Craft of Preaching

Obstacle Course

I never thought I'd say this, but we at St. John's have possibly the most exclusive church in the nation right now.

The obstacles to entering our church

Not Feeling the Love

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.  John 13:35


It took a vacation trip 2,000 miles away

In Defense of a Civil Tongue

I recently signed on to the Wisconsin Council of Churches' call for civility in public discourse.

In some ways it seems a waste of time, for two opposite

The Power of Empty

I had sketched out in my mind an article for today on the conflict and negativity we pastors experience in the church today.

I had expected I would be sitting


I remember a story Billy Graham told about when he was studying for the ministry.

He and his fellow students often supply-preached at area congregations

"Your Kid Did What?!"

During a recent sermon, I told a story that featured one of my sons from his childhood days in a very memorable role.

One of my other boys happened to be

Agents of Hell?

Sometimes it seems as though the modern translation of John 3:17 is: "God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, because that's something

Seen It All

The dawn of a new year is a fascinating time to look at the Gospel story about Simeon.

You have seen those end-of-the-year cartoons that show a world-weary

Making Peace with Santa Claus

One of the traditions of the Christmas season is the annual rant against the secularization of Christmas.

It's often delivered from the pulpit and routinely

Stewardship Refund

For those preaching stewardship this month, I came across a reading in Exodus that I've never heard spoken in church, and I have to wonder why.


I Love to Tell the Story

"A man had two sons, Jerry and Bob, and he went to the first . . ." Matthew 21:28

Thank you to all the Working Preacher folks who are pushing a renewed

The Law of Grace

George Carlin had a routine that contrasted the personalities of football and baseball.

For example:

In football, you march downfield with a punishing

Above the Ambient Noise

Do you ever get the impression that preaching is a dying art and that we who stand in the pulpit are dinosaurs who have yet to come to grips with our impending

Flags & Greeting Cards

What is the third most important day in the Christian church, behind Christmas and Easter? Pentecost? Epiphany? All Saint's Day?

I read recently that for

The Lazy Days of Summer

While on vacation in Vancouver last week, we were treated to a tour of a Chinese garden that demonstrated reverence for the concept of balance in nature--the