We are all valuable in ways that we can’t always see but God does.
Last week we explored the parallels between sports fans and church attendees. In comparison, how can a church be perceived as a “winner” to bring in members?
The question for every sports franchise and church is how to turn everyone into a diehard fan.
Loss can be heartbreaking, whether through death or a change in a relationship. In both cases, we must grieve for what we have lost.
The ending of the gospel of Mark is remarkable and can be unsettling compared to the other accounts.
Our call is to stand firm with Christ through this Holy Week, and to uphold one another in a world threatened in so many ways.
Learning as a spiritual practice.
How does a Church balance the needs our neighbor, whether they come from next door or are those in most need of our assistance?
Lent can be a time for reflection.
The jungle taught me a few things.
God’s righteousness demands that we deal with each other in grace, mercy, and forgiveness. However, there must be accountability for our actions.
The Holy Spirit can supply us with courage and comfort much as the Force did for Chirrut Imwe. Emboldened by the Holy Spirit we can do all things through God.
Would your long deceased relative be able to tell that you are a Christian without you saying it explicitly? Are the fruits of the Spirit reflected in your newsfeed?
This Black History month let us remember those stories and share the knowledge gleaned from the lived experience of a people that are in integral part of the tapestry that is the United States.
A word cloud of Mark 1-8 yields some interesting results.
"This guy's walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can't get out."
What we can provide is a body of believers, with a place for them to plug into. How do we do that? By working on the ministry and mission God has called us to do.
Love is hard especially when the command is to love your enemy. Love your neighbor can be done.
The end of the year is not an unusual time for reflection.
Hachiko was a dog who always greeted his master at the train station at the precise time his master’s train would deliver him from work. One day, Hachiko’s master did not step off the train to greet his friend.
Waiting can be busy. Nelson Mandela was one of the 20th Centuries most revered activists and leaders for racial equality and a man who knew how to wait. He waited in jail for 27 years.
How long have you waited for something? 30 minutes going through the check-out line? An hour for a table at a restaurant?
What do you worry about on a daily basis? We often feel that we must worry to demonstrate our concern and understanding of the world. But when do we cease our worry?
There is this … longing in this country. A tremendous thirst that yearns to be pacified. A hole inside us that feels infinite. A part that all human beings have that seems to be – missing.
No matter which side wins in the coming election, afterward the people of the United States need to come together as a nation and deal with the many challenges and opportunities that exist for our country
“The trees are about to show you just how beautiful letting go can be.” Anonymous
Why Do We Study History? To remember the past, to decipher the present and to form a more perfect future.
The Star Wars movie series can teach us lessons about good, evil, redemption, and the power of faith. Here is one example of how we can tie secular stories like Star Wars to our Christian beliefs to help us find lessons in the modern world.
We’ve all done it. Fought for what we wanted. We are expected to in this day and age. If you haven’t fought for it, you aren’t worthy of it. We need to win. But what of surrender?
Fear. It serves a purpose. It lets us know when we are threatened with death or major bodily harm. Without fear we would have died out as a species long ago
In Mark 2:1-12 we have the story of the paralyzed man being taken to Jesus via the roof of a poor person’s home because the crowds were so great they couldn’t get him through the front door.
With classes starting at colleges and universities around the country, here are some interesting facts about this year’s class of 2020 …
When disasters - both natural and manmade - occur, there always seems to be a lot of voices telling us why it happened.
The first time “sin” is mentioned in the bible is in Genesis 4:7.
Cats aren’t too different from us.
n African American churches there is a style of preaching called the “call and response.” It asks for congregation participation in the preaching of the Word. The preacher leaves room for a response from the congregation.
Indeed, ministry is a canvas God prepares for us to use our creativity in reaching out to one another. Too often we look for formulas, statistics and processes to help us “do” ministry.
Parker Palmer tells the story of coming home from a speech in Saskatoon on a 6 a.m. Air Canada flight to his home to Wisconsin
With all that is happening in the world today there is talk about the End of days being near, by both sides of the belief spectrum, granted for very different reasons.
In Mark 9:38-41 (CEB) we have a story of who is in and who is out.
What does the voice of God sound like?
Both words “dog” and “god” have a murky etymological history. No one is quite certain from where they evolved. Is it mere coincidence that they are semi-palindromes of each other?
The opposite of love is not hate. Hate is the flip side of love. The opposite of love is indifference.
The story of the woman washing Jesus’ feet with her tears and hair is one of the few stories in the gospels of someone reaching out physically to Jesus.
There is a constant struggle within humanity between our individuality and our shared uniformity.
Throughout the gospels we have stories that allude to resurrection.
We have all “turned away” because of some “harsh message,” teaching, personal interaction or debate
Every religion has some aspect of the Golden Rule within its theology.
For every truth there is grace. For every justice there is peace.
Loving God, on the day that Jesus was crucified, the curtain which hung in the Temple separating the Holy of Holies from the rest of the massive structure was torn in two from top to bottom.
“Orange construction barrels are our new state flower.”
“Selfies” are often thought of as the pinnacle of narcissism.
Birds have many hazards in their lives.
Too often when we take justice into our own hands, it rarely turns out as we think it should.
We will all die eventually. Even inanimate objects such as our clothes and plastic bags will be absorbed into the earth in another form.
Holy Week has been domesticated.
Today we seem to be trained by our society to be competitive in every facet of our lives.
Job, who experienced much pain in his life, wondered “why.”
Pain is but a warning sign that lets us know something isn’t right.
Doubt is essential to the life of a believer, the faithful.
Servant leadership has been a hot topic in business management literature.
While prayer is an action of faith, as Frederick Douglass reminds us, it is not the only action of faith.
An understanding of "fishes of men" can be put forth that is more prophetic in nature.
Trust once broken is very hard to mend.
What is it about the Star Wars movies that fascinate us?
God’s eyes are upon us as we enter this new year.
In Mark 10, we meet Bartimaeus, a blind beggar.
As the calendar year comes to an end, the church calendar has already begun.
Gifts under the Christmas tree are a small receptacle of anticipation.
There are some movies that elicit very strong emotions even though they can often be difficult to watch.
What that first “advent season” must have been like for Mary.
Be fearless the bible admonishes us.
For the first time in nearly 2000 years, there are almost no Christians in Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq.
Millions are making their way to Western Europe in search of asylum.
The one promised to them did not come for days and they wondered why the Holy Spirit waited for so long.
While the laity are the hands and feet of the church the pastor can be considered the heart of the body.
Sometimes “thoughts and prayers” are not enough. While both are extremely important, they should lead one to action!
The Pope practices what he preaches.
It is through sound that we shape all other input received from our senses ...
So it is with us that we sometimes miss the blessing for worrying about the details.
Anxiety is no longer a singular state of being. It has become a chronic condition for many people who live their entire days under a constant state of stress.
In other words, don’t take that which isn’t yours.
Reading the bible and finding the appropriate translation can be a daunting task.
We can learn something from the Redwood trees of California.
In Mark 7: 24-30, Jesus seems to insult a Gentile woman by comparing her to a dog.
In Haggai 1, the Israelites have returned to Jerusalem. They rebuild their city, their homes. But the Temple is not rebuilt.
In Exodus 16, Moses (Moshe) tells the people to not save the manna God has sent them. He tells them to not set aside any to have for the next day.
Why does the season of summer exist?
Be kind always so that you may forgive quickly.
In order to live generously, we must live simply.
When Jesus sends his disciples out two by two with nothing more than the clothes on their backs, one pair of sandals and a staff, he puts them in a position of relying on radical hospitality from those they meet on the Way.
Mark 5:21-43 is the tale of two daughters.
If one searches via google with the words, “Why are Christians so …” this is what shows up as the most likely searches:
We are taught from an early age to give graciously. We are taught to share.
When children’s television host Mr. Rogers was asked why he talked so slowly, his answer was that the time between speaking and hearing was sacred.
As a child, we look forward to special events, and there are special occasions as adults that we do as well.
What was it that drew people to Jesus?
According to Genesis 4:5, the New Jewish Publication Society (JPS) translation from the traditional Hebrew text, “God paid no heed” to Cain’s offering.
Where does your church reside?
In Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants he presents an argument that Goliath is not the seemingly impossible enemy we have thought him to be.
It is now our turn to pick up our crosses, not solely for use in our crucifixions but as the burden we bear to carry out Jesus’ ministry here on earth.
On his way between Jerusalem and Bethany in Mark 11:12-14, 20-21, we have this peculiar story of a fig tree.
We Christians can bring hope to a hurting world. Hope that is not deferred and is not elusive, but a hope that is real and alive in the world today. Hope that is both a verb and a noun.
We love to complain, and for some of us it even seems to be in our genetic makeup.
Mistakes. We’ve all made them. How we handle them, tells us a lot about who we are.
It is like that sometimes in life. We tread water, perfectly content in our little part of the world, until a wave of change or chaos comes down on top of us.