Poverty is Everyone’s Problem: How Can We Do Ministry WITH the Poor?

Imagine this scenario:  You and your family are, as are most people in the US, what is called “asset poor.” That is, if family income suddenly disappeared, you would have inadequate reserve cash to live even at the federal poverty level for three months ($1962.50/month for a family of four) and stay current with your…

Life in Death, What Do You Say When . . .

Last week, I was privileged to be the celebrant at a wedding. The groom was in his 80’s and the bride in her 70’s. Both widowed after long and happy marriages, they had found each other and  clicked immediately. I met them and listen to their love stories and to their faith stories. Two honorable…

Do Pets Go to Heaven?

This last week on “Stump the Pastor” Sunday, I received simply spectacular questions, many from our deep thinking youth group. A number of the questions revolved around the themes of heaven and hell. What are the characteristics of such places or destinies? Much literature drags us into hell with a red devil and pitchfork, riddled…

Special Protection? Really?

In response to last week’s post about setting aside the phrase, “God protected me” when surviving a natural or human-made disaster, a reader wrote: “Do you have any ideas about what I could say when someone tells me a miracle story like, ‘God saved me but all my neighbors were blown away?’” This reader hit…

The Epic Battle: Message Series Starting This Sunday

“Just think how much good you could do!”  Those enticing words also may be some of the most dangerous words around–they can open the door to extraordinary evil, perfectly disguised and cloaked with something that just looks so right. Starting this Sunday, May 26, I will begin a five week message series on the necessity…

More on The Nature of Evil

Several weeks ago, in the aftermath of the bombing at the Boston Marathon, I wrote: “evil defies reason.” With the exposure now of kidnappings and years-long torture of three women in Cleveland, the time has come to further explore the nature of evil. Again, evil defies reason. Reasonable people do not plant bombs that kill, maim and destroy.…