November 4, 2008

I find myself still shocked by some of the events and conversations of last week, and others that are continuing this week.  Every pastor, when coming to a different church, no matter what the circumstances, gets to enjoy a honeymoon period.  Everyone is on good behavior, and we’re all hoping the best will happen.  We look at one another with generosity and often hide some parts of ourselves and our thoughts for fear of being unloved if exposed.  So, while… Read more

November 1, 2008

“Oh, The People You’ll Meet And The Places You’ll Go”. . . that’s the title to a Dr. Seuss book often given to people who are changing something in their lives—a graduation from high school, or perhaps a new job, or the first time to travel to someplace very different. It’s a celebration of possibilities and future. “Oh the stories you’ll hear and the heartbreak you’ll know”. . . .That’s my current paraphrase of the book title as I consider… Read more

October 31, 2008

A few days ago, I saw someone with whom I had developed a friendship several years ago. I remember being so intimidated when I first met her as she walked into the room where we had a joint meeting. This educated, articulate, poised, elegantly dressed, tall, beautiful, wearing pointy-toed high heeled shoes women entered and I thought, “We’ll never have anything in common!” Later, I discovered that she had been raised by doting well-to-do adoptive parents who had given her… Read more

October 22, 2008

I recently became involved in a situation in the schools here where a student rightfully deserved disciplinary action for an inappropriate behavior. Everyone, parents, teachers, administrators, even the student, agreed the behavior was wrong. Everyone agreed that there needed to be connection between action and reaction. But there the agreement ended. The parent and I both felt the context had not been fully taken into account, that the context itself provided significant mitigating factors and that the disciplinary action levied,… Read more

August 30, 2008

“We want a better life for our children.” I wonder how many times this phrase has been spoken by the various political candidates as the presidential race goes into hyper-speed. Each time, I also wonder what that means. I know I have said the same thing—I too want a better life for my children. Or at least I say I do. But what is it that I want to be better? If it means a safer, more physically comfortable one,… Read more

August 26, 2008

There is a form of literature called “hagiography.” Somewhat like a biography, it is the telling of the story of a person’s life that deliberately accentuates his or her sainthood, or special gift of goodness and closeness to God. That kind of writing idealizes a person. No one can tell the full story of someone in a biography, but the hagiography intentionally picks and usually exaggerates the supernatural connection and decisions and accomplishments that seem beyond those that most normal… Read more

August 25, 2008

School has started and we’ve all seen much buzz about the Dallas Independent School District’s new grading policy. My first reaction, like so many others, was simply one of horror. It looked like school administrators were removing any incentive for students to complete homework on time—or even bother to turn it in–or study for tests the first time around, knowing they could take them later without grade penalty or other repercussions. Later, however, I took the time to read the… Read more

August 7, 2008

Why bother with church? Why take the time to get involved in something that seems to have little practical value, takes up time, requests your contributions, and asks you to offer worship and praise and adoration to a Supreme Being whom you cannot see or touch and who often seems confusing and invisible? Well, I can think of dozens of reasons for all people to engage in the discipline of good faith development, but there is one that has particularly… Read more

August 4, 2008

I recently heard about a movie named “Kids” where, according to the reviewer, “a band of teen-agers forages for sex, drugs, and booze on New York City streets.” Daily, the kids drank and smoked, and grabbed the always available fast food. The young people portrayed in this movie were apparently not an underprivileged group. Money was freely available. What they didn’t have, and what particularly troubled the reviewer, was the experience of regularly sitting down to a family meal. Meals… Read more

August 4, 2008

I learned earlier this week about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s death and offered prayers of gratefulness that such a man of courage and integrity could emerge from the corrupt regime of the former Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin’s reign of terror. Solzhenitsyn fought in WWII as a Soviet Officer, and was held in high regard by his fellow officers. However, he, as did thousands and perhaps millions of others, landed in one of the many prison camps set up by Stalin. Solzhenitsyn,… Read more

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