If all the words in the blogosphere and broadcast media about this weekend’s 9/11 Qur’an bonfire in Florida and the furor over the planned “Ground Zero Mosque” were committed to ink and paper, I have a feeling the entire Pacific Northwest would be 90% deforested by now. There are a lot of people exercising (and in some public cases, abusing) their right to free speech over these issues right now.And in all the furor leading up to this weekend’s painful… Read more

Dear Preacher,I just did some math, and discovered that there have been 1,716 Sundays in my life from age 18 to now. I’ve been in church most of those Sundays listening to your messages. I’ve also listened to a fair share of messages over the years via radio, cassette tape, CD, and even recently, podcast. I’ve learned some useful stuff from you over the years. Once in a while, lightning will strike and you’ll say something life-changing. But I’ve had… Read more

Q: Would you drive 45+ minutes to attend an ideal church service each week or would you become a part of a church community with whom you differed on some points of doctrine and practice right in your own backyard? Though we’ve all been told that consumer Christianity is a bad thing, the truth is that since the Reformation, Protestant believers have often sought out the fellowship of like-minded compadres. We also know that that the thousands of different flavors… Read more

Friends in liturgical churches are honoring Jesus’ mother Mary (Miryam) today/tomorrow. Suffice it to say that the various traditions have a pretty wide range of opinion about the way she lived and died. I can gladly rest in the fact that this faithful Jewish teen said ‘yes’ to the Lord in ways that most of us can begin to comprehend.Because I use a daily devotional put together by an Orthodox priest, some of this morning’s readings focused on Mary, including… Read more

A campaign of terror waged by a church member furious at the changes a new pastor has brought to his little corner of the world ends in violence.The story would be unbelievable……unless you’ve ever been in church leadership. Then, except for perhaps the degree, you’d recognize all the stock characters of the grim drama in Rebecca Nicols Alonzo’s compelling story, The Devil in Pew Number Seven (Tyndale, 2010)*. Veteran writer Bob DeMoss shaped the heartbreaking story leading to the violent… Read more

Writing isn’t for sissies.I have been journeying with a friend as she’s worked on her doctoral dissertation. A while ago, she’d asked me to do help her with some editing and offer some constructive criticism on her content. I reminded her that I do not possess even a bachelor’s degree*, but that I’d be happy to look for misplaced modifiers and call her out on her use of passive voice in her sentence construction. It’s been a lot of fun… Read more

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… Read more

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… Read more

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… 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… Read more

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