Core Values

First Impressions

I drove past a church sign last week (I am happy to say, NOT United Methodist) that proudly proclaimed, “Christ is Rised! Jesus is Load!”  Now, this might have been a mistake, though the church also has a banner outside advertising “Sevices 9 & 11.”  I don’t think these are […]

And He Loved Them Anyway

I cannot read the gospel passages of Jesus’ last week on earth without wondering what must have been running through his mind.  I realize that this is pure speculation — nothing more or less.  But I feel like it must have been a time of great agitation and ambiguity.  I […]

Ravings of an Angry Evangelical

Our country is being destroyed by ignorant, narrow-minded, arrogant, self-righteous Christians.  They call themselves evangelicals, but throughout history they have been known by other names: tyrants, despots, hate mongers, fools… David Carlsson, Message to America, 2009 Hold on.  I confess that there are ignorant, narrow-minded, arrogant, self-righteous Christians out there […]

A House Divided

Oh, man, time to go fishin’ cause I opened up a can of worms!  For ten straight days my Inbox has been full of emails concerning race relations in The United Methodist Church.  The emails are troubling on two separate levels — one, that people don’t feel safe airing their […]

Contexistentialism

For a reader, a coffee shop is a frustrating tease.  Whenever I think about taking a good book to the coffee shop, I envision sitting cozy in one of the comfy chairs with a good cup of coffee, losing myself in whatever I am reading — perhaps with some good […]

This Is Only a Test

Serendipitous synchronicity.  When I keep hearing the same phrase or idea from a diverse variety of sources, I perk up.  First, I was listening to some chucklehead talking about how the earthquake in Haiti was “God’s way of testing the people’s faith.”  Somehow, dropping tons of cement and stone and […]

The Measure of a Church’s Soul

“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  What a brilliant turn of phrase.  Not where the heart is, the treasure will be, but what we count and pursue and value indicates what matters most to us.  Genius.  So, based on this premise from scripture, what does The […]

Dots Dying to Be Connected

Recent conversations with pastoral leaders in my home Conference (Wisconsin) about young adult ministry share a common theme: there simply isn’t enough interest in the area.  Apparently, young adults don’t want what the churches have to offer.  Except, this morning when I stopped off for my morning Buzz at Beans […]

Reality Check

The tragic results of this spirit (looking for quick and easy shortcuts in our faith) are all about us: shallow lives, hollow religious philosophies, the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings, the glorification of men, trust in religious externalities, quasi-religious fellowships, salesmanship methods, the mistaking of dynamic […]

Forced Choice

This past week I have been embroiled in discussion and debate about our openness to highly intelligent, well-educated people in our United Methodist Church.  First, I have been surprised by the number of people from our churches who think poorly of smart people — assuming that they deserve anything that happens […]