Accents of the Church

Elizabeth Glass Turner ~ Consolation and Desolation: Old Wisdom for Tired Protestants

Simply put, “For Ignatius, the ebb and flow of consolation and desolation is the normal path of the Christian life.” There will be times of consolation – when there is a sense of noticeable, personally experienced growth or blossoming, when God’s presence seems close and the means of grace seem easy and quick at hand. There will also be times of desolation – similar to the “dark night of the soul” – when, whether from wrongdoing, or attacks of the enemy, or times of struggle or challenge, God’s presence seems distant or even simply absent, when our growth seems stalled or the habits that sustain us feel unusually heavy.

Suzanne Nicholson ~ Checking Your Blind Spots: Preaching in the Gaps

Preachers tend to have favorite passages and topics for preaching and teaching. If you don’t preach from the Revised Common Lectionary each week, it can be easy to fall into predictable patterns that limit your congregation’s exposure to the full range of God’s Word. We all have blind spots, and it’s worth asking where we might be missing the opportunity to address a pressing need.

James Petticrew ~ Sanctifying Ambition: Leadership and the Pitfalls of Platform

“More than just building a tower, the people of Babel wanted to build a reputation for themselves. They wanted others to recognize their intelligence and skill and to admire them. Abraham, on the other hand, didn’t seem that interested in making a name for himself. He was happy to follow God, to obey God’s calling, and to entrust his reputation to God. God took care of Abraham’s reputation and made his name great.”