Which Will of God?

Someone stopped me in the hallway today and asked me, “Do you think God wants you to be a bishop?”  The question took me by surprise.  I have been endorsed by the delegation of my conference (Wisconsin) as a candidate for the Episcopacy.  It is both humbling and an honor […]

The Values of Christmas

Television, especially the commercials, makes me sick this time of year.  And not just now, but from Halloween on, when marketers nationwide begin the barrage of unrelenting crass consumeristic addiction-baiting, all in the name of Christmas.  The cultural values of image, power, prestige, greed, consumption, acquisition, ownership, luxury, glamor, gluttony […]

Better Than Religion

I have been deeply interested in the plight of Syrian refugees and the impact we are seeing on the whole immigration discussion/debate at all levels of our U.S. culture.  For the most part, the general responses have been grounded in fear, suspicion, anxiety and a knee-jerk parochialism.  People are worried, […]

Hakarat Hatov

As I get older, memory plays tricks, so I may be remembering this wrong, but a favorite Hebrew phrase of mine is hakarat harov, meaning “attending to the good” (I think…).  It always comes to mind as I prepare for Thanksgiving, and I sometimes wonder what life is like for […]

How Did I Get Here?

I unearthed an old file from my GBOD (General Board of Discipleship; now, Discipleship Ministries) days, and I discovered an article I wrote that was never published.  It focused on interviews with pastors, district superintendents, bishops, authors, and other key movers-and-shakers in The United Methodist Church, and it raised a […]

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 […]