When I Say I’m A Christian

The statement “I’m a Christian” has come to mean some very different things to different people. I fall into the progressive, inclusive Christianity camp. The one that works for justice and serves the poor and welcomes the stranger. I’m with those who believe that God’s love and grace are gifted to us, and we live our lives in grateful response to that love, rather than with those who feel that ...

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Books I’m Not Selling

I'm getting ready to do something blasphemous to most pastors--I'm getting rid of a lot of my books. As of the first of this year, I no longer have an office in which to house them, and by the end of the summer, my family and I will have downsized our home. I refuse to stash books away in a storage unit. Books should be in the hands of people ...

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Resolution Solution

A New Year is upon us, and that means it’s time to make that list of New Year’s Resolutions. We will pledge to eat less, exercise more, spend less, save more and, of course (my favorite), go to church/pray/read the Bible more. Typically, January is a time to be introspective and explore ways in which we can improve ourselves. Fitness and weight-loss centers love this time of the year, as ...

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The Work of Christmas Begins

When the song of the angels is stilled,When the star in the sky is gone,When the kings and the princes are home,When the shepherds are back with their flocks,The work of Christmas begins:To find the lost,To heal the broken,To feed the hungry,To release the prisoner,To rebuild the nations,To bring peace among people,To make music in the heart. Howard Thurman.

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Five Mantras To Get You Through Christmas

It's getting down to the wire. If you haven't already begun to gather with family for Christmas, it's likely to start this weekend. Let’s just say it: holiday time with family does not always (often?) look like something out of a Hallmark Christmas movie. There are bad histories, old grudges and deeply held resentments that often get trotted out when families gather around a turkey or other large fowl. My Christmas ...

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Do You Have a Faith Statement?

Recently, I was called upon to submit a statement of faith for a project I'm working on. I've done a number of these over the course of my life and ministry career, but this time I decided to toss out the seminary language and the "key words" I know the powers that be are looking for in a proper Reformed theology faith statement and just say what I believe.  Here's what ...

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The Rebel Jesus

Are you awaiting the Rebel Jesus?  The streets are filled with laughter and lightAnd the music of the seasonAnd the merchants' windows are all brightWith the faces of the childrenAnd the families hurrying to their homesAs the sky darkens and freezesWill be gathering around the hearths and tablesGiving thanks for all God's gracesAnd the birth of the rebel Jesus They call him by the "Prince of Peace"And they call him by "The ...

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A Different Kind of Christmas Story

Prepare ye the way of the Lord. That’s what her preacher had said. That’s what she was trying to do this Advent season. She desperately wanted to prepare her heart to receive the peace of Christ. God knew she could use some peace. Carol was a single mom trying to raise two kids. Her husband bailed after the second child was born prematurely and had some developmental problems. The doctors couldn’t guarantee ...

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