Core Values

Christian Discipleship for Dummies

I was in conversation with some of my colleagues about the state of The United Methodist Church.  We each took a Post-It® Note and wrote what we thought was the most pressing need/critical issue facing the church.  Most of the notes were about declining numbers — not enough new members, […]

People We Shouldn’t Love

A young pastor took exception to a recent post of mine that indicated I believe unconditional love should be unconditional.  Her question to me confounded and alarmed: “Don’t you think we cheapen the gospel when we love people we shouldn’t love?”  I pressed her to identify whom she felt Christians […]

The Sin of Evil

Warning:  This is a vent, a rant, a yawp and a tantrum.  I received an email today that had me shaking while I read it and has been a distraction all day.  I seek the catharsis of putting my thoughts in writing so I can let it go.  The gist […]

In Defense of Christian Crybabies

I never see it coming.  I write something I think is compelling or provocative, and no one seems to care.  I toss off something I don’t give much thought or energy to, and it gets 3,000 hits.  I posted “Crybaby Christians,” and thought I might get some push-back about it […]

The Threat of Love

Unconditional love.  It sounds holy, right and just.  It is a concept embraced throughout the millennia, but with conditions.  The struggle seems to come when the concept is applied to those with whom we differ, those we judge as unworthy, those we look down upon, and those we have decided […]

Systemic Ambivalence

Systemic — pertaining to or affecting a whole system Ambivalence — holding two competing values in equal regard If the unexamined life is not worth living, then perhaps the unexamined institution is not worth having.  And we try desperately hard not to look too closely at the institution we serve […]

Who Are We Again?

At a recent event, I made the statement that today’s United Methodist Church exists because our predecessor denominations held three critically important functions in common: missional service, evangelism and social justice.  In other words, we hold core values of caring for others, inviting all people into a life-changing, life-fulfilling relationship […]

I Love a Mystery

Though I am not overly superstitious, I DO try to pay attention to unusual coincidences.  Over the last three days, I have been led, in one way or another, to look up four passages of scripture:  Ephesians 6:18-20, I Corinthians 4:1-2, Ephesians 1:7-10, and 1 Timothy 3:16.  Each of these […]

What Am I Missing?

On a more frequent basis than I am comfortable with, I seem to be missing some pages of the script for simple human interaction.  Two things happened today, and it is not yet ten in the morning… I was sitting at my favorite coffee shop in one of two comfortable […]