When a Koala need a Cola and a Bath

The recent droughts and wild fires over the last five years (think yet another effect of climate change) have led to some astonishing things animals have done to find water and survive. … [Read more...]

The Bear Facts about Friendship

For a full week, this lonely polar bear came out to play with his new friend, the huskie. To heck with survival of the fittest, or biggest, or most unbearable. … [Read more...]

The Premonition— God’s Early Warning System

All day my wife had had this sense of dread, a sense that something had gone terribly wrong. The dread had a focus--- our daughter Christy, whom we had not heard from for a couple of days. Then came the phone call late at night that no parent ever wants. Christy was dead and gone, felled by an unexpected pulmonary embolism. The thing is, that Ann had carried around the strong sense that it had already happened before it was confirmed.Then there was the story my old English prof Chris … [Read more...]

Silver Linings Cloud Drive

Hope springs eternal in the human breast, or so we are told by optimists of all kinds. This seems to especially be the case when what one is hoping for is that ever elusive 'true love'. It becomes all the more elusive when you are dealing with seriously messed up young people-- such as encounter in 'Silver Linings Playbook'. It is sometimes hard to tell who exactly is the most messed up--- Is it Pat Solitano (played very well indeed by Bradley Cooper) who is bi-polar and on top of that has … [Read more...]

AFTE— The John Wesley Fellows and their Impact

Here is a nice article on the legacy of the John Wesley Fellows by Mary Jacobs in the UM reporter.....http://www.unitedmethodistreporter.com/2013/01/generation-wesley-john-wesley-fellows-keep-founders-flame-alive/ It has been one of my great privileges to be a John Wesley Fellow, from the very start of the program when I was one of the first three to be funded in 1977. As the article makes clear, the impact of this group of scholars has already been considerable especially at … [Read more...]

Preaching in the Land of Lincoln

Going to Springfield Ill. is a trip back into the past. Here Abraham Lincoln built a house and lived for 17 years, and from here he was elected to the Presidency. The Lincoln Presidential Museum, and Library, and House are all here, and so is the pew his family would city in at the Presbyterian Church just down the road from his house. While I was in Springfield on Monday to do an event for my Methodists, preaching and teaching them, I had Monday morning off, and I made good use of it, … [Read more...]

Paul and the Heritage of Israel– Part Four

The essay written by Christopher Mount, entitled "Paul's Place in Early Christianity" seems to be encumbered from the outset by a series of assumptions and arguments from silence that are probably wrong. The first of these is the assumption (see p. 93 n. 10) that Matthew, Mark, and John did not feel the necessity of linking the life of Jesus with the subsequent story and history of the church. First of all, we do not know what they 'felt' about this matter. If we were to judge it from the … [Read more...]

The Black Jacket Symphony Strikes Again

Who exactly are the Black Jacket Symphony? Well, they are a Birmingham Ala. band led by music director J. Willoughby. They have a cadre of musicians that rotate into and out of the band, depending on which album or albums or groups they are currently on tour doing hommages to. So, for example, you'll need some female voices to do Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, but a very different set of voices to do the Rolling Stones Some Girls. You get the picture.The band got started in 2009 when Willoughby … [Read more...]

The Side Effects of Side Effects

Though he may be better known for being the director of Sex,Lies and Videotape, or Ocean's Eleven and Twelve, I really most enjoy Steven Soderbergh's real thrillers like Haywire and now Side Effects. Soderbergh makes movies that are far from predictable and have the winsome trait of making you think---- which is more than one can say about most movies these days. While Side Effects is only a svelte one hour and forty six minutes long, it is packed with intrigue, innuendo, and mystery. It … [Read more...]