July 16, 2019

Adding Our Two Cents’ Worth

I had two things on my calendar yesterday besides my normal work day responsibilities: one was a dentist appointment and the other a church council (board) meeting. My visit to the dentist was just a cleaning and check-up (hallelujah). The council meeting involved dealing with our church budget for 2014. I’ll tell you right from […]

A Sudden Burst of Light

  So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” – Genesis 32:27 * * * If you’re lucky, there comes a moment, a moment of clarity. At this moment, “the hopes and fears of all the years” find some resolution. It involves an unveiling. Heavy drapes of self-denial are rent […]

Today’s Mea Culpa

There I was, sitting at his bedside. This was a different kind of patient than those I normally see. He has been homeless. He has been in prison, convicted of a crime that disturbs me, one for which I can find little sympathy in my heart. I don’t know any details about his law-breaking, and […]

If You Are Not Afraid, You Are Not Human

Hello. My name is Mike, and I am afraid. I am afraid of life, and I am afraid of life’s end. I am afraid of being alone, and I am afraid of being with people. I am afraid of hatred and I am afraid of love. Truth and beauty frighten me even as I delight […]

My Own Desert Places

They cannot scare me with their empty places Between stars — on stars where no human race is. I have it in me so much nearer home To scare myself with my own desert places. – Robert Frost, “Desert Places” One temptation is to think the wilderness is without — a place, a geography, a […]

Enjoying an Abnormal Normal

When a friend calls to me from the road And slows his horse to a meaning walk, I don’t stand still and look around On all the hills I haven’t hoed, And shout from where I am, “What is it?” No, not as there is a time to talk. I thrust my hoe in the […]

As I Have Loved You…

When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look […]

The Problem with Grandpa’s Church

After World War II, through the 1950’s and especially in the 60’s-70’s and since, America’s culture has been more and more dominated by youth and youth-oriented themes, fashions, preferences, and images. An entire “youth culture” was created and its energy has filled the land. Churches, especially those who have bought in to church growth philosophies, […]

Wanted: An Adult Faith in a Youth Culture

It struck me the other day that one of the reasons I have returned to mainline religion is because it’s so, well, adult. Contrary to what I hear around me so often, I want my grandfather’s church. I know, I know… there are characteristics of that old, traditional church that are not desirable: many had […]

A Rich World of Life and Stories and Friends and Imagination

They say you can’t go home again, and they’re right. But you can visit, and sometimes that’s enough. Last weekend, I went back to Galesburg, Illinois for the first time in over forty years. Our family lived there from the time I was a baby until I completed fourth grade. We lived in three different […]