Help! Is there any real truth in a world of “alternative facts”?

When I speak a “truth” that makes me look better and others look worse, the chances are 100% that I’m way off base from God-truth. Dear Thoughtful Pastor: The last election cycle and the first 100 days of the Trump administration have lead me to this question.  The commandment, “Thou shall not bear false witness,” [Read More…]

When an “anyone but Donald” is married to an “anyone but Hillary,” part six

I almost thought I could stomach a Donald presidency, mainly because I fear he is going to win and am trying to steel myself. Also, for the last couple of weeks, his “handlers” seem to have put him on a tight leash and he came close to sounding like a normal, rational, possibly even decent [Read More…]

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Shall We Do Evil So That Good Will Come?

I watched part of the Republican debate last night (Dec. 15). I chose to listen with a more generous spirit than I have to date. Each candidate genuinely believes that he/she is uniquely suited to be President of the US, an extraordinarily difficult job where every single action and word will be critiqued, examined, and [Read More…]

Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Fear-based Lives and Health Care Disasters

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: One thing is abundantly clear as I read my newsfeed on social media and the 24-hour news cycle: Much of the world is in fear. When I think about fear in the Bible, I mostly recall angels telling humans “do not be afraid.” Which probably means that angels were frightening to see [Read More…]

Three Months, Seventeen Days, “What is Enough?”

The big question of “What is Enough?” kept arising in the midst of this decision to retire early and respond more fully to God’s call to devote my working hours to my writing world. What is “enough” when it comes to retirement finances? Some major financial publications have said things like “Have in savings/investments at [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…]

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…]

Why It Matters: The Episcopal Situation in the North Texas Conference

Jeffrey Weiss, a reporter with the Dallas Morning News, has asked these questions concerning the episcopal situation facing the North Texas Conference:  “Why does this matter? And to who? Clearly, it’s a big deal to North Texas Methodist clergy. But who else should be paying attention? And why?” Here is my response: Does this Episcopal [Read More…]

Let’s Shut the World Down

Fear has won.  We are shutting down.  All, just in case . . . just in case someone gets sick and dies, or, more likely, someone gets sick and sues the school district or the county or church or business or what ever organization was so irresponsible to actually hold an event where someone might, [Read More…]

Two Prayers–and a Problem

Two people want to pray. People can certainly pray anywhere, but these two decided to go to a place where prayers are routinely said. There is definitely something that enhances prayers by going to a place that really is set aside for such activity. The atmosphere may quiet the spirit, the whispers of other prayers, [Read More…]