Christians and Pagans–My Favorite

If you've ever been part of a church I pastored, you've probably heard this song at Christmas. https://youtu.be/iPnzywnr2LA?si=z3SGYWT8AiZ9ko7z A song about Christians and pagans may seem an odd choice for a pastor, but the theology in this song is right up my alley. Christmas is like solstice, and we miss you and it's been awhile. It reminds us that we have more in common than we often believe, and ...

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What Are You Doing for Advent?

Advent is almost upon us. What are your plans? Find some ideas below. Want a more holy Advent? It's as easy as 3, 2, 1! (Okay, that may be an oversimplification, but it is a pretty easy, yet effective, approach) https://youtu.be/R0fIzeBF5DA?si=mTVwHhnEHJNKQlWk Need some ideas for your Advent spiritual discipline? Here you go. https://youtu.be/izV41yoYGvI?si=q5sVHYZVswh1cYlu And don't forget to make use of this free resource from Beyond Sunday. https://youtu.be/yXmBoNS44Lo?si=EFmeqs34xrNWbBIu Wishing you a happy and meaningful ...

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A Little Help with the Relatives

I just had to share this TikTok series from @mrs.frazzled where a kindergarten teacher and gentle parenting adherent uses her skills on relatives at the holiday gathering. They're hilarious, but also contain some wisdom you might find helpful. https://www.tiktok.com/@mrs.frazzled/video/7302588223883267374?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7301743293395322414 https://www.tiktok.com/@mrs.frazzled/video/7301081269260127534?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7301743293395322414 https://www.tiktok.com/@mrs.frazzled/video/7301468875416276266?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7301743293395322414 These hilarious videos are an excellent reminder that even (or perhaps especially) during the holidays, bad behavior is not okay, loving people means respecting them and children get to have boundaries, too. ...

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A Hard Drinking Tattooed Country Music Christianity

Note: the songs mentioned and shared in this post have some strong language. Some thirty years ago, Tex Sample wrote a book called Hard Living People and Mainstream Christians. He challenged mainline churches to break the bonds of middle/upper class captivity and reach out to those who live, well, a little bit harder. We didn't listen very well then, but perhaps country music is calling on us to rethink ...

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Full discIosure: I am daunted

There is a quote often attributed to the Talmud, but more accurately described as a loose translation of a portion of the Pirke Avot that is commentary on Micah 6:8. Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. While I agree with the premise and ...

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This World IS Our Home

This is a remix of a post I created during COVID, but its message is valid today as well. And I needed to be reminded. Do you ever get a song stuck in your head? One that just keeps coming back again and again and bubbles up in your brain at the oddest of times? I’ve had one lately. It’s an old country gospel song that my grandmother and my parents ...

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This is Hard, Y’all

The day that Hamas launched an attack on Israel that killed at least 800 people at this posting will be one of those days like 9/11. October 7, 2023. A day that will divide so many lives into what came before and what happened after. Will we end up using 10/7 for shorthand as time goes by? (Disclaimer: We can agree that none of us is going through anything close to ...

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When the fear gets you

If you've followed me for anytime at all, you know that I believe that fear is the antithesis of the Gospel. We are called over and over again to Be Not Afraid throughout the Old and New Testatments. But of course, sometimes the fear gets us. I imagine most of you have heard about the killing of Jordan Neely on the NYC subway, and the subsequent arrest of former marine ...

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Maundy Thursday–Remember and Love

The word “Maundy” is derived from Latin “mandatum,” which means “commandment.”  On Maundy Thursday (when we celebrate the institution of the Lord’s Supper), not only does Jesus command us to eat the bread and drink the wine in remembrance of him, he also offers us a new commandment: “that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34, Revised Standard Version). In ...

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