February 27, 2008

“I can always tell the state of someone’s soul by examining the medicine cabinet. And it’s always easy to take a peek when I visit a house. A well-kept medicine cabinet is a well-kept person–such a one can be trusted.” “I can always tell the state of someone’s soul by seeing how well that person cares for the family pet. Ten minutes a day is the absolute minimum that must be spent on grooming the animal. If that is not… Read more

February 16, 2008

“Of course, spiritual things are important—but there are other things a lot more important at the moment.” “I’ll find time for God later. Right now, there are too many things pressuring me.” “My children will make their own faith decisions when they are adults. I don’t want to influence them one way or another.” “God can wait until I’ve had all the fun I want to have.” As a pastor, I find these words both troubling—and common. I also know… Read more

February 7, 2008

I’m continuing to consider the theme of “do no harm” during this Lenten season. So many resolutions to “do no harm” have really awful unintended consequences that I’ve finding this a particularly prickly path. However, I, along with a lot of others, may be on to something that really “does no harm” and does much good. There are two items ubiquitous to modern American life that are coming under increasing scrutiny as really nasty for the environment: plastic water bottles… Read more

January 31, 2008

Often when Christians observe the time of year we call Lent, we intentionally give up something we normally enjoy in order to enhance the important rigorous examination of our souls that is called for here.Generally it is a favorite food or perhaps some other habit, like too much TV.One year I gave up playing computer solitaire, something I will often do to relieve tension when I’m writing or working on a message. That was an eye-opener, to be sure. This… Read more

January 26, 2008

“HDTV”—a pretty familiar acronym to anyone who watches TV or follows progress in the world of electronics. It stands for “High Definition TV,” a way of broadcasting that produces a significantly superior picture for those who have the kinds of TV sets that can receive the HD signal. I personally don’t have one, but was at my sister’s house a few weeks ago shortly after they had purchased and installed one. I spent a few minutes watching a football game… Read more

January 19, 2008

It’s time to talk politics. As a pastor, and as one who fully respects the separation of church and state, I will not endorse a particular political candidate. I will say, however, that one’s convictions must enter the political arena and guide decisions. The idea that we should leave religion for the private sphere only and ignore religious convictions in public discussions is simply ridiculous. That is like saying that our personal circumstances should be ignored in when making political… Read more

January 14, 2008

There’s a really good story in one of the more obscure books in the Bible about people coming back from years away from their homeland. When they get home, the first thing they begin to re-build is their place of worship, which had been destroyed many years before. They started with the place to gather and get to know God. Not houses, not stores, not banks, not even gas stations (or in their case, hay stations for their horses and… Read more

January 9, 2008

I was looking through some old computer files for something and came across this piece I had written several years ago to my three sons, who, shortly before this was written, had awarded to me temporary custody of their dog, an exuberant Chesapeake Bay Retriever. The “little dark one” is me, and the “big white one” was my husband. My sons got a great kick out of this and it also serves as a reminder that we all look things very… Read more

January 9, 2008

I’ve been watching the political campaigns with a great deal of interest. I know our political system is cumbersome, expensive, tedious, complex and not overly fair. Nonetheless, it is free and open and everyone can express their opinions. I find this liberating and hopeful for us as a nation. Two words keep coming to mind as I watch what is going on: “change” and “likeability.” Clearly, many if not just about everyone are unhappy or frustrated with something going on… Read more

January 7, 2008

Starbucks and MacDonald’s are going to duke it out over coffee. Apparently, MacDonald’s is testing the installation of gourmet coffee bars is some of their stores and installing their own barristas to staff them. For those who are not Starbucks aficionados, a “barrista” is the person who takes your coffee order and prepares it exactly to your liking. If you have real status in the status coffee-drinking world, your barrista knows you by name and can begin your special brew… Read more

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