What About the War on Christmas?

What About the War on Christmas?

Each year I’m saddened and yes, annoyed, by the supposed war on Christmas and responses to it. Every time someone can’t set up a manger scene on public land, or is even forced to share the public space with other groups, there’s an outcry. It’s a war on Christmas! Never mind that there are, in almost every case, plenty of churches nearby, where such a scene could be placed with at least as much visibility. Or someone is wished “Happy…

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Elect a Nurse as the Next President

Elect a Nurse as the Next President

93 percent An annual U.K. survey asking people whom they trusted most found nurses absurdly credible, with 93 percent of people trusting them. [The Guardian] {My source: FiveThirtyEight.com} This is for my sister, mother, wife, several aunts on both sides of the family, and a bunch of friends who are nurses. Also for my daughter who is in training to be a nurse. I don’t know what the figure would be in the U. S., but I bet it would…

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Toward a Strategy of Worship

Toward a Strategy of Worship

Over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking a great deal about strategy in connection with Christian living. It started when I was invited to preach the Sunday after Veterans Day, which was also the Sunday after the election. I used the first chapter of Colossians to talk about our identity and the means that we, as Christians, have to impact our culture. We have an identity in Christ, an authority in Christ, and a mission in Christ. The key…

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Credit to One of My Teachers

Credit to One of My Teachers

Today in Sunday School class the teacher referred back to challenge I had presented to the calls some time ago. I had suggested reading the prophecies of Isaiah, particularly 2nd Isaiah (40-55) without our “Jesus colored glasses.” I don’t suggest this not because I think Christian readings are inappropriate, but rather because it helps give you a sense of history. Place yourself as best as you can into the place and time from which the prophecies were spoken. Our Sunday…

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Videos: Taking a Break from Paul

Videos: Taking a Break from Paul

I’m going to take a break from my Thursday night studies on Paul and resume them on the first Thursday evening of the new year, January 5, 2017. I simply have too many things to complete for the publishing business before the end of the year and do not have the time to prepare properly. I hope you’ll join me in January!

Surprise: Fixing Is Harder than Criticizing

Surprise: Fixing Is Harder than Criticizing

“The flaws in Obamacare are obvious to me. The solutions are much harder,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). (Source: Politico.) As a restatement of the obvious, that quote leaves little to be desired. Just so. I too can find plenty to criticize in the Affordable Care Act, which is not surprising for a law that is really a patchwork of compromises. That it is called “Obamacare” is a testimony to how we like to simplify things and find one person…

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Recounts: The Scripts Continue to Change Hands

Recounts: The Scripts Continue to Change Hands

Political discussion in this country seems to have somewhat more in common with trash talk among sports fans than it does with any form of constructive dialogue. OK. Now that I’ve practiced understatement, let’s look at the current state of political talk. I had hopes that I might find my Facebook feed more palatable after the election. No, not so much. I really enjoy carefully thought out pieces written by people I disagree with. I can’t stand trash talk, even…

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Dona Nobis Pacem

Dona Nobis Pacem

I find myself unable to sleep. I was temporarily overwhelmed by something simple: the cast of M*A*S*H singing the song “Dona Nobis Pacem.” It’s a little thing, and somebody’s bound to say, “It’s a TV show. It’s fiction,” but last night what got to me was the thought that it has been 25 years since I served in the first gulf war, and our young men and women are still dying over there. I had to leave the room to…

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Perspectives on Paul: The Formation of Paul’s Gospel

Perspectives on Paul: The Formation of Paul’s Gospel

I’m resuming/continuing my study this evening, looking at Lesson Two from Galatians: A Participatory Study Guide by Dr. Bruce Epperly. I’ll be sticking closely with the lesson itself tonight, discussing how Paul was chosen and learned. I will doubtless discuss a number of these topics from related materials in other epistles. Here’s the viewer: