The Old, Old Story

Every Christian preacher in the world right now faces the same challenge; race, gender, denomination and geographical location make no distinction, nor do the "liberal, conservative, mainline-progressive, evangelical" labels that usually divide us so. No, the week before Christmas, all the world's preachers do the same dance with the Holy Bible and address the same question to whatever image of God they hold dear-- how am I going to tell this story again?People of faith struggle in every seas … [Read more...]

An Air-Conditioned Arctic

Oh, the beauty of this valley in December!  Cold nights (but not freezing!) chilly mornings, mild afternoons, 50's and 60's, sunny with a crayon blue sky.  Hard to convince yourself its Christmas time, but we'll live with it.Tourists love Arizona this time of year, and its the easiest time of year to tell the locals from the visitors.  The visitors are wearing shorts and t-shirts, often even flip flops that they dug out of storage just for their trip to the desert. Residents have also been digg … [Read more...]

Shopping for Good News

Not even Thanksgiving yet, and I’ve sworn off the Arrowhead area until 2010. Which is a bummer, considering that I live there. Don’t know how I’m going to navigate the season, but I will at all cost avoid the mall and immediate vicinity. Traffic is crazy, the stores all look like Rudolph threw up in there, and people are not real plesant when you get between them and the last snowman dish towels.   Other neighborhoods all over the country have the same over-abundance of shopping centers, malls … [Read more...]

In the Twilight

If you need any more evidence that people crave something holy, eternal and life-giving, then go to your nearest movie theater and count the hoards of people in a mad rush to see the new "Twilight" movie. The intensity with which these books and movies gather followers can mean only one thing; eternity remains a deep and inescapable desire of the human soul and psyche, and if you don't find it in religion, your heart will surely seek it elsewhere. Eternity, after all, is the defining attribute … [Read more...]

New Fixtures

With the proceeds from a wedding, a funeral, and a couple of published articles, we purchased new light fixtures for our living room and kitchen.  This was not an impulse buy. Since I'm preaching abundance, simplicity, generosity, etc, in this holiday season, I'd like to qualify that I've wanted to replace these features since we moved into our home, nearly 3 years ago. So, we did not just go on a Home Depot spree on a whim. I took advantage of this extra income, (and the fact that Jeremy was … [Read more...]

Mutual Friends

Do you ever feel like some of the people you love know a different Jesus than you do?  The word "pluralistic" has taken on a whole new meaning when it comes to western religion, and it seems that, within Christianity, we are attached to a number of different Jesuses. (is that the proper plural for "Jesus?" Please advise...)I'm not going to elaborate a great deal because I know you know what I mean. You know people who share your faith--technically speaking--but when it comes to social, … [Read more...]

Scoot Over

We are transitioning into stewardship season here at Foothills, and I'm still thinking about the neighbors. Mostly because they have taken over our facility, and there's literally no room for new church programs. This has been an ongoing struggle around here, but I had an especially unpleasant night of it last night, and seem to be on a rant today.  One day soon, there will be an aerobics class in my office, and a pottery-poetry-cheese-making club gathered in the bathroom. Enough.I will spare … [Read more...]

Trash Day Discipleship

Try this: put your trash bins out on the wrong day, and see how many of your neighbors follow suit. You will be amazed.  People are looking for leadership and direction all the time, and they don't even have to know you well (or at all) to try what you are doing. The simple presence of your bins out on the curb suggests that, perhaps tomorrow is trash day after all. Rather than trusting their own experience, or the neighborhood newsletter, many will simply put theirs out just in case.  They will … [Read more...]

Saving Space

'Tis the season...not quite for the holidays (although, don't get me started on the radio station that played "Feliz Navidad" on October 1st). No, in Phoenix its the season when people can finally venture outside after months of hibernating in climate-controlled spaces. Parks are buzzing with activity, grills are smokin', and all over the valley people are cleaning out closets and garages for that mainstay of community life: the yard sale.On any given weekend, you can find one on every corner … [Read more...]


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