Devotional Reflection

Cranky Christians

From a letter I received in 1998 from a church member in a congregation where I was providing consultation and mediation: Our pastor doesn’t understand us.  We are a good people, and we don’t want to change.  We’ve gotten along fine for years and everyone was happy until he came […]

Pancake Parallels

Fifty-five years ago the United States was deep into The Cold War.  Paranoia, patriotism, and poor communication combined to allow such bizarre and embarrassing phenomena as McCarthyism and backyard bomb shelters.  Our government, in an effort to protect and defend the American public, launched into a research frenzy — looking […]

What is Prayer For?

I sat in worship, praying the congregational prayer as written in the bulletin: gracious God, protect those who serve you as agents of light, and strike down all those who serve as agents of darkness…” I stumbled over the words as if I struck my shin on a misplaced table.  […]

Holy Hyper-Ventilation!

Question:  Which is more important, inhaling or exhaling? Answer:  Depends on which you did last… Breathing requires both, and life depends on good breathing.  Too little oxygen leads to asphyxiation; too much to hyper-ventilation.  You can’t be good at one and bad at the other.  No one can say, “Well, […]

Christian Fruit Loops

People who know me know that I am very big on fruit: the outward and visible manifestations of the faith we profess.  James says it all when he reminds us that faith without works is dead.  Furthermore, it is not enough just to produce fruit because until it feeds somebody […]

Reflections on Earth Day

Back when I was a lad, we used to celebrate Arbor Day — a day when we were simply encouraged to plant a tree.  My Sunday school teacher — the ancient and slightly scary, Miss Hattie Hack — dutifully took us outside the first Sunday after Arbor Day to plant […]

Blind Faith In An Age of Darkness

Many are the critics of blind, irrational, unquestioning faith — until the world comes crashing in.  Then, in the midst of the hurt and fear and despair, there is often left but one option: believe.  Such is the lesson of Good Friday.  When all else fails — when the answers offered […]

An Ash Wednesday Reflection

Meant To Be Seen What are the outward and visible signs of our life of faith?  When people look at us, what unmistakable evidence exists that identifies us as members of the body of Christ?  Today, as we begin our Lenten observance, we receive a mark of ash and oil that […]