You Don’t See These Everyday! Scenes from New York

My family and I recently spent a weekend in New York City, visiting my son, who is a student at NYU. During our trip, we saw a few unusual sights that I thought I’d share with you. You don’t see these everyday. In the center of this memorial, somebody put up a quotation in sticky [Read More…]

Where is God’s Country? What Difference Does It Make?

Where Is God’s Country? What Difference Does It Make? Psalm 86:1-17 All the nations you made will come and bow before you, Lord; they will praise your holy name. Psalm 86:9 Two weeks ago, our Sunday reflection focused on Psalm 82:8: “Rise up, O God, and judge the earth, for all the nations belong to [Read More…]

Wildlife in My Backyard

I thought you might enjoy a couple of photos from my backyard. Axis deer are plentiful in the Hill Country of Texas. Some would say they are more than plentiful. Originally from central Asia (Nepal, Sri Lanka, etc.), the Axis deer or Chital was introduced to Texas for hunting. Now they can be found everywhere. [Read More…]

Good Reads at The High Calling

Most of my readers will know that I write a daily devotional for The High Calling, a website supported by Foundations for Laity Renewal, where I work. I’m proud to be associated with this website, which, among other things, features excellent writing by a wide variety of authors. They share their wisdom on “work, life, [Read More…]

Was Steve Jobs the World’s Greatest Philanthropist?

Dan Pallotta, an expert in nonprofit sector innovation, says YES. And he says this in spite of the fact that Steve Jobs did not give away lots of his money. Here’s the core of Pallotta’s argument: What a loss to humanity it would have been if Jobs had dedicated the last 25 years of his [Read More…]

The Church Is Not Your Canvas

One of my favorite writer-bloggers, Tim Dalrymple, has put up a post entitled “The Church is Not Your Canvas.” In this column, he interacts with a piece I wrote for The Pastor’s Workshop, a collection of my essays for pastors and other church leaders. My recent essay asks pastors the question: “How Do You Talk [Read More…]

Warning! These Nuts May Contain Nuts!

A few days ago I found myself waiting in line in an airport Starbucks. Looking down, I saw a tempting display of various kinds of nuts. There were packages of almonds as well as fruit & nut combinations. But then I saw the warning sign: So, be careful the next time you’re at Starbucks. Their [Read More…]

Songs About Sex Are Hot Sellers . . . Now There’s a Surprise . . . Not!

The New York Times recently featured an article with this tempting headline: “This Just In: Study Shows Songs About Sex Are Hot Sellers.” I’ll bet you didn’t know that before! James C. McKinley, Jr. reports on a study just published in the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology. The journal’s press release announces: “Song lyrics contain reproductive [Read More…]

Here Come the “Super People”

A recent opinion piece in the New York Times bears the intriguing headline: “Super People.” No, James Atlas is not writing about recent superhero movies or about medical efforts to sustain life. The “super people” that concern Atlas are the young people, in the effort to get into high-ranking colleges and graduate schools, have become [Read More…]

Ancient Ephesus and the New Testament: Completed Series

I completed my series of blog posts on Ancient Ephesus and the New Testament. At this link, you’ll be able to read the series in logical/chronological order. Also, you are welcome to use this material for any ministry-related or non-profit educational purpose. [Read more…]

You and Your Cell Phone: Is it Addiction . . . or Love?

According to Martin Lindstrom, you are in love . . . with your phone. That’s what he argues in a New York Times op-ed piece entitled, “You Love Your iPhone. Literally.” Apologies to those who have fallen for their Droids and EVOs. Lindstrom, an author and cultural commentator, asks if we should “really characterize the [Read More…]

There’s No Place Like Home – Inspiration from The High Calling

There’s No Place Like Home Psalm 84:1-12 What joy for those who can live in your house, always singing your praises. Psalm 84:4 I recently sent my son, Nathan, off to college. He’s a freshman at New York University. (That’s 1844 miles away from home, to be precise.) As Nathan experiences the joys and challenges [Read More…]

Bet You Don’t Get This in Your Home Depot!

So I roll into Home Depot on Saturday morning for a few supplies and what do I find? Free country music! There are many things I love about Texas! [Read more…]

A New Way to Bury Your Relatives. No, It’s No Joke. No, It Isn’t Even in Texas!

Every now and then I read a news story that makes me wonder if I’m the victim of a prank. I check the URL a couple of times, just to make sure I wasn’t forwarded to the Onion. I make sure it isn’t April Fool’s Day. And then, when everything seems on the level, I [Read More…]

Oh-oh. Maybe Feeling Your Pain Won’t Help Me Help You

In today’s New York Times, the ever-iconoclastic David Brooks weighs in on empathy. In “The Limits of Empathy,” Brooks has the gall to suggest that maybe empathy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Brooks acknowledges that empathy can be a good thing in a limited way. But “the empathy craze” falsely assumes that feelings [Read More…]

Get Exercise. Think Better.

We all know that exercise strengthens our muscles and contributes to overall health. Now, there is solid evidence for the benefits of physical exercise on the brain. In a recent article in the New York Times, “How Exercise Can Strengthen the Brain,” Gretchen Reynolds summarizes a new study at the University of South Carolina. This [Read More…]