Recent Blogs

Bustin’ Out All Over

Every June 1, my wife has the habit of singing June is Bustin’ Out All Over. Not only all over the house, but on the phone to our kids as well. On some of those June mornings, I’d rather she didn’t, but she does and she does all the verses.

March went out like a lion
A whippin up the water in the bay;
Then April cried and stepped aside,
And along came pretty little May!

The Holy Week That "Is"

Bricks, Mortar and Sweat

Remember a little over two weeks ago we and leaders of the Chañi church came to an agreement to build a kitchen and latrines that would share a wall and septic system, and thereby cost the church and the mission less money?

A Fired Up Jesus

The text from last week's Ash Wednesday sermon...

Suzanne Collins is the acclaimed author of the hit series "The Hunger Games" - which have recently been made into movies. The second movie came out just a few months ago, and the title is "Catching Fire." The basic premise is that there are twelve districts under the control of one Capital. The main character, Katniss, is commonly referred to as the "Girl on Fire." There's a stroke of genius in the parallels in imagery for the character. Katniss is known as the girl on fire because of several outfits she wears that appear to catch on fire. This image of the "girl on fire" plays a double role because of her ability to inspire rebellion and empower the people of the districts to rise up against the oppression of the Capital. Fire spreads. Catching fire.

Fellowship of Hope

I hope that by the time you read this sure signs of spring – a bit of warmth in the air, perhaps, or some patches of ground appearing under melting snow, or noticeably earlier sunrises.

But I am writing this on January 27, when the high is going to be -3, and those signs of spring seem far away. This, of course, has been one of those more intense winters that makes us, on some days, think twice about going outside; that makes us all too familiar with our snowblowers and shovels, and that may lead us to declare (as I have!) – "Okay, now I’ve really had enough" (and it’s possible that now and then we’ve worded it much more strongly!).

You may have found yourself daydreaming about what you knew was waiting to emerge, what would certainly green, your yard and neighborhood transformed by new life. All the potential for that transformed reality, for that new life, was already there – it was simply waiting for the warmth to bring it forward.

Real Church: Real Value

Real Church: Real Value

You join a church. You attend as much as you can. You give them your money. You give them your time. You put God as your first priority – you are giving up other things to be in this place at that time. The question that comes to my mind is: What’s in it for me? What do I get from it all?

Bandage, Stone Age, Garbage

First aid trainingThe moment she hit the floor, everyone in the back row leapt to their feet to see what would happen next.

Sue Albright, a volunteer in mission and a virtual patient for the mission's recent First Aid training class, moaned in pretend agony feigning a sprained ankle. Her daughter, Jessica Workman, walked the 20 avid listeners through the Spanish equivalents of RICE -- Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate. She showed them how to splint with a piece of tree bark, sticks and a shredded T-shirt, all readily available in remote rural areas.

Purpose and Pendulums

When I was in seminary I had a history professor who used the metaphor of a pendulum swinging back and forth to describe controversies in the church. When people don’t like something, they swing way to the other side, sometimes too far.

A lot of times in life, we look back at the mistakes of the past – and we do our best to avoid those mistakes in the future. This is the point of history, but sometimes we take it too far. (Think about the lesson behind Finding Nemo)

Crisis in Confidence

What is the point of Church?

Today, more than ever before, society challenges us in our priorities.

Sports, school, clubs, college applications, family vacations, scholarships, part time jobs, homework, church programs – our children are overwhelmed!  Oh yeah, and how about some fun thrown in there too. (They are kids after all).

The truth of the matter is that there simply are not enough hours in a day, nor days in a week, to get it all done. Something is going to get cut. We are forced to prioritize.

Monthly Guide To Spread The Spirit Of Christmas

  1. If you received a gift that you don’t like, doesn’t fit or really do not want nor need it, instead of returning or exchanging, take to the Goodwill store on Ogden Avenue and make it a donation. You can even leave the tags on it so they know it is new. This way, you are helping both the person that will purchase it, but also the folks that work there. This is a way of re-gifting that works all year long.

Is Christmas just for kids?

Advertisers want us to think of kids when we think of Christmas because they know that when it comes to our kids we will do lavish, sometimes crazy things.

The Christmas story though, invites us to look at life with adult eyes, like how do you negotiate life living in an occupied territory? It starts with a census because Rome needed money. Do the authorities care about Mary’s condition? Do they compensate Joseph for hours lost at the carpenter’s lathe? These people are living in fear, like many of us who fear everything from cancer to stewardship programs.

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