The Threat of Love

Unconditional love.  It sounds holy, right and just.  It is a concept embraced throughout the millennia, but with conditions.  The struggle seems to come when the concept is applied to those with whom we differ, those we judge as unworthy, those we look down upon, and those we have decided […]

Pastiche Spirituality

I know I’ve told this story before, but it fits so well with a couple of issues I am dealing with that I share it here again. In my travels, one morning I stopped for breakfast and sat in a booth near two women.  When the waitress came to take […]

Systemic Ambivalence

Systemic — pertaining to or affecting a whole system Ambivalence — holding two competing values in equal regard If the unexamined life is not worth living, then perhaps the unexamined institution is not worth having.  And we try desperately hard not to look too closely at the institution we serve […]

Who Are We Again?

At a recent event, I made the statement that today’s United Methodist Church exists because our predecessor denominations held three critically important functions in common: missional service, evangelism and social justice.  In other words, we hold core values of caring for others, inviting all people into a life-changing, life-fulfilling relationship […]

Sometimes a Grape is Just a Grape

From the Gospel According to Bob 12:21-34 “Then, they went aside to a quiet place, and in the shade of a sycamore tree they rested.  Jesus spied a wall covered in vines, heavily weighted down by wild grapes.  Taking one, he placed it in his mouth, and an ecstasy came […]

I Love a Mystery

Though I am not overly superstitious, I DO try to pay attention to unusual coincidences.  Over the last three days, I have been led, in one way or another, to look up four passages of scripture:  Ephesians 6:18-20, I Corinthians 4:1-2, Ephesians 1:7-10, and 1 Timothy 3:16.  Each of these […]

Weapons of Intent

As I was reeling in the wake of the news from South Carolina yesterday, this came into my in box.  It is a reminder that violence takes many forms, and that the intent behind our acts have consequences.  Major acts get media attention, but minor acts impact our lives in […]

Tomorrowchurch

Just saw Tomorrowland — the new George Clooney film (not great, but good fun, nonetheless).  It triggered in me an odd reaction.  I think our Council of Bishops and all the nay-saying, “gotta turn this ship around”, “death tsunami” consultants need to go see this movie and view it as […]

What Am I Missing?

On a more frequent basis than I am comfortable with, I seem to be missing some pages of the script for simple human interaction.  Two things happened today, and it is not yet ten in the morning… I was sitting at my favorite coffee shop in one of two comfortable […]

Different Worlds

Perhaps the most egregious error many people make is to assume that the way they think is normative.  When we operate from the assumption that other people see and make sense of the world the same way we do, we open ourselves to a world of hurt.  Each of us […]