Powers and World Forces: Sugar, Salt, Fat, Coke, Kellogs, Kraft, Coke.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness...." Ephesians 6:12This story on NPR caught my attention yesterday because it came just as I was doing something I rarely do anymore:  stuffing my face with chicken McNuggets from McDonalds while I was driving home from a study day in the mountains.  It wasn't the best of days.  Forgetting the computer cord meant was I done studying (or at least writing my sermon) earlier than I … [Read more...]

A Word for Advent: “Do not be afraid”

You can't go anywhere in the world these days without a reason to be afraid staring you in the face.   Here in Germany, people are worried about all the money they're giving to other parts of Europe as an attempt to hold the economic EU together.  This is taking it's toll here in a similar way that the fears of the fiscal cliff are taking their toll in America, especially as the clock ticks and we hear nothing other than how some elements of our political system are so entrenched in their id … [Read more...]

Cultivation – Freeing ourselves from “the latest and greatest”

I normally teach in Germany at the end of November, when the harvest has just come in and the farmers are taking a break.  This year, though, I'm privileged to be in this agrarian region of southern Germany (wine, apples, honey, plus much more) at the end of winter and the farms are anything but sleepy.  The vines are being trimmed.  The soil is being tilled, as I encounter numerous tractors on my morning run.  Folks are in their yard gardens, prepping, planting, trimming, cleaning, turning the s … [Read more...]

Cultivating enjoyment…

As we enter September, and schedules change, I offer a few words about being intentional in our cultivation of that which will nourish.  Enjoy. It happened between graduating from high school and starting college.  I was working at a camp and the staff went out one night for pizza.  It was one of the those places that hide all the ingredients under the cheese.  When the pizza came, I took a big, unexamined bite."Wow!  That's tremendous!  What's on this pizza?""Pepperoni, Sausage, and mushro … [Read more...]

You are what you eat…so choose wisely

I was reminded last night, at Georges Seafood and BBQ, that I become irrational when I'm too hungry.  I order something that will bring immediate pleasure, and certain delayed pain.  Last night is was the Seafood Threesome: scallops, haddock, and shrimp, all fried, and served up with a tiny green salad, and some beans and rice.  I won't mention that, in need of even more immediate gratification, I'd also ordered a fried calamari appetizer.  It was all good while going down - satisfying, ple … [Read more...]

Dancing the Sabbath in 6/7 time

I'm privileged to teach in Europe every year for a week or two. Europe, you know, is what the Republican party is afraid we're becoming if we let everybody have access to health care. It's the "post Christian" culture that so many are afraid we'll become if we don't vote properly. I'm not certain what "becoming like Europe means"... I know it means that we'll spend less on health care per capita while our mortality rates will drop and our longevity rates will rise. I know it means that church … [Read more...]