Midwest Stuffing

I am a product of the Midwestern attitude that “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” There is some deep, substantial wisdom in this thinking, but also a danger. There are so many nice things to say, and so many nice things to point to and […]


I love the fact that one Greek word for “selfishness” is “idiotelia” or, “being an idiot.” Now, I understand that this focuses on the etymology of “id” as that primal, hunger driven part of the psyche that puts animal needs ahead of anything else. But there are so many ways […]


I was in a really wonderful conversation with some of my colleagues about what we are reading. I am such a book-nerd and I read, on average, 4.5 books a week (my “get a life” guilt comes from the fact that I have read a minimum of 200 books a […]

We’re a Mess

This falls into the “who does he think he is” category. But in an age where opinions are offered as gospel gold, alternate facts, and truthless truth, I feel compelled. My beloved UMC is a total mess. I read the Bishop’s new statement on the Continuing UMC and shake my […]

Name Game

Having two first names is a bit tricky; having a last name as a prime target for mockery and teasing is something else again, but consistently being called by a wrong name is an odd experience. What’s in a name? Dan Robert Dick. I actually have three first names, so […]

Trapdoors in the Spiritual Realm

A call came up on my phone while I was driving to a meeting. I didn’t recognize the number but it was local, so I hit the hand’s free button on the steering wheel, to take the call. “Hello?” “Do you believe in demons?” “Excuse me?” I asked. “Do you […]

Kin*dom Thoughts

I received two responses to recent blogs where I used the term “kin*dom” in place of “kingdom.” Both responses were very helpful to me, causing me to consider why I like the term, use the term, and what I mean by it. The first response was a cryptic email from […]

The Bottomless Well of Disagreeing Well

It has been an interesting couple of weeks, where multiple people have offered me a compliment that humbles me because they are identifying something that I think I need a LOT of work on. The praise goes something like “I remember the meeting, School for Ministry, legislative session, hallway conversation, […]

Must We?

I am growing more and more concerned about the ways we use language for instruction and direction. I have been reading a variety of church leadership and Christian spirituality books lately and maybe it’s just me, but it seems that religious writers are bossier than ever. On almost every page, […]

A Critical Clarification

I am big on dialogue, on civil conversation even when disagreeing, and doing everything I can to understand other people’s points of view. I believe we are doing great harm by polarizing every disagreement into hostile debate, and feel that the Christian witness should be significantly more mature and tolerant […]