RANDOM MUSINGS FROM THE YEAR
on November 7th, 2022
The average tourist is experiencing an artificial and perhaps superficial presentation designed to please him. Travel allows us to avoid the exacting nature of real life: loving our next-door neighbor.How many of today’s acceptable practices will be considered immoral, abusive, or even criminal by future generations because of cultural and technological changes? Our descendants will ask “How co...
STODGY OLDER BROTHERS AND FUN-LOVING PRODIGALS
on October 31st, 2022
The word “prodigal” means “wastefully or recklessly extravagant, and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen the term used anywhere but in reference to Jesus’ parable of the ‘prodigal’ son (Luke 15.11-32).Prodigals have gregarious personalities that attract people. They are surrounded by friends. They find risk-taking to be thrilling and take lots of chances. Rules, for them, exist to be broken. Prod...
SYRUPY SWEET VENOM
on October 25th, 2022
The real division in America is over differences regarding who is the real enemy of our country that needs to be battled.WWI toppled Europe’s monarchies and Europe scrambled to become “democratic”. Many European thinkers favored a Marxist approach to democracy. Marxists see the great evil in the world as inequality, and material inequality in particular. The upper classes have more because they ...
BEWARE OF THE NICE DOGGIE
on October 19th, 2022
When I was a child my parents trained me in Christian behavior – to be patient and kind, to endure ridicule and repay it with kindness, and to show friendship to any child so ostracized and ridiculed. This was a solid moral foundation for my life. I was a good child. A nice child.Around middle-school, I endured bullying and repeatedly turned the other cheek, in obedience to what I had been taug...
AWFUL BEDSIDE MANNER
on October 11th, 2022
People are divided over Donald Trump perhaps more than any other President in history. So let me first address those of you who can’t believe that any Christian in his right mind could ever vote for Donald Trump.I didn’t vote for Trump in the primary. Early on I was vociferously against him. There is much about the man that isn’t likeable. Trump presents as an arrogant narcissist obsessed with...
PRELUDE TO NAVIGATING TRUMP
on October 4th, 2022
Perhaps one of the most divisive political figures in American history was President Donald Trump. Christians are divided about him. Some don’t see how a Christian could ever vote for Donald Trump while others don’t see how Christians could do anything but vote for Donald Trump.Let’s talk a little bit about navigating the problem of President Trump. (I’m pretty sure it’s going to take more than...
NAVIGATING DIVISION: VACCINES. PART 2
on October 1st, 2022
The government narrative through the pandemic has been that the virus is lethal and you will probably be hospitalized and may even die if you contract it, and the only way to contain it is locking down our businesses, keeping social distance, and wearing masks until a vaccine is created. Once we have a vaccine, we will be safe.Half the nation accepted this narrative and did what they were told an...
NAVIGATING DIVISION: VACCINES
on September 19th, 2022
Our church also navigated divisive issues regarding the covid vaccines. Let’s set the background for this issue first.Americans have for a long time been accustomed to FDA approval of medications taking a long time. FDA approval usually requires years of testing and review to guarantee that medications are safe for the public.Despite this extensive testing, some FDA-approved medications end up b...
WORSHIP WITHOUT MASKS
on September 12th, 2022
First we were told that President Trump was overreacting to COVID, that socializing in public was completely safe. Within weeks the story changed. We were told to fear for our lives, that two million Americans would die, and that President Trump was not doing enough to stop the virus.First we were told to sanitize because the virus spread via hard surfaces. A few weeks later we were told the vi...
WHEN IT WAS SAFE TO GO TO WALMART BUT NOT TO CHURCH
on September 6th, 2022
Let’s talk about a political division we navigated in our church a couple years ago: reopening amidst the pandemic. First, a few quick vignettes of some pertinent background… On January 31, 2020, President Trump banned flights from China, the known epicenter of the virus, to prevent it from spreading through the US. Candidate Joe Biden accused Trump of xenophobia. The virus was no big deal. At...
REWIND: WHY YOUR PASTOR WRITES ABOUT UNSPIRITUAL THINGS LIKE NAVIGATING POLITICAL DIVISION
on August 30th, 2022
After the 2016 election, I mentioned to an old friend that I had voted for Trump. That friend began ranting that I was a Nazi and a white supremacist (among other things). Reasoning got me nowhere. After several days of unsuccessfully attempting to smooth hostilities, I blocked that friend.I had another friend, this one a conservative, who attended the January 6th rally. While I was watching c...
FREEDOM, FACTION, AND FORCED OPINIONS
on August 23rd, 2022
America’s first “constitution”, the Articles of Confederation (1781-1789), failed because the central (Federal) government was too weak to maintain the union between the states. A new Constitution to form a more perfect union by providing for stronger central government was proposed in a series of eighty-five newspaper articles (The Federalist Papers). In the tenth article, James Madison says th...