe, the practice of arranged marriages was common, especially among nobles. In 1203, the King of Castile (now part of...

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Meister Eckhart

One challenge in prayer is becoming attached to what we want God to do for us. While we dutifully pray "Thy will be done," in truth, we have our hearts set on predetermined outcomes. We want all people to be healed and all circumstances to break in...

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Thomas Merton

Napoleon Bonaparte entered his palace accompanied by an assortment of military officers. As they made their way through the gallery, a 14-year-old girl rushed forward, fell at the emperor's feet, and clung to his legs from behind. "Mercy, Sir,...

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Mechthild of Magdeburg

If you were a woman in the 13th century who wanted to devote your life to God, you joined a convent. No other options were open to you. A group of women defied convention by choosing to live for God while rejecting the cloistered life. They didn't...

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Henry Van Dyke

Henry van Dyke (1852-1933) was a guest at the home of Augustus Garfield, president of Williams College in western Massachusetts, nestled in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains. Henry was pastor of Brick Presbyterian Church in New York and...

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Bernard of Clairvaux

I've often wondered how the Song of Songs made it into the Biblical canon. For starters, God's name is never once mentioned. It also happens to be the most sexually explicit book in Scripture. I'll be honest. I sometimes avoid reading portions of...

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Ludolph of Saxony

Illiteracy was widespread in Medieval Europe among peasants and nobility alike. Monasteries were one of the few places where reading was taught and flourished. The mass of society depended on learned priests and monks to read the Bible for them and...

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Thomas Bradwardine

He was known around campus as Doctor Profundis (the Profound Doctor). Little wonder. He was one of the ablest theologians of his day, along with being a skilled mathematician and brilliant physicist. Thomas Bradwardine (1300-1349) came to saving...

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Chuck Colson

When Chuck Colson (1931-2012) went to see his friend Tom Phillips in 1973, his life was imploding. He was under investigation for his role in the Watergate scandal and a plot to discredit Daniel Ellsberg for leaking the Pentagon Papers. As a new...

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Richard Rolle

Aloneness gets a bad rap in our day. We equate aloneness with loneliness, yet it's possible to be alone without being lonely. Aloneness is not loneliness when we are in the company of God. One danger of so much online connectivity is the temptation...

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Jerry Sittser

We all suffer, some more than others. Jerry Sittser (1950-) was new to the faculty of Whitworth University in Spokane, WA in 1991. He and his family were returning from a visit to an Indian Reservation in Idaho when their van was struck by a drunk...

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Steve Hayner

Joy is a misunderstood word. We commonly associate it with happiness, which relies on outward variables to achieve pleasure. Joy isn't contingent on outward circumstances. Joy originates in the heart of God and is one of God's good gifts to people....

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