Devotional Reflection

The Final Word

On a drive up to Oshkosh today, I passed a church sign (I don’t know what denomination or “flavor” of church) that read “God’s Final Answer – Are You Sure You Want to Hear It?”  I may be completely off base, but I was troubled by what I interpret to […]

What Kind of Church…?

Today has been a day for introspection — thinking about the future by reflecting on the past.  Thinking particularly about the three churches of my childhood and what they taught me about what it means — and doesn’t mean — to be church.  And, at least in my case, three […]

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 […]