Right-handers=Good; Left-handers=Evil

The dominant world enriches itself endlessly when it makes room for the less-dominant to have a voice. Those on the margins: left-handed, minority, poor, mentally and physically challenged, non-cis-gendered—anything that is different from the dominant, mainstream culture—have voices that must be heard and embraced. Right-handers comprise 85-90% of human population. Many tools—table saws, scissors, manual [Read More…]

Church: take notice–people are leaving and not coming back

We all know the church ship is rapidly sinking. What fascinates me about the United Methodist Church is how little we seem to care. Instead, we wasted at least a generation and a massive amount of money with arguments over petty issues, and especially over petty issues that make us look like a bunch of [Read More…]

The Brother printer, customer service and the church

Bissell vs Brother Customer service at its worst. Endless correspondence, multiple useless fixes, and a relatively new, what should be long-lasting workhorse black and white Brother laser printer is now destined for the trash heap–or where ever I can take a piece of broken electronics where its burying place will not further pollute the environment. [Read More…]

Did you pray and then walk away? You’ve done nothing.

Calls for prayer pop up immediately. Everybody’s “thoughts and prayers” are posted in public places. Churches open with prayer services advertised. Religious leaders offer statements to be read in worship. Legislative bodies routinely practice their mandatory moment of silence. Citizens gather in civic spaces for ecumenical prayer. During Sunday worship, many if not most churches [Read More…]

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Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Lords Prayer and Wading Pool Theology

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Why is the Catholic Lord’s Prayer different from the Protestant Lord’s Prayer?  What Protestants call the Lord’s Prayer and Catholics call the Our Father is found in both Matthew 6 and Luke 11. The way most Protestants say the prayer goes like this: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy [Read More…]

Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Finding a Church and Ted Cruz as Messiah

[Note: because of the complexity of these questions, I’ve posted an expanded version below of what is slated to appear in the religion section of the Denton Record-Chronicle on Feb. 26, 2016.] Dear Readers, last week, The Thoughtful Pastor promised to answer this question: “What are your recommendations on finding a good church?” I got [Read More…]

Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Is Acts 29 a cult? Why do they marry so young?

  Two questions today over similar issues: Dear Thoughtful Pastor: I read your article about neo Calvinism and the Acts 29 network. I have attended a few Acts 29 churches. I am frustrated with how things are, and I am having a hard time finding a church that shares my convictions. I am no longer [Read More…]

Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Idolatry and Contrasting Points of View

In Exodus, God hands down the Ten Commandments. The second commandment forbids any graven images. Later in the same book, God tells Moses how the tabernacle is to be built and decorated — and all those chapters seem to instruct Moses to have craftsmen and women to build, overlay, sculpt, weave and make jewelry for [Read More…]

A Time to Feast and a Time to Fast: Ash Wednesday Approaches

If every day were Christmas, we’d be miserable.  We’d be stuffed, bored, broke and fractious.  Irritations would win the day and gloom and unfulfilled expectations would slather everyone with despondency. Adults would desperately turn to TV, youth and teens to video games, as a way to disconnect from person-to-person contact.  Children, surrounded by piles of [Read More…]

You Choose: Was This a Worship Experience or Was It . . . ?

All our needs were met. Instructions were clear and signage was excellent. Gracious and competent attendants directed us through the gargantuan parking lot, waving us into a convenient spot. Greeters kindly showed us to waiting areas as the previous attendees streamed out. We were cheerfully ushered inside where another team of greeters took over and [Read More…]