Unsoiled hands

I'm looking forward to speaking at a local congregation this weekend about the parable of the unmerciful servant, found here. I had an opportunity to re-read the chapter I wrote in my first book, Parablelife, meditating on this story both in its original time and place and in the here and now. Sometimes allowing my imagination to ponder Jesus' now-familiar words back in the time when they were first spoken jolts me afresh into realizing how very radical Jesus' words really are. Here's my … [Read more...]

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall

I was working on a devotional piece for the Caspari Center newsletter this morning. I looked at a couple of the previous ones I'd written for them, and thought I'd share one of them here in this space today. One of the quiet ministries Caspari does in Israel is facilitating some gatherings where Jewish and Arab followers of Christ can come together, outside of the physical, spiritual and cultural dividing walls that separate them.I wrote the piece below with that setting in mind, but it is … [Read more...]

De-plaquing Mark 9:35

There are times when some of the more well-known things that Jesus said become plaques. The words get torn from their context, decoupaged to a piece of plywood, and hammered onto a wall.I've done it. Maybe you have, too.  This morning, some study time in the Word forced me to yank the plaque off the wall. The oh-so-familiar verse? Mark 9:35 -"If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." Though it's pretty obvious that Jesus speaks these words to his … [Read more...]


I've been blogging since 2006, which I estimate is equivalent to at least a half a century in Internet Years. A lot has changed in my life during that time (address, job, church, family, car, pet), but every time I drive down Route 41, I remember that there are some things that never change - The Full Moon Restaurant, open for business twenty-four hours a day.In honor of my 300th post on this blog, here's a repost of an entry I wrote way back at the start of theparablelife about one of my … [Read more...]

Deconstructing the platform?

This exchange between Jesus and the disciples, found in Mark 8:27-33 grabbed my attention tonight. In this era when "ministry" often consists of platform-building and brand-creating, I noticed how Jesus chose to respond during one of those time-stands-still moments when he could have told his disciples to use the planks of his ministry to build him a really snazzy Messiah-sized platform... The group was walking, talking, perhaps, in clusters of two and three as they hiked the Galilean hills … [Read more...]

Book review: All Nature Sings

At first glance, you might think that Carol Rottman's All Nature Sings: A Spiritual Journey of Place (Credo House, 2010) is a pretty coffee table book. Leaf through the 160 pages, and you'll see dozens of arresting images of the flora and fauna (and occasional critter) surrounding her rural western Michigan property.But settle into a cozy chair, and read a chapter or two of this lovely book. It is both exploration and reminiscence, written by someone deeply rooted in the land on which she and … [Read more...]

Book review: Embracing Your Second Calling

When I was in sixth grade, a teacher divided the three or four classes by gender. One of the teachers came into the girls' room and gave us a talk about our changing bodies and a sample box of mattress-sized Kotex sanitary napkins. It wasn't quite the rite of passage at which other cultures seem to excel. In fact, it wouldn't have qualified as a celebration of any kind. It was simply an awkward info dump with a lovely parting gift, but at its state-mandated minimum, at least the education day … [Read more...]