If I don’t watch it my 7 year old Sammy is likely to start his own blog. Lately he has been spending a lot of time on the computer composing essays with titles like, “Quidditch” and “The Case of the Dragon”. His most recent composition is entitled “My Life in Second Grade”. Excuse me, but what kind of 7-year-old voluntarily sits down at the computer to write an essay called “My Life in Second Grade”? In the first place, I… Read more

It is freezing outside today, and I am not just saying that because I grew up in Hawaii. Even though the sun is out the wind is rather cutting; it makes the 40 degrees outside seem just a little cooler than 40 degrees. Thank goodness there’s a whole lot of warmth, goodwill and charity floating around; they help with the temperature. Those and the cute purple chenille gloves my colleague John Mein gave me yesterday.This afternoon I had the good… Read more

I am going to write a book someday. I’m sure of it. I’ve already assembled quite a few topics I’ve filed away, things I know I have profound thoughts about somewhere . . . if only I could find them. It was suggested to me today by a church member that I entitle my yet-to-be-written book Real Preachers Wear Stilettos. Boy does that tell you something about the sort of people who worship at Calvary (thanks for the suggestion, Kevin)!Kevin’s… Read more

Here’s a riddle for you: how do you pastor a church and remain sane?If you know the answer, please comment below. Or write a book. Soon.One of the ways I know I have managed so far has been the incredible staff members who share my workload. In a critical position at Calvary right now as we move into our newly renovated space is church administrator, Paul Rosstead.Paul came to Calvary’s staff one year ago this month and, without exception, everyone… Read more

Today was a beautiful day for a neighbor, as Mr. Rogers would sing, and Calvary Baptist Church has some of the finest neighbors around.Calvary is located in the most incredible neighborhood. The Penn Quarter/Chinatown neighborhood is undergoing revitalization and as a result the church, which has been here for all the ups and downs since, oh, about the time Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, is gaining some wonderful new residents, all of them our new neighbors.All the neighbors gathered tonight for… Read more

At the advice of some of my preacher friends I have been reading a very funny book by Christopher Moore called Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. There have actually been a couple of times that I’ve been reading along and laughed. Out loud. For a long time. One of those parts of the book is when the disciples are waiting out on a boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee: We assumed he would… Read more

My relationship with the media is rocky at best. This is usually not the fault of whichever reporter is interviewing me; rather, it’s the fault of my own inability to thoughtfully choose my words rather than trying to wax eloquent off the cuff. Since I talk for a living you would think I would have that down by now . . . such is not the case. They did not teach us about these things in seminary. With practice, though,… Read more

In my opinion . . . if you are grappling with a biblical text week in and week out, trying to articulate some truth for a community of listeners, well, there’s no way to avoid talking about the details of your life. Some colleagues of mine maintain that all folks want to hear in sermons are literary references and historical allusions, but I learn things about God most of all in my day to day life. And since I have… Read more

I fully admit I was prepared not to like it. The thing is, my personal history with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe goes back all the way to early memories of hearing my mother read the story aloud. Over the years it has taken on even more meaning as I’ve read the book myself, then read all seven of the Chronicles (starting with The Magician’s Nephew, my favorite of them all), then read them again–aloud–to my own kids…. Read more

The writer of the middle part of Isaiah spent a lot of time trying to get the Israelites to live with the expectation that their exile in Babylon would be coming to an end very soon. Remember? Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God! (Isaiah 40:9)Okay,… Read more

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