Christian discipleship

Paradoxology

Praise God from whom all blessings flow…  But who deserves such blessing?  The poor?  Immigrants (especially those illegal ones!)?  The sick (who can’t afford health care)?  Anyone who disagrees with me on any of my core beliefs?  There is a weird paradox at work when it comes to our views […]

Failure In An Instant

At what point do we finally wake-up to the fact that there is no such thing as a lasting, transformative “quick-fix?”  We have suffered through over 50 years of “church-in-box” programs that have produced poor results at best.  Disciple Bible Study came closest to delivering transformation, but ultimately “popular” did […]

Plugged In

Two of my colleagues have recently returned from renewal retreats, and it reminds me again how very critical spiritual self-care is for leaders, both clergy and lay.  I conducted a variety of studies on clergy wellness, morale, self-care, renewal and spiritual practice when I worked for the General Board of […]

Vegetables of the Spirit

Growing up, fruit was often the core component of dessert after our meals.  My grandmother tended a wonderful orchard, full of luscious delights — crisp, sweet apples; juicy pears, plump cherries, amazing berries, grapes swelled to bursting.  We supplemented Midwestern fare with citrus fruits and bananas.  Fruit was a sweet […]

Living a Compassionate Life

My Lenten reflections this year pull me to my core beliefs and values — why do I think, believe, and feel the way I do about God, my self and others?  What is it that I truly believe is God’s will for my own life as well as this beast […]

Caught in the Cross-Fire

I find that I am tired of defending the position that Christians should be advocates for the weak, the poor, the oppressed, and the taken-advantage-of.  For me, this is a no brainer.  But I must confess that I err on the side of care for the underdog at the expense […]

Segregation of Church & State

It has been an interesting few weeks here in Wisconsin — making the national news almost daily due to our governor, Scott Walker, and his crusade to eliminate collective bargaining rights as a cost-cutting measure to help balance the budget.  There is no doubt that it would produce a short-term […]

Principle-Free Living

Reading a recent post by sportswriter Rick Reilly (passed on to me by my son Josh) about a young female wrestler, Cassy Herkelman, from Iowa who lost focus and was defeated in the state finals because a young evangelical Christian, Joel Northrup,  forfeited an earlier match to her due to his conviction […]

Perfect Church 2011

Recently, there was an interesting discussion being held by some clergy leaders in the Wisconsin Annual Conference about the “ideal congregation.”  This brings to mind old conversations we used to have in New Jersey about “the perfect church.”  In both cases, most of the answers revolve around faithful commitment on the […]

Prayer Worriers

I haven’t been able to blog for a couple of weeks due to an unusually heavy work/travel load, and an unusually large response to a recent post.  Every once in a while I will write something that I believe is a “no-brainer” — it’s not overly profound or insightful, but […]