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 […]

Hazel

Well, picking up where we left off with Faye — Faye may have heightened my knowledge and acceptance of the supernormal and the unexplained, but Hazel keeps me believing in Santa Claus for the simple fact that she IS Mrs. Claus.  Singer/songwriter Richard Shindell has a song called, Hazel’s House, […]

Manger Perspective

Nativity scenes crack me up.  No, there’s nothing inherently funny about them, and I recognize and honor the symbolic appeal and power they have, but having visited farm and village sites in Israel that are still essentially pre-modern, and knowing what stables look, feel, and smell like in general, I […]

Faye

I often hear a rumor, unsubstantiated (though with impressive evidence), that many adults no longer believe in Santa Claus.  Oh, many profess to believe in the “spirit” or “essence” of Saint Nicholas, but to believe in the real, physical, meat-and-potatoes jolly old fat man is no longer acceptable among the […]

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 […]

Enduring Christmas

We frequent and traditional church-goers can sometimes forget that Christmas is not a joyous and wonderful time for all concerned.  In my own ministry, I dealt with two Christmas suicides, and numerous individuals for whom Christmas brought sorrow and deep loss.  In one of the New Jersey churches I served, […]

Remembering God in Advent

Twenty years ago, I was given a wonderful opportunity.  A Vanderbilt seminary professor took ill and I was asked to fill in for almost five weeks in a class that explored, among other things, the liturgical year.  It was one of the most freeing and enjoyable experiences of my life.  […]

Wanted: Savior (Some Experience Required)

Ah, another Advent.  The pressing question is: are we ready?  Or maybe the pressing question is: do we even care?  Our United Methodist Church can’t seem to be bothered with preparing for a Savior; we are too busy focusing on divisive issues of morality grounded in abominable biblical misinterpretation and […]