A Little R&R

Today is my last day in the office before I leave for vacation. This will be my first full week of vacation proper since 2010. (Sure, I was unemployed for a while there, and in school for a bit more, but the former is panic while the latter is extra work.) Vacations are good things. They keep us ready for the work at hand. They clear our minds, rest our souls. They give us time to connect to family and friends. Yes, vacations are important. Rest is important. We simply can't run continuously, can't pretend to operate at peak performance indefinitely. Unfortunately, we're just not designed that way. God seems to have designed animal life in general with a need for physical rest and human bein

Future Tense

Carnac the Magnificent, an alter ego of Johnny Carson, once proclaimed the answer to the question in a sealed envelope to be "Sis boom bah." The question, revealed after his answer: "Describe the sound made when a sheep explodes." Classic. Carnac may have had great powers of divination, but we mere mortals are less fortunate. Rarely can we predict the future to the degree we can answer even a single question before it's asked (exploding sheep optional). We make plans, we keep appointment books, and we do all sorts of things under the twin premises that tomorrow, next week, and next year will come and we can do something about them in advance. The future is rarely, if ever, so predictable, ho

The Longest Day

Today is the first day of summer. Many songs have been written about summer, so whether you prefer Gershwin or singing snowmen, there's something out there for you to listen to today. The first day of summer is the longest day of the year, so from now on, we'll start to see less and less daylight each day. We've got a while before that begins to make a difference, though, so for now, enjoy the sunshine! The Bible makes heavy use of day/night imagery, but a couple of passages stand out to me. The first is John 9:4: "As long as it is day, we must do the works of Him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work." We currently live in the daylight hours. Things can be done. As long as the

Never Boring

As a member of my Sunday school class remarked this past week, if you condensed church history into just the highlights, no one would believe any of it was true. Cardinals thrown out windows. Debates over sausage. One man turning back an entire Hun army. Corpses exhumed, dressed, and put on trial. Santa Claus (well, the real Saint Nicholas) punching an opponent. The list goes on. If there's one thing we can say for the 2,000-year history of Christ's Church, it's that it was never boring. Somehow, though, we often reduce our faith to a monotonous series of boring things. Do this, not that. Go here, don't go there. Worship often fares no better; I guarantee each and every one of you can tell m

Abba

As we approach Father's Day, I want to say thank you to all the amazing dads out there. Like motherhood, fatherhood is no easy task, but it's a very necessary one. I'm not just talking about donating genetic material towards producing another human being; I mean actual fathering, being there to raise your children. It's something of a lost art these days. More and more children grow up in homes without a father. Some were never there, some abandoned their families, some left after a divorce, and some were never married to begin with and thus saw no reason to stick around. Additionally, as the use of reproductive technologies continues to become more commonplace, more women will conceive, bea

The Horror

Sunday I preached about different fears we sometimes face and how our courage is found in God. Occasionally, however, people don't go to God because they're afraid of the c/Church. I say "c/Church" because the fear could be of a church, a local congregation, or the Church, the body of all baptized believers through all time. Increasingly, it seems to be a fear of the latter, or if not fear, then mistrust or dislike. People point to a few specific things in history and use those to justify staying away from the bride of Christ; the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and the Salem Witch Trials usually stay at the top of the list. In terms of more contemporary "problems," many dislike the Churc

In the Beginning

"Start writing your post here." That's what the website says every time I go to write a new blog post (like this one). Everything has to have a beginning, a starting point. The only exception to that rule is God Himself, who was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. It's not the easiest thing for most of us to grasp, and I'd wager the majority of people throughout history have paused at some point to wonder, "if God created everything, then who created God." We know the answer, of course: God is eternal, without beginning; no one created Him. But it's a difficult thing to understand sometimes. For the rest of the universe, though, there are beginnings. New things start, and old things

Pride (That Kind)

June is Gay Pride Month, apparently, and I've already been asked if you can expect a sermon on homosexuality this month. Answer: probably not, but you do get a blog post (and a rather longer one than usual at that). It's a complex issue, and a post is far too short to treat it properly, but here we go anyway. The Bible has about seven passages that deal with the subject: Genesis 19 (and its counterpart Judges 19); Leviticus 18:22, 20:13; Romans 1:18-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:10; and Jude 7. There are a few others that discuss it by implication, but these are the explicit ones. With that said, we have to look at these critically, in their proper context (historical and biblical).

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