I love it when people feed me stories that feed my obsession for “intensely local” ministry. This week, I heard a story that was a perfect fit for what can happen when we ask God to give us opportunity to make a difference in our neighbors lives. Here’s the story. John and Jessie are new … More Intensely Local: A Cooking Lesson
I had just taken some boxes of books to be mailed and was listening to NPR on the car radio. The program was a discussion about assisted suicide or death with dignity or “control over how I will die.” It is all the same thing. We just come up with new ways to describe it, … More I’ll Buy My Own Ticket
Showing Up There is a text in the book of Acts that I have always found intriguing: (See Acts 17:26) 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, God appoints the times and the boundaries of all the peoples … More Chaplain to the Neighborhood
Years ago, I started using brief snippets of time to challenge people I met with some new thoughts. One of my favorites was to use those brief moments at the counter when I was ordering or paying for the meal at a local restaurant. One day, at a Portillo’s in a Chicago suburb, there were … More “What are You Living For?”
It is a picture of the church. Read Mark 6:17-20 and see the American church in the tragedy that is Herod. Here’s the passage: 17 For Herod himself had sent and had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, because he had married her. 18 For John had been saying … More The Tragedy of Herod
Sunday is for Challenge For four mostly wonderful years, I lived among the farmers of Iroquois County, IL. We loved our time in Watseka, IL among the corn, soybeans and winter wheat. This short story about a farmer discussing a lush soybean field and what believers in Christ can learn from it in the care … More Deepening the Soul Like a Good Soy Bean Crop
There are so many heroes and heroines that time has forgotten related to the gospel’s advance and the proclamation of the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12). Tonight my bride and daughter and two grandchildren started to watch the Ingrid Bergman movie, “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness”. It is the story of Gladys Aylward, a … More Other Heroines Forgotten in Time
Tuesday is for Thinking It was almost two decades ago. I was attending a local pastors forum. Around the circle were 40 pastors, almost all of whom cared for congregations of between 500 and 1,000 regular worship attenders. Sprinkled in among them were two or three “mega church” pastors. The idea was to learn from … More Your Local Church is Gone. Would Anyone Notice?
More than a few will judge me for revealing that I am a Tom Clancy fan. So be it. The original books were filled with so much submarine tech and knowledge that, as the son of an ex-navy medic, I always found them fascinating. Before Clancy died, he and his books had become a cottage … More Many Pastors Leave Their Churches with Similar Thoughts
I am cleaning out file cabinets of former classes I have taught. It’s one of those tasks aging parents ought to do because most of what we have accumulated through a lifetime of ministry and life are of little value to our children. And frankly, at this point in my life, they are of little … More “A Picture is Worth a 1,000 Words.” Really?