Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Am I supposed to let someone hit me?

Dear Thoughtful Pastor:  The Bible says to turn the other cheek when I am affronted.  How do such words apply in a world full of radicalism, threats, rampant murders, bigotry and hate? How many physical and mental assaults must a person or a group absorb before earning the right to ask this: Are you kidding [Read More…]

The church then and today: the need to exclude defines us

Saturday was Sicily. We wandered in the small villages that Francis Ford Coppola inadvertently made famous by filming parts of The Godfather movie series in them. We were making our way to a church where one of the scenes was filmed.  Along the way, we saw this arch. The guide told us that we now [Read More…]

Notes from a retired pastor, musings from cruisings: swans and emaciated Jesus

Luxury cruising: finding our bed strewn with rose petals and towel swans along with a bottle of champagne waiting for us as a way to honor our anniversary. Luxury cruising: having the head chef come our table and say, “I’ve finally found you–you are not taking advantage of ordering anything you want ahead of time. [Read More…]

Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: how do you stop someone you think is going to do something bad?

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: What do you do if you know a person is going to do something bad but has not executed it. Is there any way to stop them? You have no hard evidence of their actions but you know the person well enough to be pretty sure that there’s going to be a [Read More…]

The strong woman problem for Evangelicals and Republicans

How do leading republicans feel about women? Try this one on for size: During the debate, GOP pollster Frank Luntz shared a text that he said he’d received from a Republican member of Congress saying Clinton “just comes across as my [b—–] wife/mother.” Totally aside from the fact that defining Clinton’s collected, occasionally funny, performance [Read More…]

Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: how did we let social media take over our minds?

Dear Thoughtful Pastor:  been noticing of late how intrusive I’ve let social media and media consumption in general become. So I’ve been banishing the tablet from my bed three nights a week, which has made me antsy and itchy. And, irony of ironies, I’ve downloaded headspace, a meditation app. Believe it or not, a seasoned [Read More…]

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An evening of joy; a morning of tragedy: will we ever wake up?

We’d had the most joyful of afternoons. After two interminable weeks in a non-weight bearing foot situation, my husband’s bandage was replaced with a walking cast. Delighted, we went to out to dinner and watched a funny movie before bed. We retired without bothering to check the news. Able to stay in bed lazily for [Read More…]

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Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Did Trump “accept Jesus into his heart?”

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: What does it mean that Donald Trump has accepted Jesus into his heart? Has Hillary Clinton accepted Jesus into her heart? Thank you for your reply. Let me state this clearly: I am not able to enter into the minds/hearts/souls of anyone, including the two candidates for the highest office of the [Read More…]

The sad necessity of abortion: how can the church lead the way?

The news hit early today: the Supreme Court struck down the law passed by the Texas Legislature that placed extreme restrictions on abortion access in Texas, particularly for poorer women in rural areas. The Supreme Court action, called the Whole Women’s Health Ruling, can be found here. I am relieved at the awareness shown by [Read More…]

24 Hours into General Conference: Sinking in the Graveyard of Procedural Stuff

The Rev. Don Underwood, at his sixth General Conference as delegate and his ninth overall, stated in a morning briefing with the North Texas Conference delegates, “We are sinking further and further into the graveyard of procedural stuff. We can’t even get to the rules.” No joke. The schedule of General Conference calls for a [Read More…]