These Are My Moon Rocks, Broken for You

Take a look at this picture of astronaut Pete Conrad, handling moon rocks collected on his Apollo 12 lunar mission.  This is the same wise-cracking fighter jock who had Playboy centerfold photos hidden in the checklist strapped to his wrist as he explored the lunar surface.  Perhaps it’s just my imagination, but when I look in his eyes I see almost a sense of humility and awe.  It is as if he is saying, “Do you believe I get to do this?  Man, I have the greatest gig in the world!”There must h … [Read more...]

Deconstructing Caesar (Salad)

My wife Pam and I spend New Years Eve with our friends Bob Scott and Sharon Linnea.  Bob’s hobby is gourmet cooking and this year, like previous ones, did not disappoint.  One of the seven or eight (I lost count) courses of the evening was a Caesar salad deconstruction.  I was unfamiliar with deconstruction in regard to food.  Basically, a deconstructed dish is one that takes foods that are normally combined, changes their forms and puts them on the plate in a different way.  In this case, the el … [Read more...]

Did Christmas Really Come?

Did you have a nice Christmas?  Everyone asks you that.  It’s a sort of conversation filler to use between Christmas and New Year’s since it’s too early to say “Happy New Year” yet.  So let me ask you a different question.  Did you have Christmas?  In other words, did Christmas come for you?In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the cable channels are full of children’s shows, done in everything from claymation to CGI, in which the basic plot is always the same.  Some mean person or creature d … [Read more...]

An EPCOT Christmas

­­Every Christmas Eve, my town hosts a night of carol singing in a church at the center of town.  The event takes place in a beautiful 19th century quaint country church.  In fact, the building is so quintessentially churchy, it was even featured as a location in the movie “In and Out”.  (Don’t feel bad if you didn’t see it.  No one did.)  I’m a little busy most Christmas Eves, but from what I hear, the event is as beautiful as any Currier and Ives print.Just one problem.  The church hasn’t b … [Read more...]

The Steve Jobs of Religion

Each week, it seems there is some new article that gets repeatedly shared in my Facebook feed.  This week, it was this Op Ed piece in the NY Times by Eric Weiner.  In it, he describes himself as one of the “Nones” – those with no religious affiliation, neither a “True Believer” nor an “Angry Atheist”.  His piece closes with the plea, “We need a Steve Jobs of religion. Someone (or ones) who can invent not a new religion but, rather, a new way of being religious.”That last bit created a flurry … [Read more...]

A Real Church Health Inspection

Who would think that interacting with a county bureaucracy could lead to pondering deep ecclesial questions?Over the past few weeks, Vision Community Church, which I pastor, has begun a monthly soup kitchen for local farm workers and their families.  We meet in a closed elementary school that is still owned by our school district.  Even though we are renters, it became our responsibility to maintain the food service permit from our county board of health.  That meant the county inspector ne … [Read more...]