Sunday Inspiration from the High Calling: An Amazing Invitation!


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


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

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...]

David Brooks on the Pitfalls of College Graduation and the Origin of Calling


David Brooks’ recent op-ed in the New York Times is a provocative piece called: “It’s Not About You.” He writes about the perils of graduating from college and entering as world that is “wide open and unstructured.” Today’s grads are sent into the world with the platitudes of graduation speeches. But these, according to Brooks, [Read More...]

Tech Trends: What If Cell Phones Cause Cancer?

Could a cancer risk end our cultural love affair with the cell phone?

An article in today’s New York Times caught my eye: “Cellphone Radiation May Cause Cancer, Advisory Panel Says.” Now that’s not what I needed to start my day, but it certainly did get my interest. According to this story by Tara Parker-Pope and Felicity Barringer, several things seems to be true: 1. The Advisory Panel [Read More...]

How is the Kingdom of God Coming? Part 2

This is the kind of coin that Jesus used to make his point about giving to Caesar what is owed to Caesar, and to God what is owed to God. Curiously, the Latin around the head of Tiberius Caesar reads TI CAESAR DIVI AUG F AUGUSTUS, or Tiberius Caesar Divi Augusti Filius Augustus, in English, Augustus Tiberius Caesar the Son of the Divine Augustus. Photo from

Part 14 of series: What Was the Message of Jesus? In my last post, I outlined some of the ways Jews in the time of Jesus answered the question: How is the kingdom of God coming? Though there were a variety of answers to that question, almost all Jews in the first century agreed that [Read More...]

Tech Trends: Groupon Uses Poetry and Humor to Grow Its Business


A couple of months ago I signed up with Groupon. Now I get an email “coupon” each day, offering me some deal within a reasonable drive from my house. None of this is especially interesting. But what I have found interesting is the written copy that entices me to use my daily coupon. For example, [Read More...]

Tech Trends: Is Technology a Threat to Love?


Digital technology helps us stay in touch with our loved ones. It gives us new ways to communicate with our family members and closest friends. So it supports and expands our ways of loving, right? Jonathan Franzen, an award-winning author, says “No.” A couple of weeks ago he delivered the commencement address at Kenyon College [Read More...]

A Prayer for Memorial Day


Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a day when we remember with gratitude those who have died in military service. It has been my tradition for many years to offer a prayer on the occasion of Memorial Day. ——————————- Gracious, Sovereign God, Lord of all nations, On this Memorial Day, we pause to [Read More...]

Sunday Inspiration from the High Calling: The Help We Really Need

Psalm 60:1-12 Oh, please help us against our enemies, for all human help is useless. Psalm 60:11 American culture prizes self-reliance. We admire those people who pull themselves up by their bootstraps and forge ahead with determination. We want to control our lives and our destinies. When we get in trouble, we expect to help [Read More...]

A Miraculous Cure for Bug Bite Itching? This Remedy Really Works!


For the past several years, I have put up a version of this post. The response from people has been quite enthusiastic. So, given that we’re entering the buggy summer months, I thought it would be good to redo and repost this information. First of all, though, let me be clear that I am not [Read More...]

How is the Kingdom of God Coming?

Cave 4 at Qumran, the source of many of the Dead Sea scrolls. This picture used by permission of, an outstanding website of photos of biblical sites.

Part 13 of series: What Was the Message of Jesus? So far in this series, What Was the Message of Jesus?, we’ve seen that the core of Jesus’ proclamation was “the kingdom of God has come near” (Mark 1:15). In my most recent posts in this series, I focused on the question of when the [Read More...]

Living Well: A Memory Tonic for the Aging Brain


Do you find yourself forgetting things that you should remember? Are you wishing that you could somehow improve your memory? Gretchen Reynolds of the New York Times has a suggestion. In “A Memory Tonic for the Aging Brain,” she reports that physical exercise has a positive effect on memory. The article begins by chronicling what [Read More...]