Hope sees people- not as problems or positions

Have you ever seen a photograph of a beautiful Cardinal or a brilliant Blue Jay perched on a branch eating a berry- perhaps, on a Christmas card? Hang onto that tranquil image as you imagine walking to your garden. It is early in the morning but late in the berry season. You come, coffee cup […]

Jesus Brings A Hopeful Sign

  Walls can do great things. Walls hold in the heat during winter and hold up the roof that  keeps out the rain. Sometimes people put up walls to keep others away! Signs on those walls might read: “Keep out”, “Private”, “No Trespassing”, or “Members Only.” How do you feel when someone  tells you to […]

Finding Hope by dying to consumerism

I grew up in a different theological zip code than Belmont, as my childhood church served up occasional samples of hell-fire, with a dose of fear, and a pinch of guilt. We never canceled Wednesday children’s choir for Halloween.  Instead, we hosted alternate fall festivals, carefully never saying “Halloween.” While dating Connie some 30 years […]

You can’t be a Christian by yourself

Imagine, Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Christ faces the cross: the complex, entrenched, religiously motivated cumulative hatred of all humanity in one symbol act.   Will he fight, flee, or make a new pathway through love? The weight of a sinful world presses down upon him.   Who is with Jesus in the garden?  Will […]

change your life’s filter

My friend, John, is a rocket scientist; yes, literally a rocket scientist.  John has degrees in Aeronautical Engineering and is a distinguished professor the University of Tennessee Space Institute In Tullahoma, TN.  John told a version of this story to a group of high school seniors. John was working with NASA on a multi-year review […]

shaping our lives: decision by decision

A few weeks ago, we took our family plus two on vacation to New York City. While there we visited several churches, even paying $42 for the six of us to tour a certain anonymous grand cathedral. While admiring the impressive grandeur of the sanctuary, I zeroed in on a stone fresco depicting Christ’s Easter […]

We need prophetic and traditional voices

Over 30 years ago, I left my childhood denomination and joined the Methodist church. When people asked me, “Why did you become a Methodist?, I usually answered with one word: “Grace.” In seminary, when I read about Wesley’s idea of “being made perfect in love”, I wrote “this is idiotic. perhaps blasphemous” in the margins […]