What is Pentecost? Why Does It Matter?

Today is Pentecost Sunday, a day of celebration for Christians around the world. In the last three days I have been blogging on the meaning and spiritual significance of Pentecost. I have gathered these three posts into a series which I have called: What is Pentecost? Why Does It Matter? In this series I discuss [Read More...]

What is Pentecost? Why Does It Matter? What is the Spiritual Significance of Pentecost?

“Pentecost” by Giotto di Bondone, 1320-25, National Gallery, London.

Part 3 of series: What is Pentecost? Why Does It Matter? My last post in this series began to answer the question: So, then, what difference does it make for us today that the first Christians were filled with the Holy Spirit almost two millennia ago on the Jewish festival of Pentecost? I suggested two [Read More...]

Pentecost FAQ, Part 2: What is the Spiritual Significance of Pentecost?

A stained glass window from the Meaux Cathedral in Meaux, France. Public domain.

Part 2 of series: What is Pentecost? Why Does It Matter? In yesterday’s post I gave a brief overview of some basic facts about Pentecost: What is Pentecost? What does the word “Pentecost” mean? What actually happened on the day of Pentecost? Should we believe that all of this actually happened? How is Pentecost related [Read More...]

Something to Think About: On Lying Politicians

the-thinker-rodin-musee-5

As more and more national leaders from both political parties are calling for the resignation of Congressman Anthony Weiner because he sent lewd, unwanted messages to women over the Internet and then lied about it repeatedly in public, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is confused. According to ABC News: [Read More...]

Pentecost FAQ: What is the Christian Celebration of Pentecost All About?

restout-pentecost-7

Part 1 of series: What is Pentecost? Why Does It Matter? This coming Sunday, Christians across the world will celebrate Pentecost. In fact, not all Christians recognize this holiday (holy day). But it is generally honored in liturgical churches (Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, etc.), in Pentecostal and Charismatic churches, and in many other [Read More...]

A Whole New Word: “Dispositive”

magnifying-glass-whole-new-5

I’ve spent a fair amount of my life reading. Along the way, I’ve been exposed to a wide array of words. Yet, there are plenty of words I have never read before or, at least, never paid really noticed. I love coming upon new words, making sense of them and perhaps even integrating them into [Read More...]

How is the Kingdom of God Coming? Part 5

Broken-wine

Part 17 of series: What Was the Message of Jesus? In my last post I began to comment on the passage in Mark 10 where James and John ask Jesus: “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory” (10:37). Of course the fact that Jesus has [Read More...]

Understanding Anthony Weiner and the Seductive Power of the Internet

Anthony Weiner with a megaphone. Perhaps he should have stuck to simpler technologies.

Yesterday at a news conference, Congressman Anthony Weiner admitted sending inappropriate photos of himself via the Internet. Specifically, he “confessed to sending a photo of himself in his underwear to a woman over Twitter, then lying about it.” He added that “the indiscretion was part of a pattern of sending inappropriate photos and messages to [Read More...]

Tech Trends: Should Teachers Be Free to Say Negative Things About Their Students on Facebook?

teacher-yelling-megaphone-isp-5

A recent op-ed in the New York Times raises the issue of teachers being disciplined for saying negative things about their students on Facebook. “When Teachers Talk Out of School” by Jonathan Zimmerman of NYU presents the following examples: Christine Rubino, a New York City math teacher, posted on Facebook things like: “After today, I’m [Read More...]

How is the Kingdom of God Coming? Part 4

GIOTTO di Bondone, The Stefaneschi Triptych: Christ Enthroned, c. 1330, Tempera on panel, Pinacoteca, Vatican

Part 16 of series: What Was the Message of Jesus? In my last post in this series, I examined the passage in Mark 8 where Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah (Mark 8:27-30). But, when Jesus starting talking about the Son of Man suffering and dying, Peter rebuked Jesus, who in turn rebuked Peter for [Read More...]

Sunday Inspiration from the High Calling: An Amazing Invitation!

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An Amazing Invitation! Psalm 62:1-12 O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8 Psalm 62 offers one of the most amazing invitations we will ever receive. In Psalm 62, David invites us: “Pour out your heart to him, for God is [Read More...]

Anybody Need Some Gigantic Tires?

giant tires

A couple of mornings ago on my commute to work, I found myself behind this truck. Now those are what I would call some big tires! [Read more...]

My Latest Column in The Pastor’s Workshop: Preaching Living Water When Your Well Has Run Dry, Part 2

          My grandfather's workshop

My most recent column in The Pastor’s Workshop, my domain in The Preachers Portal, is up. Here’s the beginning: In my previous column in The Pastor’s Workshop, I began with the question: How can you as a preacher offer living water even when your own well is bone dry? I talked about how common it [Read More...]

Bad News for Churches and for Religious Freedom: City Can Block Churches from Using Schools, Appeals Court Rules

St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. This congregation doesn't have to meet in a school.

According to a federal appeals court, New York City can keep churches from using school facilities for worship services, even during times when the schools are empty. In “Court Lets City Restrict Church Use of Schools,” the New York Times reports: Deciding 2 to 1, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for [Read More...]

How is the Kingdom of God Coming? Part 3

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Any consideration of how the kingdom of God is coming must grapple with one of the most striking and surprising passages in the New Testament. The first chapters of the Gospel of Mark chronicle Jesus’ healings, exorcisms, parables, and controversies. Through his words and works, his true identity is seen, but not seen; it is [Read More...]

Good News! “Devilish Packaging, Tamed”

Clamshell packaging protecting an electronic device from every being used. Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/missrogue/.

I read some good news in today’s New York Times. No, it doesn’t have to do with things that really matter, like world peace. But what I read did shine a ray of hope into my morning. What news am I talking about? Well, according to a column by Stephanie Clifford, we may be experiencing [Read More...]


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