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“Who Are You?”

Earlier this week I was in the church building, toiling over the next Sunday’s sermon. The other staff members were at their desks, tapping away at their computers. Then a person appeared at the door. A lady, of average height, with her brunette hair styled in a way similar to how many others wear it…

Hope in the Midst of Fire

Bethel friends, Do you feel like the world is burning? There are so many troubles, so much pain. COVID-19 has led to so many deaths, so much confinement and alienation, so much economic pain, so much loss. People are getting tired of the isolation, and some are tempted to do things that are against the…

“SICK OF SWORDS, LONGING FOR PLOUGHSHARES”

It gets so that a person doesn’t even want to open the newspaper any more. The headlines scream violence and hate, and the grim stories describe death and destruction. How much more can this sad earth take? As I write this, the big story is the assassination of Iran’s military leader, Qassem Soleimani at the…

We Should Care

I’ve always wanted to go to France. I’d visit the Louvre. Kiss my wife on the Champs-Élysées. Enjoy a “grande crème” at a café. Have my photo taken in front of the Eiffel Tower. Wonder at the beauty of the Palace of Versailles. But not right now. According to the news and weather reports, Europe…

A Lovely, Reflective, Horrible Day

Every day is significant. Some days, however, stand out for the drama and the life changing events that take place during them. September 11, 2001, when terrorists took over airplanes and changed the agenda of the world. November 22, 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated. December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy,”…

Passionate Civility

  What’s your passion?  If it’s baseball, you may well follow the Blue Jays’ triumphs and travails closely, and can debate the decisions of management and the performance of the players endlessly.  If it’s politics, you pay great attention to the policies and pronouncements of your preferred party, and love to examine the fine points…

Hope in Dark Days

So often these days, the news is full of dark and terrible reports.  Bombs explode in in mosques, killing dozens of Muslims.  Christian worshipers at Coptic churches in Egypt are shot, and many die.  Refugees are in detention, while other people at risk are put onto airplanes heading back to the places of violence and…

Happy Halloween?

For many people, Halloween is a tricky holiday. Growing up, my mom and dad would help us get dressed up in Halloween costumes. One year I was a cowboy.  Another year I went house to house as an astronaut.  No matter what persona I took on, the pillowcase my mom let me borrow always got…

A Good Habit

  I’m a preacher.  Most Sunday mornings you will find me standing in Bethel’s pulpit, sharing with the people who’ve come about the things I’ve seen in the day’s Bible passage, and what it means for our daily lives.  Knowing it to be an important part of my calling, I put quite a bit of time, energy…