Letting Go

When people worship, they often try to leave their troubles at home. For one hour on Sunday mornings, they pretend everything is good in their lives even though secretly they are struggling. But I’m not so sure God wants us to leave our problems at home when we worship. Every time I open the Psalms, I am reminded how hard it can be to…

Fairy Tale Princesses and the Women of the Gospel

When my oldest daughter turned seven years old, I took her to Disney World to be turned into a fairytale princess. She thought hard about who her favorite princess was. Then, finally, she chose to dress up as Princess Jasmine from the movie Aladdin, and we had a blast taking pictures of her all around the theme park.   I imagine many people have…

The Day of Resurrection is Almost Here

The day of resurrection is almost here!  During the month of March, we have been following Jesus on his journey to the cross.  Now, as we all get ready for April to usher in a new Spring, Easter Sunday is coming fast… We began this Lent by talking about the challenges of a world filled with Diversity; but we will finish it by envisioning…

Lent

The season of Lent lasts 40 days, not counting Sundays. It is a time of spiritual reflection, self-examination and recommiting our lives to faithfully following Jesus Christ. This Lent we will follow Jesus on his journey to the cross in the book of Matthew. Along the way, we will see Jesus serve a person who followed a different religion than he did; we will…

Boom and Bust: The Appalachian Spirit

I grew up in the foothills of Appalachia. The small town where I went to grade school was called Racine, Ohio. Racine was located on the edge of coal country,  and was within a short drive of several old mining towns. When I lived there, the region had a lot of financial challenges. Many of the people who lived in the area often looked…

The Path that Winds

It was a winding path that led me into ministry. Long before I ever thought about becoming a pastor, I felt that I was somehow called to serve God’s world.  But I didn’t know exactly what that meant. I could feel it in my soul; yet, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. It was not until I began to consider…

Christ is A Light in the Darkness

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is almost here. At this time of the year, while we get ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus, it is common for people to reflect on the year that has passed. Soon we will be seeing lists of the top movies, the top songs, and the top news stories of 2016. As I look back, there has…

Rugged Individualism

The people of the U.S. take great pride in our sense of rugged individualism. This belief in hard work and self-reliance challenges us to employ our skills to good use, and to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps to make our way in the world. While these values are very positive, sometimes we get a little carried away with the idea that we have…

How Would Jesus Vote

Earlier this week I watched the first 2016 presidential debate on TV with my two oldest kids. They are both very passionate about politics, so it was fun to watch their reactions to the things that were said. At the same time, I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed by the political environment they are growing up in. Our nation seems to become…

Can Jesus Get a Witness?

I spent the last couple of weeks watching the Olympics on TV. I think the Olympics are fascinating. I always enjoy watching the greatest athletes in the world compete at the top of their sports, seeing various people represent their home countries, and cheering for the U.S. to win gold. I find the Olympics to be a beautiful representation of the diversity of people….