The pages of the calendar say it’s a new year. The old has passed away and the new has come. The bearded and bent man has shuffled off the stage, replaced by the infant of expectation. And what has come with this change? What is different?
We’re still talking about violence in Syria, fear of ISIS, and outlandish statements made by politicians. There are still hungry folks in the world. Trouble still stalks the night, claiming victims of the street, victims in their homes. Emergencies still interrupt and we are often caught by surprise. Continue reading New Life Is Coming…?
Just over a year ago, I stood in the courtyard of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. I looked at its plain exterior and remembered the wonder of the first time I had been there. Twenty some years had passed. Since then, I’ve Continue reading On Holy Cross Day
This week my congregation is deeply involved in Vacation Bible School. We have ninety-one energized kids dancing, singing, playing, and teasing their way through the day. I’ve been leading the opening and closing, singing with the kids, dressing up in costume, and engaging them with large group games. I’m deeply blessed to have Continue reading 5 Things I’m Learning in VBS
Here’s news that to some may be shocking: There are bullies in the church. OK, maybe that’s not news. Anybody who has been Continue reading The Bottom Line of Bullying in the Church
John the Baptizer pointed to Jesus the day after Christ’s baptism. He said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29-42) A finger directed their eyes toward the one whose arms would be outstretched on the cross. John announced his mission. He is the One, who gives himself for Continue reading Pointing Questions for the Church
You know the value of good friends when you can sit down with them and share what’s going on in your life. My wife and I did Continue reading Burgers and Beer: Signs of God’s Intent
Recently, my congregation used 2 Timothy 1:6-7 as its Centering Word. Each month we have a Centering Word to help us focus on an important passage of scripture for us. Paul wrote, “I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you. . . for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.” Paul’s words are
Working with the good folks of my congregation, I called our leaders to think about the importance of tending to issues of trust in the community of faith. We did this by reflecting first on Galatians 5:13-26, a passage of scripture we have been studying at the church council table for the past couple of months. In it, Paul contrasts life in the Spirit with life in the Flesh. What follows is Continue reading Broken Windows: Trust and Missional Leadership
I saw the headline today. It was posted on Facebook: “‘Thief in the Night’ Filmmaker Russ Doughton Dies.” Suddenly, I remembered the fear Continue reading Fear Is Not Good News
I am a stickler for language. It’s part of my personality. Good grammar, proper choice of words, the use of inflection in speech patterns – these things matter to me. So, what happens if I begin choosing words that are outside of my friend’s hermenuetic? Can he absorb my tractate? In other words: What happens if I Continue reading Are We Understood?