Uncategorized

Running Uphill in Sand

When I was a teenager, my cross country coach took us up to the Indiana Dunes and had us run sprints up the white sand dunes. Not only was it painful and exhausting then, but almost everyone I ran with (literally) in those days developed chronic ankle/knee/hip/back problems over the […]

Choosing Our “Litys”

Emerging from a global pandemic, many people feel that life has been happening to them, rather than them feeling any strong sense of control over their own lives. Yet, even when external conditions are in seismic upheaval, we still have control over our responses. We make choices all the time […]

Dubitatio

In Greek theater, both tragedy and comedy, “indecision” or “quandary” was personified by dubitatio. In tragedy, dubitatio faced life or death decisions, crippled into a vacillating loop of second guessing about which option to choose. In comedy, dubitatio parodied the simple ordinary choices (which clothes to wear, which salad dressing […]

Moratorium on Negativity

As a church consultant, one of the most frequent suggestions I made to church leadership boards and councils was to declare a moratorium on negativity. Some thought this was cute, many more found it funny, but all sobered up when they realized I was serious. Our Christian witness is being […]

Creating a Culture of Care

What follows is a conflation of three different recent conversations, but my responses were consistent within all three. I merge them for the sake of the message, so if anyone involved reads this and thinks, “I don’t remember saying that,” they are probably right. “Uhm, someone left a negative comment […]

Reconcilable Differences

A few disclaimers before I launch into my ranting and raving. I fully understand that people come to impasses that they refuse to negotiate. There are non-negotiables in life; things we simply will not budge on. Also, there are behaviors, attitudes and actions that are widely and generally viewed as […]

Opinionism

What is the best ice cream? What is the greatest country in the world? What is the right way to read the Bible? From Jesus, “Who do you say that I am?” Each of these questions is a trap! They tempt us to state opinion as fact. This, my friends, […]

Misinformation

“All information is misinformation.” I have been fortunate in my ministry to receive excellent training in conflict mediation, but the best I ever had came from FBI hostage negotiators from Quantico. This is where the quotation comes from – all information is misinformation. Unpacking this a little, there is some […]

Finding My Voice

Well, friends, it has been awhile. Almost six years. When I became the Assistant to Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, he asked me to cease blogging so that “our voices will not be mixed.” I felt this was a reasonable request; I am an opinionated so-and-so who speaks his mind and sometimes […]

Doing Without Christmas

Here is a sermon Barbara and I delivered at the Hudson UMC on December 4: (sorry about the formatting) Dan  Oh, man, I cannot believe it is December already!  This year has just flown by. Barbara  I know, and it isn’t going to get any better.  I have two projects that absolutely  MUST […]