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 […]

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 […]

Percolating an upside-down Kingdom

  Eleven year old Emily headed out with her mother to share “Take Your Daughter to Work Day.”  She met judges, assistants, and clerks who worked with her mom and especially enjoyed helping the security guards scan courthouse visitors. She went to some meetings but had to sit out others, so she walked around the […]

Priscilla, put on hat when you preach!

Somewhere during college, I began struggling to fit the pieces together. Growing up as literalist, I found it harder and harder to work the Biblical puzzle. For example, how can Paul say in 1 Timothy 2:11-12, “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent,” when […]