God is in your corner!

A few months after my dad died, my brother John and I sat by the fire pit telling tales when John mused, “You know, I was thinking that one of those people who would bail you out of jail is now gone. There are not too many of those!.”  John’s words stirred my grief, so […]

A Love Letter to The People Called Methodist

Thirty years ago, I could not imagine I would fall in love with the United Methodist Church. The first time I visited Centenary UMC in Lexington, KY, I lined up a second “more theologically acceptable” church for us to visit later that morning. Connie, my spouse, had to employ some strategic guilt to get me […]

Love gets to know people

I have had a few nicknames conveyed by coaches and youth groups – Sledgehammer, Turquoise, Dr. P, Abraham Lincoln (it’s a long story about seminary Greek and a blizzard), Dr. P, P, P-Funk, Triple P and one of my favorite swim team coaches called my brother “Purdue” and me “Purdon’t”.   If you had a spiritual […]

Imagining a playful faith

When our unchurched friends think about the Bible, they often picture a compendium of  “thou-shalt-nots”, “oughts”, and flat out “nos”. Deuteronomy 16 offers an unexpected command to give ourselves over to celebration, to feasting, and to renewal. The Passover Feast rules revisits God’s weekly calendar: “on the seventh day will be a celebration for the […]

Generousity- living into Grace

The Psalmist sings:  “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens!  Praise God, all of you who are God’s messengers! Praise God, Sun and moon, and all of you bright stars!  Praise God, You mountains, every little hill,  sing praises, you fruit trees, every cedar tree sings praise!  Praise God, you young people and […]

Praying by doing the things Jesus did

“Lord, teach us to pray!”  This week, I somehow locked onto the disciples needing to ask Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” In Matthew, Jesus teaches the basics of prayer right after calling the disciples. Luke goes through 11 of 24 chapters before a disciple asks Jesus to teach them about prayer. Luke’s order is […]

Hearing the harder Word that can heal us

30 years ago, about two years into our 34 years of marriage, Connie, the dog, and I were watching football on TV.  I enjoy hollering at the players, the referees, and the commentators. Connie and our dogs have found this ridiculous. Nevertheless, Connie is fun to watch football with. During college, Connie taught cheerleading at […]