A Traveling Musician’s America

Happy to share this great guest post with you today...by my little brother!As a touring musician, I’m abundantly fortunate to get the opportunity to see so much of this wonderful country. Red states, blue states, liberal bastions, “flyover” country - every bit of it. For 18 years, I was a staunch progressive raised in a small Kentucky town, and now I’ve ended up in the liberal enclave of Nashville, Tennessee - a progressive island in an extremely red state.Division, marked by geographic b … [Read more...]

Good Samaritans, Good Immigrants, and Bystander Problems: Sermon for Lent 1

Maybe they were feeling a little disgruntled… After all, the Samaritans in the neighboring village had just been terribly inhospitable to them. Maybe that’s why the Samaritan, transformed by the narrative powers of Jesus, becomes the unlikely hero of this story. But “unlikely” is the operative word here. Even though "Good Samaritan” has become a blanket term for generic do-gooder in our modern day, secular culture, we cannot understate the inherent ‘bad guy’ implication that the term Samaritan c … [Read more...]

Showing Up for the Stranger: The Church Speaks Out Against the Travel Ban

Ever look around at the news/world/government these days and say "for the love of all that is holy, where is the Church??"Blatant marginalizing and silencing of women; racist rhetoric at every level of leadership; the destruction of the environment and the attempt to dismantle the EPA; the growing gap between the rich and the poor, and the continued scapegoating of the most disadvantaged among us; escalating violence in our communities and the continued glorification of guns and violence as s … [Read more...]

No Tribe But Ours: A Refugee Story

I really just carried the fruit basket... But I'll tell you about that in a minute.While Kansas, Arizona, and other states draft fresh, angry legislation to keep refugees from entering their boundaries, hundreds of families are quietly coming to resettle in an American city near you.And 99.99% of them are not terrorists. Despite what some politicians would have you believe.My congregation, like many faith communities, has been deeply moved by images and stories of refugees around the … [Read more...]

Peach and Potato: A Parable

Listen: Yesterday I went to rural Missouri with some youth and other church folks. We spent the day working with Migrant Farmworkers Assistance Fund. This program connects workers arriving in late summer for harvest season with vital resources and services -- assistance with food, clothing, dental care, school registration and more. Our congregation has supported this organization for many years. Since we have a sister community in a small village in El Salvador, working with MFAF is our answer … [Read more...]

#BecauseJesus

While flipping through radio stations, I came upon a show where the morning hosts asked people to call in and 'tell me something good.' I thought, hey, people sharing good news. I like good news. So I stopped to listen and heard some nice stories about recovered health and restored relationships. The beauty of the day or a joy of a fresh start. Then a guy called in and said this:“Yeah, with all this stuff going on in the Middle East...I just think about how Jesus says in the Bible that when t … [Read more...]

Holy Ground: A Small Place at the Center of Everything

Genesis 28:10-19Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. 11He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. 12And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13And the Lord stood beside him and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of … [Read more...]