What the Pope Said About Charleston

News cycles being what they are, it seems that the Pope’s encyclical on the environment didn’t get the play it might have if there hadn’t been an eruption of hatred from the racist volcano last Wednesday night in Charleston. That’s how I think of it, an eruption of something that is active and insidious but [Read More…]

Must We Talk About the confederate Flag?

Do we really have to listen to arguments about whether the confederate flag, (deliberate typo), over South Carolina’s Capitol should come down? It’s a smoke screen. It shouldn’t take up any air time at all. We’ve got more important things to address. Don’t get me wrong; it should definitely come down, but that should’ve been [Read More…]

Escape, Freedom, and Pleasure

I just found out I’m preaching again on July 4th weekend. Sure enough every year it rolls around, and even when I’m not installed as the preacher in a particular congregation, I find that I’m asked to sub in for someone on vacation. What do you preach about? Freedom of course. It’s such a juicy [Read More…]

You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself

It breaks my heart but I keep doing it. It breaks my heart but I keep on reading the news . . . for a long time every day. I haven’t been doing it forever. Sometimes I’ll go months without really paying attention but there has been something about the mood of society, something about [Read More…]

Felt Crushed, But I Got It

I preached at a Center for Spiritual Living last Sunday and I learned that the church has a serious image problem. I’m usually game to try and recover that image, to use my voice to gently prod the church in a direction that will offer good news in a way that can be heard, but [Read More…]

Hand on the Mirror and the Fallacy of a Supernatural God

The Hand on the Mirror: A True Story of Life Beyond Death is a curious book, but let me start by saying that I’m grateful for it. The author, Janis Durham, a former managing Editor of the Sacramento Bee, writes about several experiences she’s had following the death of her husband. They’re what we’d call paranormal [Read More…]

Happify and Integral Theory

The reader will be forgiven for thinking that “Happify” is a silly name, but having spent some time with the program I’ve come to think of it as whimsical. In the all important field of “branding” these days, it’s important for a name to capture the essence of the product you are offering. On that [Read More…]

Success Summit 3.0 and Outrageous Love Letters

Just back from the Success Summit 3.0 in Boulder, four amazing, heart opening days with business leaders, entertainment leaders, along with students of relationship – relationships among humans, relationship to the presence of God. It was a bit of a Trojan horse for some I’d imagine. We came to redefine success in 2015 and put [Read More…]

Love Letter 35

I’ve got a really long list of people to write love letters to and it keeps getting longer so I should probably move on and write to someone else, but I don’t want to. I want to tell you that I love you, period. No qualifier after that as Dr. King would say. Not I [Read More…]

Love Letter 34

I love you so much it makes me giddy. Here I am sitting in the office late at night; just finished the first letter and a woman from one of the other offices here comes in because its late and she wanted to do some work but was scared because this place is lonely this [Read More…]

Love Letter 33

It’s funny how it works when I’m out late working. You would not believe how my heart just bursts into smiles first, then song – no joke, really, song – Here I give . . . for the last 10 minutes or so, as the day and the night wear down. It’s you that I [Read More…]

A Response to Mark Labberton’s “Called, The Crisis and Promise of Following Jesus Today.”

Full disclosure: I know Mark Labberton; I know him well enough to hold him in high esteem, well enough to be certain that he wants the church to thrive in the 21st Century for all the right reasons. He wants shalom to reign on the earth . . . me too. It can also be [Read More…]

Love Letter 32

Dear Barbara, It’s your turn again; in fact it’s going to be your turn for a while. God I love you. I love the way you feel when I wrap my arms around you. I love the touch of your kiss and the deep breath that lets our embrace close in, tighter, comfortable, intimate, enduring. [Read More…]

Love Letter 31

Oh my God,  if you could see yourself the way that I do, then you would know how valuable you are. Rare is the courage, rare the open life, rare spirit that keeps probing until even just a little light will peep through. You are absolutely gorgeous and I love you. Sam [Read more…]