Sermon on Empty Tombs and the Suddenness of Dawn

2014-04-06 HFASS Podcast NBW Sermon(1) <---- click here to listen along Years ago, when I was faced with preaching this text about the raising of Lazarus, I was struggling with what to say about it, so instead of writing my sermon, I went that week and got this tattoo of Lazarus. And then, the next day, I finally came up with a sermon. It was like magic. Don't know what to say about a Bible story? Easy. Go sit under a tattoo needle for a few hours and it will come to you. But this … [Read More...]


Sermon on earthly things, wombs and the resurrection of the dead

  2014-03-16 NBW Sermon<----click here to listen along. When I first re-entered the Christian faith as an adult, I took a catechumenate class (like an adult confirmation program) at the Lutheran church Matthew and I attended.  This is where I learned about and fell in love with Lutheran theology. It just made sense to me. Mostly. Pastor Ross grew quickly accustomed to my raised hand in the back row as I waited to ask clarifying, and at times, belligerent questions.  The week … [Read More...]

Phyllis and I. (photo by Courtney Perry)

Happy 80th Birthday to Phyllis Tickle

Happy 80th birthday to you, Phyllis Tickle. You are simply one of the smartest, most beautiful women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  In you I have found inspiration to pray, to write, to love God, to cherish the sacraments, to think historically, to age gracefully and to, when necessary, swap clothing and die laughing. Yesterday when I spoke to you, the first thing you said was “kiddo, I pray for you every single day”.  I’m certain you do.  You’re just like that, and I … [Read More...]


Ash Wednesday Sermon on Truth, Dust, Babies, and Funerals

2014 Ash Weds NBW Sermon<--- click here to listen along. People who think Ash Wednesday is depressing totally don’t get it.  I mean, I understand why confessing our sins, marking ourselves with ashes and reminding each other that we are all going to die isn’t exactly Disney on Ice, but it’s not depressing.  If anything it’s refreshing. It’s refreshing in a way that only the truth can be… because we know deep down that we live in a death-denying culture which tries to tell … [Read More...]


Sermon on Jesus Rolling His Eyes (and also divorce)

2014-02-16 NBW Sermon<-----click here to listen along (sermons are spoken events. So much of the meaning comes from the hearing of it.) Years ago there was a project undertaken by Bible scholars whereby they were trying to ascertain what was really knowable about Jesus of Nazareth as a historical figure.  The scholars would take the Gospels, verse by verse and vote as to which things they thought Jesus actually said and which they thought were made up later. They wanted to determine the … [Read More...]

Salt by Salt Shaker   Original Filename: 6507-000073.jpg

Sermon on that special class of salty, light-bearing people to whom Jesus preaches

2014-02-09 NBW Sermon - 2_12_14, 10.42 AM <----click here to listen along If you are able to hear that you are the salt of the earth reading from today and NOT have a song from the musical Godspell worm through your head, then more power to ya.  But I am not that mentally strong and I have been reading this text over and over all week, ergo I have had “let your light so shine before men” stuck in my head for about 5 days now. See, we are in the middle of 4 weeks worth of Gospel … [Read More...]


Meaningless Church Jargon

After my quiet time with the Lord, where I was bathing in prayer, God laid it on my heart to be a transformational leader by just loving up on my blog readers and offering them some ideas from my missional imagination. Earlier this morning, I saw a tweet from @JesusofNazareth316: Blessed are they who stop using the word "‪#missional", which caused me to post something on Twitter and Facebook asking people what their favorite church jargon is – mine being “Missional Imagination”. The … [Read More...]


Sermon on What We Think We Want

2014-01-19 NBW HFASS Podcast - 1_21_14, 7.07 PM<----click here to listen along One Saturday last month over a 12 hour period a group of us gathered to listen to the Gospels read aloud.  We sat in sofas in a warm renovated barn, busied our hands with eating, and knitting and whittling, and we took turns reading aloud Mark, then Matthew, then Luke and finally John.  Folks came and went and some diehards were there the whole time.  It was one of my favorite things about Advent this year. … [Read More...]

By Daniel Bonnell

Sermon on Baptism, Belovedness, and how God is Like a Duped Teacher

Click here to listen along (the meaning of the words is clearer when heard and not read.) --->Untitled - 1_13_14, 9.13 AMnbw extra copy 13Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" 15But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented. 16And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came … [Read More...]


My 2014 Speaking Schedule

2014 BLOG SCHEDULE DATE EVENT LOCATION URL January 3-4 NEOSLYO Winter Gathering Holiday Inn, Independence, Ohio January 22 Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber to speak in Cedar Falls St. John Lutheran, 715 College St., Cedar Falls, Iowa February 10 Keynote Speaker at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, 789 Merrimon Avenue, … [Read More...]