Blame the Baby

Just as I launched into “Lift up your hearts!” a man whispered loudly to his wife, “Whose idea was it to serve communion on Christmas Eve??” [Read more…]

“Say What You Need to Say”

There was none of the usual information a flight attendant gives, no pleasantries or courtesies. When they landed, he came on the intercom and said “We’re here. Get off.” [Read more…]

“The Inn Keeper’s Daughter?”

“Meredith, who do you want to be? Do you want to be the Innkeeper’s Daughter? Or how about a Wise girl? You can be anybody you want.” [Read more…]

“It all leads to Jesus…”

“Everything was going fine until I got to the end and my mind went blank. I had nothing except the memory that I had an ending that I couldn’t remember.” [Read more…]

Christmas Tie?

Right in the middle of Pastor Gary’s sermon, George’s Christmas tie malfunctioned… [Read more…]

Hail Mary

Hail Mary! Several years ago a church I was serving as an interim had a Live Nativity. Various members of the congregation, units of family or friends, signed up for 2 hour shifts each evening the week before Christmas. The United Methodist Women were in charge of serving cider and donuts in the Fellowship Hall. [Read More…]

Happy Thanksgiving! from the Book of Proverbs

I heard a counselor interviewed on CBS “The Early Show” give some good, practical advice about navigating Thanksgiving. It reminded me of the good, practical advice about life and relationships we find in the Bible’s Book of Proverbs. What follows is the pundit’s advice followed by that of the sages of Israel responsible for the [Read More…]

Losing Control of Your Cursor

Losing Control of Your Cursor I have several friends right now who are struggling with unexpected illnesses or accidents. One has a chronic debilitating disease. Another was mowing an elderly neighbor’s lawn and fell, fracturing her ankle, an injury that has required multiple surgeries. I’m sure they hate losing control. We all hate situations that [Read More…]

Preaching and Magnetism

November 23, 2010 I’ve been at a conference for the past five days. It was a combined meeting of the Academy of Homiletics and the Society of Biblical Literature held in Atlanta. I’m suffering from meeting withdrawal. I miss wearing my name badge and walking back and forth across the skybridge between hotels 30 times [Read More…]

Naming Grace and Un-Grace

Mary Catherine Hilkert, in her book Naming Grace: Preaching and the Sacramental Imagination, defines preaching as naming that which is not Grace and naming Grace in the world. Not just for preachers, but for all people of faith, naming that which is not grace is a prophetic, crucial prelude to naming grace, that which God seeks to do to repair the world, what the rabbis called Tikkun olam (repairing the world). [Read more…]

Safety Man?

Some people want God to be their safety man. Make their lives more convenient, keep his mouth shut, and not even speak when spoken to. [Read more…]

Falling Back or Springing Forward?

I enjoy falling back every year. That extra hour is always a Godsend. More time to fold the laundry and unload the dishwasher and put the recyclables in the bin in the alley and mop the kitchen floor and write my Sunday School lesson and still be only 5 minutes late for the choir warm up at 9:15 am. [Read more…]