Friday Night/Saturday Morning in London: Life, Death, and Hijacked Airplanes

Family time here in the Friday night/Saturday London adventure. Adriana, after cooking her usual three meals a day plus snacks all week plus cookies for a bake sale at the school, deserved a night off in the kitchen last night. Jonathan ordered in Thai food from his favorite restaurant. I happened to be in the room when he phoned them–he didn’t even tell the person who answered his name or address–they know him so well that they recognize his voice (or his American accent) and know where he lives. Such a nice sense of welcome that connection gives. A bottle of wine…

United Methodists: It is Time to Stop and Pray.

The battle over sexuality rages with new energy. The Just Resolution decision instead of a trial for Rev. Olgetree (this 80 year old retired clergy presided at the same-sex wedding for his son, and fellow clergy filed charges against him) has ignited a firestorm of separatist talk, exposing more fully the deep divisions among us. IT IS TIME TO STOP. It is time to stop and pray the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples when they asked him, “teach us to pray.” IT IS TIME . . . To stop and acknowledge that only God is holy. To stop and ask, with…

Praying for Ted Nugent?

Like many others, I am so deeply troubled by the choice of both Texas and national Republicans to use Ted Nugent as a spokesperson for their views. Try typing into a search engine, “Ted Nugent Pedophile” and see what comes up. To call this man “vile” might be a compliment. He’s simply appalling. Now, I will tell you that I’d never even heard of this person before last week’s dust-up in Denton. I’m not much into pop culture, and never have been. Never listened to his music, never even knew he existed. But his association with Republicans is not new. I’ve learned…

Drop to My Knees, Steam, Wipe, Pray

The youth group had a lock-in last night. After helping with the food and snack needs, and making sure the adult chaperones were compliant with all policies and procedures for keeping children and youth safe, I offered my blessing and went off to dinner with friends and then good sleep. This morning, I came back early to help with clean up and ensure the worship-readiness of the church for Sunday. Before starting to work, I noticed one of the youth sitting alone and looking up at me with pleading eyes. I knew she had just been through a rough time, so I…

A Modern Take on Luke 15–Probably Heretical, Possibly Shedding Fresh Light on a Shocking Story

The Complaint A group of VERY IMPORTANT church leaders began to grumble about Jesus.  “He ignores us, the movers and shakers, the ones divinely given the leadership of The Church. Instead, he takes his meals with people who don’t even give $5 a year to our coffers, haven’t partaken of the sacraments in years AND even support gay marriage and homosexuals as ordained! The church will decline in numbers even further if they get their way.  Why isn’t he dining with us in the hotel conference room so we can form a new strategy on how to build growing, vital, money-generating congregations…

The Phone Call and the Novena

A dear friend of mine phoned earlier this evening.  She refers to herself as my “spiritual mother” and I very much believe it.  She’s in her late 80’s, and is simply beautiful. I describe her as a piece of pure light wrapped in a tiny piece of increasingly frail human flesh. We connected about a year and a half ago.  She had been reading my newspaper columns in the Denton Record Chronicle and phoned to talk with me and see if perhaps the church I serve would be able to embrace her and her unique understanding of Christian spirituality.  I assured her she…

The Day Off and the Quotidian Tasks

I was watching one of those hoarding TV shows recently.  I suppose they relax me a bit.  This morning, as I was pondering and praying through the day, I became even more away that I am just one step away from seeing my own life spiral out of control as do the lives of the hoarders.  One day when I will not do what are occasionally called the “quotidian” tasks–those things that must be done routinely no matter how much we dislike them–just one day of refusing to do them can lead to a downward trajectory that is difficult to stop. Because…

God Is Not Your Butler

In some of my multi-faceted reading, especially when looking for a column idea, I head to the websites of some well-known advice writers.  They receive fascinating arrays of questions like: “My mother has stolen my identity and runs up  bunches of bills on my credit card–how can I make her  more responsible financially?” “I just found out my boyfriend has this thing for underage girls–how can I make him stop since he is perfect in every other way and I am madly in love with him and want to marry him?” “My forever best friend just asked someone else to be her…