In God’s Time

Guest Post: Richard Baier"Praying is something we do in our time. The answers come in God's time."For the unenlightened, the above quote is from the movie Rudy, a 1993 classic about a young man determined to fulfill a dream and become a member of the Notre Dame football team. It's the guy equivilent of a chick flick. Rudy has failed multiple times to earn admission to Notre Dame. This is his last chance. Father Cavanaugh finds Rudy in church praying for divine intervention. Rudy suggests … [Read more...]

From a Small Circle

Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out … [Read more...]

Why We Don’t Want To Be Made Well

Guest post: by Ed CyzewskiDo you have any moments from your past that make you cringe or recoil in fear and shame?I have a running list of these moments that range from times I publicly embarrassed myself in front of friends and family to the times I’ve deeply wounded friends and family with my own selfishness and anger. I can whip myself into a frenzy of guilt and shame with remarkable efficiency.One afternoon I sat down to pray because I'd had enough of the shame I'd been carrying. … [Read more...]

Psalm 23-and-a-Half

The Lord is my shepherd,      whether I like it or not. I shall not want.      Except for a bigger house, a nicer car, a slimmer waistline;      a newer device, a little more power;      and to always, always, every day, be right about everything. He makes me lie down in green pastures      as the world grays with concrete      and browns with toxic fumes           and bleeds with violence and rage. He leads me beside still waters                            even though I pull away, and … [Read more...]

Not in the Fire, Not in the Wind

The following is from week 2 of the sermon series "Doors and Windows: Faces of Faith in Transition." Since many of you followed last week's conversation about "Mapping the Message," I thought you might like to see the product of all that series planning. I really enjoyed sharing some of the creative process, and I hope we can talk more about that soon!  Meanwhile, read on for some thoughts on finding that still, small voice--even when all around us feels like chaos. It’s official. Nothing is … [Read more...]

Showing Up

I never know what to say when someone thanks me for making a hospital or home visit. A simple 'you're welcome' will sometimes suffice. But at other times, people more than thank me. They say 'I know you're busy,' and “I hate that you had to go to this trouble;’ 'this is so important to my family,' and maybe even 'you're so wonderful to come.''You're welcome' doesn't quite seem to cut it.It almost feels like they're thanking me for breathing. For enjoying a great dessert, for taking a wal … [Read more...]

$*^! Jesus Says: Seeds and Weeds Edition

For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”A truth of desert life, and life in general: after the blessed benediction of rain, you will have weeds to contend with.The earth is so parched around here that the first drop of moisture brings forth all manner of latent vegetation—from beautiful wildflowers to potent, allergen-baring stuff.  After a few ea … [Read more...]

just say grace

God forgive us: when we would rather be right than do right.God forgive us: when we would rather feel good than do good.God forgive us: when we would rather have justice than do justice.God forgive us: when we would rather speak of You than work for You.God forgive us: when the people you 'hate' look a lot like the people we hate. God forgive us: when fear speaks louder than mercy.                                     when 'not enough' talks over abundance.                         … [Read more...]

What Whining Will Get You…

I've got two small children. I know what whining sounds like. Sometimes, before the request has completely left the tongue, I will stop and say, "Is that really how you want to ask me about that?"Because I would really like them to learn young that whining gets them nowhere. That i tend to be more generous with snacks, outings, tv shows, and life in general, when I have been approached with a certain degree of pleasantness. Manners are important, but this is not just about manners. It is about … [Read more...]