Envy, Death, and Toilets

What do envy, death, and toilets have in common? They have all been featured in recent articles in the New York Times. I found each of these to be fascinating, so I’m recommending them to you. “Envy May Bear Fruit, But It Also Has an Aftertaste” John Tierney examines recent studies on envy. His main [Read More…]

My Strange History with Dr. Armand Nicholi, Jr.

In yesterday’s post, I commended Freud’s Last Session, a play running in New York just off Broadway. This play, as I explained, is based on the work of Harvard psychiatrist, Dr. Armand Nicholi, Jr., especially his book entitled The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of [Read More…]

If You’re Near New York City, Here’s a Show Not to Be Missed: Freud’s Last Session

No, I’m not referring to Broadway hits like Billy Elliot, The Book of Mormon, or Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Rather, I’m speaking of a just-off-Broadway masterpiece, Freud’s Last Session. This superb play ought not to be missed. Warning: There is no sex in Freud’s Last Session, though it gets ample attention in the dialogue, [Read More…]

Great Music in Washington Square, New York . . . And It’s Free

So, you’re in New York City on a warm fall day and you don’t know what to do? I’d recommend a visit to Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. The park has been completely redone in the last few years and is delightful to the eyes. The people watching is unsurpassed. And you’ll be able [Read More…]

The “Broadway Bomb” Skateboarding “Race” in New York

Talk about things you don’t see everyday! When is the last time you saw 1,500 skateboarders racing down the middle of a busy street, weaving in and out of traffic, blasting through red lights, and celebrating as if they owned the world? If you missed the 2011 “Broadway Bomb,” here is a short video clip [Read More…]

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…]