MONDAY MEDITATION: The Trimming Season (July 22, 2019)

John 15:1-9 I’m writing this at the end of the first week of my retirement. It’s been a really weird week. The week before had been a flurry of activity and a jumble of emotions. Emails, phone calls, meetings, a retirement party, preparations for the new pastor, all leading up to final Sunday worship services …

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MONDAY MEDITATION: Peace in Stress? (July 15, 2019)

Philippians 4:4-9 I believe in the value of stress busters. Massage therapy. Aromatherapy. Guided imagery. Meditation. Exercise. Vacation. All are good. They recharge your batteries. However, once you roll off the massage table, you still have to negotiate rush hour traffic. Stress hasn’t left. “Are you finished?” it seems to ask. “Now, let’s get back …

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Does Our Religious Orientation Choose Us?

Light shone down from heaven in a seminary classroom one afternoon. It’s stuck with me all these years. The theology prof provided this moment of clarity when he said that there are basically only two theological orientations. We all fall, in varying degrees, into one of them. He called one “redemptionist.” This is the group …

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MONDAY MEDITATION: The Sin That Easily Distracts (July 8, 2019)

Hebrews 12:1-3 The writer of Hebrews imagines the Christian life to be a race. He warns that runners should be wary of “the sin that easily distracts” (NRSV, footnote). It’s like you’re running that race and then, just when you see the finish line ahead, you start glancing around. Who’s gaining on me? What’s my …

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MONDAY MEDITATION: Holding Hands Before Holding Convictions (July 1, 2019)

Friends: I’m starting a “Monday Meditation.” If you’re subscribing to my blog, you’ll receive it in your inbox early Monday morning. It is a brief, practical reflection on a scripture that I hope will start your week on a positive note. My blog posts, dealing with current issues, will still come out about every 2-3 …

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No Pure Place to Stand

The Missouri Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church recently completed its three-day meeting in Springfield. We elected delegates, lay and clergy, who will represent us at the 2020 General Conference, the policy making body of our denomination. The people we elected (with surprising quickness) all endorse full inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community into the …

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Memorial Day: When You Can’t Say Thanks Enough

I’m writing this on Memorial Day, 2019. Soon I’ll be offering an invocation at a community service where we commemorate the sacrifices of those who’ve died for our country. This has caused me to reflect on the relationships I’ve had with veterans and their families through the years. I remember the World War Two veterans. …

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