Vision

Hate Mail Disguised As Love Letters

I’ve kept a file since my first General Conference in 1988 of the letters, phone calls, conversations and emails detailing the “concerns” individuals and congregations raised in preparation of the quadrennial meeting.  This file is a reminder of the diversity of opinion in our denomination, the level of fear and disrespect […]

False Profits

from the Gospel According to Bob, Chapter 11, verses 15-31; Original Old Prophetic Scripture In English (Oopsie) Version — (this is satire and parody; I am fully aware that these things AREN’T really in the Bible… but thanks to those who have expressed concern!) And Jesus said, ‘Beware of false prophets […]

Diss-cipleship

from the Gospel According to Bob, Chapter 6, verses 31-45… Then Jesus said, ‘Think well and hard before you respond to the call to be my disciples, for many are called but few are truly prepared.’ Robert the follower, also called Bob, piped up, saying, ‘What’s that ‘disciple’ thing?  Is that […]

Simple Isn’t Easy

I received a number of responses and comments on my Simplicity Itself post.  I think three in particular deserve specific response: Dan.  I hear you, and agree with many of your points, but I am curious to how you propose to live this out either in your ministry in the […]

Simplicity Itself

Following the endless conversations about “what comes next?” in The United Methodist Church, it becomes more and more apparent that most of the suggestions, reports and recommendations made thus far are all designed for just one purpose: to avoid the hard work that actually must happen.  In my humble opinion […]

Verbundenheit

When I was in college, I was good friends with two German students (Angela and Hans) who introduced me to a concept that shapes my understanding of church to this day.  The German word is “verbundenheit” and while the simplest translation is “solidarity,” in has a much deeper, textured, and […]

Finding What We Look For

Scott Kline, a professional driver, managed to wreck a million-dollar prototype hybrid car when it was first being tested.  When asked to explain what happened, Kline reported, I got so engrossed looking at all the dials and gauges and screens on the dashboard that I forgot to look where I […]

Muddling Through the Middle

I read an article a few years ago that stated that our brains are hardwired to avoid ambiguity.  Even though mature reasoning demands a high level of abstract thinking and working through contradictions, conundrums, and puzzles, the normal state is one of binary certainty.  We want our lives to operate in […]

For the Love of God

I am not (generally) a fatalist, especially when it comes to God.  I do not envision a God with too much time on his/her anthropomorphized hands, idly messing with human beings — poking here and there to see what jumps, steering a tornado into one group instead of another, giving […]