“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,” not tax evasion

No doubt, the Apostle Peter had Jesus’ words recorded in Matthew in mind when he encourages and exhorts Christians to suffer for righteousness’ sake, not murder, thievery, evil, meddling—and no doubt deception like tax evasion: Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insult … [Read more...]

“Blessed are the peacemakers,” not the cheesemakers

Matthew 5:9 reads, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (ESV). This verse is one of the most quoted lines of the Beatitudes, but that does not mean it is the best understood. In fact, it has been misprinted, as in the second edition of the Geneva Bible. There it reads, “Blessed are the placemakers.” Monty Python took the liberty of people in the crowd mishearing Jesus’ words for a few good laughs in Life of Brian—“…Blessed are the cheesemakers” (Refer here to the sc … [Read more...]

From Midlife to End of Life—Age Well

In January, I asked my boss who is a few months older than I what it was like to reach the 51 year mark and experience midlife crisis. His response: he’s not experiencing midlife crisis, but end of life crisis. Today, I turned 51. As I rub cerebral Bengay into my out-of-whack cognitive joints, let the sympathy cards flow in.Some men resort to mistresses, while others resort to sports cars in coping with such crises. Regardless that some might quip I cannot afford either option (nor am I i … [Read more...]

Life Does Not Mean What I Thought It Means (Because I Have Never Watched Princess Bride)

I have received a great deal of criticism (and lost a lot of credibility) since I first acknowledged Tuesday that I have never watched Princess Bride. It was during a break in a discussion on Hegel. I tried to explain that I prefer wholesome family comedies like The Godfather trilogy. Even so, since my acknowledgment, all kinds of people have been alluding to the movie. Perhaps they have always been alluding to it, but I was just not aware.A philosophically minded friend named Eric wrote in … [Read more...]

Gluten Free—No Laughing Matter

For some, going “gluten free” is hip. For others, it affects the size of their hips and the state of their health. Regarding the latter group, “gluten free” is no cool thing or laughing matter, even though many discount it as a fad or make fun of those with such dietary restrictions.“Gluten free” can function as a fad, which reduces it to an object of humor for some people. Consider Jimmy Kimmel’s comparison of gluten to Satanism for people in Los Angeles and his show’s brief feature of pedes … [Read more...]

Mandate Vaccinations for Poor Communication and Fear of the Unknown

Key to public health is healthy communication. Constant communication helps dispel fears. Lack of communication and knowledge lead to mistrust. It is important to answer objections in clear, patient terms on a consistent basis.A topic requiring consistent communication is vaccinations. As the measles outbreak grows, the majority of Americans want parents to be obligated to vaccinate their healthy children from preventable diseases, according to a recent poll (See here). But what do you do … [Read more...]

Fire Fighting and Religious Conflicts

Sometimes you need to put out a fire. Sometimes you need to start one.I am overseeing a doctor of ministry track that engages conflict and resolution. All too often, people think the key to conflict is to avoid it. While there are some conflict situations that one should avoid, like a charging bull or out-of-control car, many other conflicts require that we address them head-on. In fact, there are times when we should start the conflict.Take forest fires, for example. Sometimes fire … [Read more...]