Values

R.D.E.

I have been reading Paul Watzlawick’s fun and funky, The Situation is Hopeless, But Not Serious — The Pursuit of Unhappiness.  The central thesis of this short work is that human beings create their own unhappiness and discontent in dozens of creative unconscious ways.  In one section, Watzlawick focuses on a […]

Limited Appeal

I got an email this week from a lifelong Methodist who writes: You do realize, don’t you, that you have a very limited appeal?  The majority of United Methodists are extremely happy with the way things are. Really?  We are happy with losing credibility?  We are happy that more people […]

Muddling Through the Middle

I read an article a few years ago that stated that our brains are hardwired to avoid ambiguity.  Even though mature reasoning demands a high level of abstract thinking and working through contradictions, conundrums, and puzzles, the normal state is one of binary certainty.  We want our lives to operate in […]

For the Love of God

I am not (generally) a fatalist, especially when it comes to God.  I do not envision a God with too much time on his/her anthropomorphized hands, idly messing with human beings — poking here and there to see what jumps, steering a tornado into one group instead of another, giving […]

Hate Exhaustion

I am heartbroken.  There are those in the Christian church who want to hate and call it love.  I was listening to a young, self-proclaimed evangelical preacher talking about the Bin Laden situation on a Wisconsin radio station yesterday, and the gist of his argument is this:  as Christians, we […]

The Defining Power of Our Anger

It has been an Old Testament couple of days.  We finally eye-for-an-eyed/tooth-for-a-toothed Osama Bin Laden, and it has been remarkable to see the wide array of reactions.  Vengeance, joy, relief, sorrow, anger — and the ringing proclamation “justice has been served.”  But whose justice?  Justice is about balancing the scales, […]

Souled Out

When will we get tired of playing the numbers game?  We have been misled to believe that the answer to all the problems of The United Methodist Church is more people.  We don’t care about who these people are or whether they will benefit from being United Methodists — we […]

Dead, Or In Exile?

I watched some of the Global Leadership Summit videos over the weekend and have to admit they depressed me.  It felt like another missed opportunity.  Hopeful rhetoric infuses a blurry and misdirected vision for a limited and inwardly focused future.  It is all about us — and not all of […]

Three Little Words

You know what The United Methodist Church needs?  A Day of Atonement.  A good old-fashioned nation-wide, denomination-deep day of saying “I Am Sorry!” — to God, to each other, and to ourselves.  For a vast number of reasons, we United Methodists have seemingly lost the capacity to apologize, to humble, […]

Dress for Success

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.  Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord – has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  (Colossians 3:12-13, NRSV) For a very short […]