Murdering hands, dead acquaintances, broken logic

Countless times I have touched someone and they ended up dead just a few days or even hours later. Some were dear friends, others I had just met. Then there is my mother, my father, my father’s brother, a close neighbor and friend–all four of these I was with either the day they died or [Read More…]


It’s Friday and one of my favorite blogs challenges its readers to consider the “hello/goodbye” paradigm on Fridays as a way to reflect on the week before and the time coming in front of us. So, today I began and ended the process of saying “Goodbye” to the thousands of pages of my mother’s letters [Read More…]

Life in Death, What Do You Say When . . .

Last week, I was privileged to be the celebrant at a wedding. The groom was in his 80’s and the bride in her 70’s. Both widowed after long and happy marriages, they had found each other and  clicked immediately. I met them and listen to their love stories and to their faith stories. Two honorable [Read More…]

Do Pets Go to Heaven?

This last week on “Stump the Pastor” Sunday, I received simply spectacular questions, many from our deep thinking youth group. A number of the questions revolved around the themes of heaven and hell. What are the characteristics of such places or destinies? Much literature drags us into hell with a red devil and pitchfork, riddled [Read More…]

Unrelenting Suffering: Reflections on Oklahoma City Storms

Last Friday night I was eyeing my swollen and throbbing finger in some frustration.  A painful wasp sting had just put a crimp in the plans for the evening. Idly, I checked the news and heard to my horror that Oklahoma City was just at that moment being besieged again with tornadoes and driving rains [Read More…]

Special Protection? Really?

In response to last week’s post about setting aside the phrase, “God protected me” when surviving a natural or human-made disaster, a reader wrote: “Do you have any ideas about what I could say when someone tells me a miracle story like, ‘God saved me but all my neighbors were blown away?’” This reader hit [Read More…]

The Epic Battle: Message Series Starting This Sunday

“Just think how much good you could do!”  Those enticing words also may be some of the most dangerous words around–they can open the door to extraordinary evil, perfectly disguised and cloaked with something that just looks so right. Starting this Sunday, May 26, I will begin a five week message series on the necessity [Read More…]

More on The Nature of Evil

Several weeks ago, in the aftermath of the bombing at the Boston Marathon, I wrote: “evil defies reason.” With the exposure now of kidnappings and years-long torture of three women in Cleveland, the time has come to further explore the nature of evil. Again, evil defies reason. Reasonable people do not plant bombs that kill, maim and destroy. [Read More…]

Portrait of a Pastor

I received a gift this morning.  A gift so full of love and hope that I am still nearly breathless. Several years ago, Vicki Attaway made her way to the church I serve, having heard that there was a female pastor there and that she might find it welcoming and comfortable.  Within a short period [Read More…]

The Two Way Betrayal

It is Holy or Black Saturday and I’m deep in a place of emotional and spiritual pain. Last night, at Tenebrae, as I was leading the service, I saw again the shock of the disciples. I saw their need to flee, their betrayal, and the aloneness of Jesus when he faced his accusers.  My tears [Read More…]