Brinton’s Bridges

The Value of Prayer

The Value of Prayer

Thoughts and prayers. Some people find them valuable, while others would actually pay to avoid them. So what is the value of prayer? A recent study found that Christians generally value the offer of thoughts and prayers, even from a stranger. According to The...

Mission to Honduras

Mission to Honduras

I'm just back from my church's annual mission trip to Honduras, in which we do construction at a Christian camp for youths and perform medical care at a clinic in the city of La Entrada. Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America and has one of the...

Baseball Builds Bridges

Baseball Builds Bridges

We live in a fractured and polarized world, with people driven apart by race, culture, politics and religion. But baseball builds bridges. The Washington Nationals are the 2019 National League Champions, winning a pennant for their city for the first time since 1933....

The Problem of ACEs

The Problem of ACEs

I recently returned from a Presbyterian conference in Western North Carolina. There, I gathered with colleagues and focused on spiritual, emotional, financial and vocational health. I also learned about the problem of ACEs. ACEs is not a card game that we pastors...

When Big Fails, Go Small

When Big Fails, Go Small

The Roman Empire fell in the year 476, and historian Edward Gibbon said it was “the greatest, perhaps, and most awful scene, in the history of mankind.” But positive things continued to happen throughout Europe. Perhaps the lesson is: When big fails, go small. In The...

Unexpected Friends

Unexpected Friends

My friend Jason DeParle moved to the Philippines in the 1980s and lived with a Filipino family in a shantytown. They became unexpected friends. Now DeParle, a New York Times journalist, has written a book on global migration called A Good Provider Is One Who Leaves....

Canary in the Coal Mine

Canary in the Coal Mine

"We are in trouble,” said the Secretary General of the United Nations. “We are in deep trouble with climate change.” Harley Camden felt as though his river town of Occoquan was going to be the canary in the coal mine. In my upcoming novel Windows of the Heavens,...

“I Love Jihad So Much”

“I Love Jihad So Much”

Several weeks ago, the FBI arrested two men at the Tucson airport, under suspicion of supporting ISIS. One of the men said, "I love jihad so much." The threat of terrorist attacks is real, both in the US and in countries such as Egpyt. According to the Arizona...

Clergy Are Irrelevant, According to Poll

Clergy Are Irrelevant, According to Poll

A new poll reveals that Americans no longer hold ministers in high regard, and in the minds of many, clergy are irrelevant. Religion News Service reports that among people who attend church less than once a month, only 42% say they have a positive view of clergy...

When the Heavens Opened

When the Heavens Opened

In early July, a morning storm dumped over 4 inches of rain near Arlington, Virginia. Floodwaters rose when the heavens opened. According to The Baltimore Sun, water levels at Cameron Run in Alexandria, Virginia, rose more than 7 feet over 30 minutes. In Montgomery...

Phebe Novakovic in Occoquan

Phebe Novakovic in Occoquan

Phebe Novakovic is the chief executive of General Dynamics, a global aerospace and defense company. She started her national security career at the CIA. You would not expect to find Phebe Novakovic in Occoquan. And yet, both she and the people of Occoquan are deeply...

Inspirations For My Novel

Inspirations For My Novel

Writing can be a lonely activity, so I've enjoyed having opportunities in recent months to speak to groups about City of Peace. Everyone seems interested in the inspirations for my novel. I have spoken to members of churches, residents of a town, participants in a...