Posts by Bryan Cooper


The little things that give us joy. Finding those in the quiet moments is the charge from Tish Harrison Warren’s chapter, ‘Drinking Tea: Sanctuary and Savoring’. For me this is easy — my wife’s eyes crinkle at the corner when she smiles. She smiles a lot — a little less now that we are in our older years and her knees hurt and the kids are farther away and the Portland rains persists, but when she...

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Let’s build a Communion Table together, shall we.  The first one was about six friends long on a side, and at least one Jesus wide at the end.  Today, our table needs to accommodate all my friends — Virginia, Peter, Eddie, Rob, Rachel, Quinn, Katie, Donna, Zach, Bo, Charlie, Sean, Charlie, Ehow, Joe, Joe, Joseph, Craig, Andrew, Sara…  okay, so let’s just do a rounding estimate here that I probably need to make...

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email.   Finally a subject I am a verified consultant level expert on — I have written articles and taught classes on managing your Inbox effectively.  But, Tish Harrison Warren is one of the many people who would find my advice and counsel less than helpful.  Her chapter on how she finds it unpleasant when opening her Inbox speaks to a growing sense of helplessness in a flood of technology sent to rob us of our efficacy, our...

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Our bedroom door in our last house, the house where we raised our girls to adulthood, had cracks shivering up the plaster.  Those cracks came from a particularly furious fight between my  wife and me.  I don’t remember the specifics but given the timeframe, I’m sure it was about how were we going to pay for college, or our usual fight about discipline and boundaries (me) vs. love and nurture (her), but at bottom most of...

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In this week’s chapter of the Liturgy of the Ordinary, Tish Warren talks about the quotidian tasks that make up our every day.  When we fight back against our daily decline — be it vanity, or health, or just habit much of our daily life is spent just attempting to reverse the entropy of existence.   She starts with the act of brushing teeth.  How that simple task is so menial and far removed from the call of the spirit....

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As a child, we didn’t have air conditioning.  In Oregon that elicits a shrug, but in the Midwest, Summer’s were brutal.  My parent’s solution was to move my brother and I into the den where a lone window unit would struggle against the Oklahoma heat.  Waking in Summer for me would be disorienting and disjointed.   My brother would be on floor next to me rather than an arm dangling from the top bunk.  No superhero...

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I have never had an epiphany in the truest sense of the word.  My whole life I have been in a spiritual community surrounded by faithful people trying their best to live up to the Word.  I’m envious of people who can tell their own ‘Road to Emmaus’ story.   But my spiritual journey has been far more mundane.   And this week’s sermon of how there is divinity in the mundane, how there is spirituality in just...

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