Craft of Preaching

Preaching Tough Texts

There are some tough texts coming up in the lectionary. I’m thinking especially of the Hosea 1 text for July 28th (listen to my podcast on this

'But First...'

“But first.” Such an expedient and automatic answer, isn’t it? One that we utter without thinking, even, and to so many requests for our

Greening Spaces

Mark A. Torgerson’s book Greening Spaces for Worship and Ministry (Alban, 2012) offers numerous case studies of congregations that have incorporated

Freedom from Fear

Fear. I get it. That seems like the most reasonable response when it comes to witnessing about 6,000 demons being exorcised in front of your eyes. That

Preaching + Rural Life

I grew up on a small farm in Eastern North Dakota. In college, I felt a call to rural ministry. I was the rarity, whose first choice was North Dakota. My

Trinity Musings

"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (John 16:12). Maybe this is the heart of the Trinity. A heart that knows that

Breathing

Happy Pentecost, Dear Working Preachers!

If you have been reading my column these past years or are a regular listener of Sermon Brainwave, you can probably

Being a Prophet in Another Person's Hometown

I’m in a unique ministry context. My job involves regularly inviting guests to preach for our Sunday morning worship services. We welcome guest preachers

Teach Us to Pray

Preaching the Gospel of John remains a challenge for many, Dear Working Preachers. A number of reasons contribute to the Fourth Gospel’s homiletical

Bathsheba and Preaching in the #MeToo Era

For over a decade, I’ve been researching the various ways that Bathsheba can -- and has -- been interpreted throughout the centuries. I am convinced

Keep My Words

“Whoever does not love me does not keep my words.”

This past week was the 27th Festival of Homiletics, thus the tardy post for the column this

Real Love

Love is hard. So very hard.

If you don’t think so, just look at what the Revised Common Lectionary does for this Sunday. Rather than tell the truth

Preaching While White

Living in Atlanta, Georgia, has challenged this Midwesterner in many ways. Pollen, for one! Even more, experiencing diverse racial interactions has been

A Good Shepherd Perspective

I will never forget the first time I saw a real shepherd. I was leading my first trip to Israel/Palestine of a group of students from Luther Seminary. It

Preaching + End of Life

When people ask what I do, I am reluctant to say I am a hospice chaplain. My reluctance is not because of the work I do, rather it is because of the reaction