Craft of Preaching

Carrying The Cross

What does the cross mean to you? You kind of have to figure that out before you can make sense of or preach on Jesus’ statement, “Whoever does

Truthtelling in Watershed Moments

The words “crisis,” “unprecedented,” and “chaos” seem to be appearing with alarming frequency in this year’s news

God's Pro Quo

My first reaction to the Gospel lesson this week was a movie memory: a scene from Silence of the Lambs, when Hannibal Lecter (the brilliant Anthony Hopkins)

Daughters of Abraham

“Immediately, she stood up straight and began praising God.” I have a feeling that when this woman bent over for eighteen years was finally

Division Matters

Family division. Sadly, it doesn’t take much these days to procure a pointed argument between those with whom we are supposed to be the closest. We

I Don’t Do Magic

After a recent baptism at which I presided, a young girl asked me, very shyly, “How did you make the water holy?”

I love such curiosity in

Treasured Possessions? Part Two

We are not done yet.

We are moving my mom into a nursing home. We are getting closer, but the sorting and the sifting and the sadness persist.

And so,

Treasured Possessions?

We moved my mom into a nursing home last week. If you are a regular reader of this column, you know that she has Parkinson’s. She also has been diagnosed

How Much More?

I am writing this column from beautiful Bay View, Michigan, a Chautauqua on the northern shore of Lake Michigan, where I am the preacher/lecturer for the

No Comparison

Martha, Martha, Martha.

If you grew up when I did, you got that reference. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia -- of Brady Bunch fame. The oldest sibling of three daughters.

Two Futures

While on vacation in the Canadian Maritime provinces and New England this past month, I saw two visions of the future church.

One of these was bleak.

The Need for Nearness

The story of the Good Samaritan is rather remarkable. It has worked its way into our culture that even the unchurched will summon its principles so as to

Finding Dory, Finding Church

Somewhere between the top shelf of Pixar masterpieces (Wall-E, The Incredibles, a few others, though of course opinions vary) and the dustbin of Pixar less-desirables

The Security of Seventy

The mission of the seventy is no mission I could ever imagine accepting. It sounds more like orders received from central command on the series “Mission

The Spirit Catches You and You Run and Hide

The title to this article is a riff on the 1997 book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman. It’s the story, ultimately,