A Requiem For Last Words

Years ago, I had a District Superintendent in the United Methodist Church -- a position which functions, more or less, as a pastor to the pastors -- tell a group of us assembled clergy:  "When you want to get the last word in . . . don't." And I was thinking, "But I...

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Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Storm Stories In Scripture

In the wake of Harvey and Irma, and in anticipation of Jose and Katia, today seems like an appropriate time to take stock of the storm stories that dot the biblical landscape.  And seascape, for that matter. Here are my five favorite: Jesus' contrast of the wise and...

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Where Apples Fall, Week 2 — “Falling Apart”

The Where Apples Fall series is designed to reinforce our core value that faith starts at home. It's not like faith starts at church and you hope to bring it from church to your house; it's the reverse:  it starts at home and gets a weekly tuneup at church. All that...

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Animating Versus Illustrating

We preachers spend a lot of time and energy trying to bring life to our sermons through what have historically been called illustrations. Donald Grey Barnhouse, longtime pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, compiled the most famous collection of such...

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A White Supremacist’s Worst Nightmare …

A friend of mine is reading an early copy of Crash Test Dummies. Late last week, he sent me a text that said excitedly, "The prayer on page 41 of the book reminds me of that pastor who said that the biblical view of heaven is a white supremacist's worst nightmare!" I...

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Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Steely Dan Songs

In commemoration of the death this past weekend of Steely Dan's Walter Becker, here is a reprise of a 2014 post involving my five favorite Steely Dan songs. Interestingly, my original post drew a strong reaction from my mom -- she'd never heard of Steely Dan but could...

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Where Apples Fall Launch — “The Harder They Fall”

Where Apples Fall “Well, THAT apple sure didn’t fall from the tree!” It’s one of the most common ways of describing the incredible influence that parents have on their children.  Influence that parents wield knowingly and unknowingly, to great impact and to lasting...

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