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Washing with Innocence in Conflict

Washing with Innocence in Conflict

“I wash my hands in innocence, and go around your altar, O Lord…” Psalm 26:6a A controversy arose in a congregation. It seems like such petty argument hundred years removed from occurrence. At the time, it inflamed the deepest passions of the most faithful people and divided a vibrant congregation into two warring parties. The problems began when the congregation could not agree on which seminary to support. The decision went from a conversation to a debate, from a debate to…

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Eclipsed Sight

Eclipsed Sight

“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side when our enemies attacked us, then they would have swallowed us up alive” Ps 124:2ff Yesterday, images of the solar eclipse dominated Facebook. They told an interesting story about individual encounters with the phenomena. The pictures captured our fascination with things that might happen. Will animals act crazy? Will cell phone reception be affected? In the days leading up to the eclipse, I heard someone marvel at how…

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“…so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy.” Romans 11: 31 “I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to win.” This frequently expressed line from reality tv feels like our president’s motto. He is doing very little to win friends, but that may have been his point from the start. Regardless, the constant bickering and name calling are spiritually exhausting. I feel like the girl in…

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Rocks Make Life a Group Effort

Rocks Make Life a Group Effort

“Listen! A sower went out to sow.” Mt 13:3 This past week I got the chance to return to Koinonia, a camp I served for many years. As I walked through the woods, I realized how much of its beauty and unique features I had forgotten. Rocks, once caught up in glaciers, found a resting place in these New York woods when the ice melted away. It is not the kind of soil conducive of growth, yet, the woods are…

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Water Balloons and Stupid Ideas for Jesus

Water Balloons and Stupid Ideas for Jesus

“But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.” 2 Cor. 4:7 “Talent Show” was the Thursday night activity at Camp Shalom. Staff were challenged to create an act to perform for the campers. It probably would have been more appropriate to call the evening, “Stupid Human Tricks.” For example, one staff’s “talent” was eating a pound of butter while the crowd…

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The Prison of Indifference

The Prison of Indifference

“…Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod…” Acts 12:11 Lately, I’ve been battling a feeling of indifference. What makes it worse is I’m often indifferent to my own feeling of indifference. Actually, let’s just say, it’s easy to avoid confronting the reality of my condition. It sounds better. The only time I’m forced to deal with it is when I see a person panhandling at an intersection in…

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God Called Me to Lambeau

God Called Me to Lambeau

“Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”  Gen. 12:1 In 1993, NFL superstar, Reggie White decided to leave the Philadelphia Eagles and test the free agent market. At the time, players of his magnitude stayed with their original team. It seemed crazy to think he would leave or that the team would let him go. Immediately after the decision was announced, White…

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P.D.P. (Public Display of Piety) is Okay

P.D.P. (Public Display of Piety) is Okay

“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them;” Mt 6: 1b Information about the 2018 youth gathering has been pouring into my office for months. The promotional material needs to get out early for a variety of reasons. Most of all, to remind church leaders to start raising money to afford the rising costs of the experience. The time, energy and costs related to hosting and participating in this event has made it a…

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Competing Thoughts on Heaven

Competing Thoughts on Heaven

“He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.” Mk 12:27 Yesterday was an interesting spiritual journey for me. One, I’m only beginning to process as I reflect on this scripture passage. In today’s reading, Jesus is questioned about heaven by some Sadducees, who do not believe in the resurrection of the dead. The dialogue matches the flow of my day. My morning began by leading a celebration of life service for a wonderful…

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Another Round of Hope

Another Round of Hope

“Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Mark 12:17 Several Sunday’s after church, I would go to a local bar to eat lunch. It was a rather unique place. In the center of the room was a large oval bar surrounded by bar stools. On one side of the bar were restaurant-style tables and booths. The other side of the bar was set-up like a diner. The three areas…

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