January 25, 2022

I’ve Been a Grump As a good Mennonite, I recognize the need to channel my aggression in a more positive direction. So, over the past few years, I have charged aggressively at racism, sexism, homophobia, the systemic forces that subjugate the poor. My poor congregation. They don’t need to hear that same message, I mean that same rant, again. I know them. I know their hearts and lives. They don’t need to hear me harangue. But I’m a grump. [Interesting... Read more

January 23, 2022

I don’t like Normal. That’s not a surprise. Over the past two weeks I have been journaling to understand the source of my slightly oppositional nature. I guess that’s good, therapy’s got me reflecting. I think it arose out of my antipathy toward my own “normal.” It was defined by others. As the youngest child, the normal in our household was kind of defined before I even arrived. The normal I received may have been tweaked by me, it may... Read more

December 31, 2021

Warning. This is a rant. I’m tired of Evangelicals. Perhaps, more specifically, contemporary Evangelicalism. Can we please just ground them? Tell them to go to their room and not come out. I’m tired of “Evangelicals”. I love the good news of Jesus. The word εὐαγγέλιον is a great word with a rich history and a depth of meaning. And maybe “evangelical” is still a good word if we don’t use the upper-case initial letter. But that’s hard to determine in... Read more

December 10, 2021

You will draw water with joy from the springs of salvation (Isaiah 12.4) There’s an argument, that I often find to a be an unnecessary splitting of hairs regarding happiness and joy. On this, the Third Sunday of Advent, the traditional bible passages highlight joy as a constant refrain. So joy is the focusing concept for the week. Yet, innumerable preachers using this or similar texts will tell their congregations how happiness is a pointless chasing after momentary pleasure and... Read more

November 26, 2021

This is late coming out. Advent is nearly here. Then many folks think about Black Friday. I suppose if your not in the church habit, the idea of being in church, of going to church, on Sunday seems like just one more thing. An unnecessary thing. Just another thing to schedule, an obstacle to actually relaxing and feeling restored. I Too, Don’t Want to Go to Church I get that. In fact, I feel like that a lot. In those moments, there’s... Read more

November 11, 2021

Being Reminded of Who You Are I knew I enjoyed coaching. But I had hardly thought of myself as a coach. But something about cheering for a kid who had no one else except we coaches, and the instinctive reaction to jump and celebrate as if I was 20 years younger, left me feeling like I had found a place I belonged. On a hot spring day, standing on the infield, looking toward the home stretch on the high school... Read more

October 1, 2021

Everyone lives amid loss. And not one person can put a measure to the weight of the heaviness one must carry. Grief is the burdensome ache that is heavy to carry but has no substance. It is not the piled upon mass of things that creates the burden of grief, it is the absence. The empty. The loss. Its the unfinished and incomplete. The Weight of Absence And how can an empty absence be measured? One of the phrases I... Read more

September 23, 2021

Each generation has ways to mark time. Marking time, like marking distances, recalls and reorients us. Milestones, those roadside markers surrounding the outskirts of Philadelphia, were so common while we lived there. Now I think of them more than I did back then. Milestones are not just roadside markers, the ask us to reflect a bit on where we are, and where we are going, and how long have we been traveling. This roadside marker is just down the road... Read more

September 15, 2021

Truth matters. We say so. But we lie every day and some lie a lot. Maybe most of your lies are just there to cheer some one on, “You can do it!” but you know they can’t, not really. But they need to try. And then there are the habitual and pathological lies, which flow like breathing. By January 20, 2020, the POTUS had accomplished his 16,241st lie since taking office. Over 15 documented per day. While truth may matter,... Read more

April 16, 2021

C S Lewis repeats what a woman of his acquaintance told him: that as a child she was taught to think of God as an infinite “perfect substance,” with the result that for years she envisioned God as a kind of enormous tapioca pudding. To make matters worse, she disliked tapioca. The image of God certainly must be more that tapioca pudding! For the past several months my partner, co-pastor, and wife, Karla and I have been talking about the... Read more

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