Let Understanding Preceded Cristicism

What do you think of when you think family? For me it’s the people that live in my house: Tricia, Kaitlyn and Adeline. Thinking of family in this way is a fairly recent shift. Even the name nuclear family is a tip of the hat to this. Nuclear wasn’t a word until the...

NV

Do not envy the wicked, do not desire their company; for their hearts plot violence,     and their lips talk about making trouble. You had me at “Do not envy.” Those three words, just one in Hebrew, are really the way to go. It’s a good rule to live by. But, the next...

Solomon the Bartender

“If you find four Lutherans, there will be a fifth.” That’s a joke a Baptist told me. Then again, “What do you say to a Baptist at the liquor store? Nothing and avoid eye contact, if you don’t look at each other you weren't there.” It was a Lutheran told me that one....

Are You a Guide?

When Donald Miller wrote Blue Like Jazz it sold a gajillion copies. A filmmaker called and wanted to turn it into a movie. As they did Don figured out how to tell a better story. Since he's a writter, he wrote A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live...

Benefit of the Doubt

There’s a story in Debt: the First 5,000 Years about a father who keep a ledger of everything he ever spent on his son. When his son graduated and moved out his father gave the ledger to him. Reading this, two thoughts hit me: That dad was dedicated. I have an app as...

Listen up.

Just before the first of the year, we paid a bill that the insurance company ended up covering. So in June we got an unexpected refund. That same week, we got an bill. It was unexpected too. The bill turned out to be a billing hiccup but, the refund was 5 times bigger...

Choose Happy

The first base coach waved her on. He shouldn’t have. This was T-ball after all. Sara slid into second -- but not the way you are supposed to slide in baseball. More like a baby duck on ice. She scraped her left leg and right hand. Her next time at bat, Sara wanted to...

I need a lexicon

I think I need a lexicon. Back in grade school, it was third maybe fourth grade, a teacher had us keep one in a spiral bound notebook. Mine was red. The first line of Saying 15 has two words that would be included in mine. Saying 15 Do not let your heart envy sinners,...

We Didn’t Spank

Kaitlyn’s crib converted into a toddler bed. It almost filled the tiny den that served as her room when we lived in Texas. She couldn’t have been older than 3 because that’s when we moved back to Indiana. One day, Tricia found her standing with her nose in the corner....

It will be hard.

This blew my mind. Try to say the color of the following words, not what the letters spell but, the color itself. red purple green blue orange yellow blue orange red yellow purple green orange green blue purple red yellow yellow blue purple orange red purple That was...

We All End Up Orphans.

Something changes when a parent dies. Age doesn’t matter so much. At least that’s what the other orphans told. I was over 40. I couldn’t hear them. I’m a pastor and funerals are part of the gig. This funeral was for my dad. I stayed with the casket as they lowered his...

Sucker Punch

I started my freshman year in High School with a massive overbite. My orthodontist made me wear a bionator. It made me spit when I talked. My spitting offended someone, or he was just trying to impress a girl. Either way, as I stood at the bus stop he sucker punched...

Score

I know April showers are supposed to bring May flowers, but the weather doesn’t always pay attention to the calendar. Outside weddings in early May are risky. It’s 50/50 at best. Steve and Sasha turned out to have a beautiful day. Years ago I abandoned traditional...

Chasing Sugar

Andy’s mom let him have popsicles, kool-aide and soda. My mom gave us carob instead of chocolate in our Easter baskets. So I chased sugar. I planned the time when I was an adult and I could eat and drink what I wanted. My scheme was to add just a drop of water to an...

Interviewing with Knives

I’d been trained to sit on one side of the interview table. I became a Senior Pastor and suddenly I was on the other side of the table. That day, one of my mentors gave me this advise: “Hire good people and get out of the way.” Turns out, Saying 7 speaks to both sides...

Do the Work

The gym is a bit like church. Everybody there is there for different reasons. Sometimes, it’s easier at the gym. I'm starting to figure out what kind of workout someone will do simply by looking at what they are wearing. I’m not batting a thousand, but I’m getting...

I ❤Justin Bieber (at least part of his theology)

My brother and I were really into trading cards for a while. Actually all the kids at the bus stop were. It wasn’t as much about collecting them, as trading them. No matter what card I had, I wanted a different one. That was nearly 20 years ago; but Pokémon shows how...

Risky Lending

Saying 4 Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you. Proverbs 22:26-27 Brad hadn’t eaten when we met up at Taco Bell. He didn’t order anything either. I scarfed...

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