Holy Saturday: Why should your heart not dance?
Should marriage take work?
Today is Holy Saturday, the in-between day. The disciples are gathered. For them, this is a horrible day. Their friend and teacher, a man they thought was the Messiah, has been crucified. He died and was buried. What seemed the most amazing adventure of their lives has ended. If they only had the perspective we […]
The Mathematics of Happy Marriages
“Why do marriages take work? That doesn’t seem right.” That’s what my daughter said to me a few days ago. Do marriages and other relationships take work? Oh, yeah. But let’s delve into that just a bit further because we don’t want to give people the wrong idea. How would you define, “work”? I think […]
“You’re not listening!” “No, I REALLY can’t hear you.”
Dr. John Gottman has scientifically studied marriage for decades. Some of his findings validate conventional wisdom, some turn conventional wisdom upside down. One of his findings is what he calls the “magic ratio.” This is the ratio of positive interactions to negative interactions that lead to spouses feeling like they have a happy, successful marriage. […]
The Four Horsemen of Marriage Apocalypse
In his book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell explores moments of rapid cognition. Among the many fascinating discoveries of psychological research he discusses is a kind of stress-induced temporary autism. Under times of stress, our ability to take in and process information from the external world diminishes, sometimes dramatically. Police officers who end up firing their weapon […]
Is Diet Food Bad for our Spirits?
John Gottman, Ph.D. has studied marriage relationships with more scientific rigor than just about anyone. If you and your spouse sit in his lab and have a conversation about a disagreement in your marriage, he can tell whether the marriage will last another 5 years with 90% accuracy in just 15 minutes (80% accuracy in […]
Mother Teresa’s Prayer
I’m just thinking… Last week I preached on gluttony which, contrary to popular belief, is not simply eating too much. Those who have contemplated and considered gluttony as one of the seven capital vices see it as something much deeper. One can eat too daintily, too sumptuously, too hastily, too greedily, or just plain too […]
Sherlock Holmes & God
This is the prayer that was written on the wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta. It seemed worth posting to me. People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will […]
Doctrine – Fortress or Palace?
To Sherlock Holmes, the small oddity is the thing that directs an investigator toward the truth of a case. Three used wine glasses but only one has sediment in it. The dog did not bark. Why was the paper on the desk of a different make than the paper in the victim’s pocket? To solve a […]
Every religion has doctrine. “Doctrine” simply means “teaching.” For many Lutherans, our doctrine is a fortress. When you live inside, it feels safe and comfortable. Learn the words. Learn the meanings. Learn the teachings and you are safely ensconced in the “truth.” Stay in the fortress where you are “right” and keep a sharp eye out […]