Month: May 2011

R.D.E.

I have been reading Paul Watzlawick’s fun and funky, The Situation is Hopeless, But Not Serious — The Pursuit of Unhappiness.  The central thesis of this short work is that human beings create their own unhappiness and discontent in dozens of creative unconscious ways.  In one section, Watzlawick focuses on a […]

Limited Appeal

I got an email this week from a lifelong Methodist who writes: You do realize, don’t you, that you have a very limited appeal?  The majority of United Methodists are extremely happy with the way things are. Really?  We are happy with losing credibility?  We are happy that more people […]

The Folly of Fear

Man, I will never forget where I was May 21 when the world ended… oh, wait, that never happened.  Most of the people I know and talk to didn’t give Harold Camping’s latest rapture prediction any credence, but I was amazed at how much airplay and interest is actually got.  […]

Off Target

Two passing conversations yesterday stuck with me.  I got a call from a former colleague and current retired bishop who asked if I were planning to go to General Conference.  I responded that it would be up to the conference whether I get elected or not.  His reply to me […]

Muddling Through the Middle

I read an article a few years ago that stated that our brains are hardwired to avoid ambiguity.  Even though mature reasoning demands a high level of abstract thinking and working through contradictions, conundrums, and puzzles, the normal state is one of binary certainty.  We want our lives to operate in […]

For the Love of God

I am not (generally) a fatalist, especially when it comes to God.  I do not envision a God with too much time on his/her anthropomorphized hands, idly messing with human beings — poking here and there to see what jumps, steering a tornado into one group instead of another, giving […]

You Need to Understand

Working for the church, first at the denominational level, then at the conference level, I am surprised at how often people will open their communication with me with the words, “You need to understand…”  A more narcissistic and ego-centric phrase may not exist, because the people who open with such […]

Hate Exhaustion

I am heartbroken.  There are those in the Christian church who want to hate and call it love.  I was listening to a young, self-proclaimed evangelical preacher talking about the Bin Laden situation on a Wisconsin radio station yesterday, and the gist of his argument is this:  as Christians, we […]

The Defining Power of Our Anger

It has been an Old Testament couple of days.  We finally eye-for-an-eyed/tooth-for-a-toothed Osama Bin Laden, and it has been remarkable to see the wide array of reactions.  Vengeance, joy, relief, sorrow, anger — and the ringing proclamation “justice has been served.”  But whose justice?  Justice is about balancing the scales, […]

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