Craft of Preaching

Advent: Imagining a World Without God

I received a phone call from a doctor who told me about a woman, not much older than I am, who was dying of cancer.

She had also suffered a stroke that

Shakedown Sunday

November is typically Stewardship time in the church, and it leads to uncomfortable questions about the proper use of a pulpit.

Since I did not become a

Knuckleball Approach to Children’s Sermons

Children's Time in the service is a control freak's worst nightmare.

Preparing and delivering a children's sermon reminds me of the statement by military

The Bible: Only 7% Real Beef?

I could feel the scorching wrath of Martin Luther bearing down on me as I faced the congregation from the pulpit at the beginning of the funeral sermon.

Sharing the Piece

A few years after Linda and I were married, we rented a cabin way up in the Wisconsin north woods at Eagle River.

One night, the guests at the resort were

Selling Jesus Flowers

A number of years ago, I sat in church with a neighbor who was highly skeptical of religion.

I don't remember what prompted him to attend this Sunday service--probably

On the Edge

I began my Easter sermon by saying, "Easter morning may not be the best time to bring this up, but I'm not real big on miracles."

I then spent the next

Swinging for the Fences

My new congregation is a haunted house.

No, I'm not referring to the bats that occasionally show up where they are least expected, although they do boost

For General Audiences

Lately, I have repeatedly heard the question, "Who is the target audience?" in regard to a series of books I have written.

I understand how marketing works;

A Heart Too Full for Sleep

As I write this on Wednesday, I haven't had much sleep since Sunday.

There's just too much going on in my head and my heart for them to be quiet enough

“EMOTION!” Screamed the Calm Voice of Reason

E.F. Schumacher wrote that we are most fully alive when we are reconciling the irreconcilable:

o Freedom and responsibility
o Forgiveness and justice
o Law

The Angel Said, “Hakuna Matata”

That was the title of one of my Advent sermons.

It is a reference to the animated musical, "The Lion King," which our music director punctuated with an

“So This Guy Walks Into a Bar....”

I confess I actually started a sermon with those words.

I couldn't resist. It's part of that creativity definition: putting things where they don't belong.

Discerning the Salvific Worthiness of Juxtapositioning Catholic Jargon

What? You're still reading this?

That ridiculous, pretentious title didn't totally turn you off? You're too kind. The reality is, however, that most of

Stalking the Wild Idea, Part II

Where do we get the ideas that allow us to say what God has called us to say, in new, fresh, and insightful ways?

I can suggest four places where the raw