More than a stranger

The story of the Good Samaritan is one of the best known of Jesus’ parables. It’s become something of a cliché, even. Just the other day, I read in the news that a person who stopped to give a ride to a young family that missed their bus was referred...

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What you don’t need

Do you have a basic “essentials” list of things you have to have with you when you go out the door? Your phone, of course, a wallet (or at least a debit card or some cash, maybe a driver’s license), keys, maybe a hat or coat, maybe a watch or...

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Inside Out

Jesus isn’t easy. I don’t know how many times I’ve said that so I’m just going to say, “ a lot.” Jesus isn’t easy. It can certainly be easy to say “I’m a follower of Jesus” or, even easier, “I’m a Christian,” but living it isn’t easy. It’s both one...

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A Story Worth Sharing

Have you ever seen or met someone possessed by demons? Yeah. You have. “Possessed by demons” or “having an unclean spirit” may be the biblical language, but whatever language you use, we’ve encountered them, even experienced them. Historically, we personified or anthropomorphized anything dark, malevolent or evil as a demon...

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It is a big deal!

For many christian churches, the Trinity is a big deal. It even gets its own Sunday in some churches, the Sunday after Pentecost. That’s unusual because most church festivals or observances commemorate a specific event or person and the Trinity is neither of those. Then there’s all the churches named...

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It’s in you

When I was little, one of the things that scared me most about church was the Holy Spirit. I know, you’d think there would be other stuff, and there was: when I was a kid, church was a pretty stern and solemn place where you had to be on your...

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A Whole New World

It’s Aladdin’s signature tune. A Whole New World won an Oscar and a Grammy award and you probably know the song, whether you saw the 1992 animated classic or are looking forward to seeing the new live-action one. It’s no spoiler to say that the song comes at the moment...

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Whole

There are over thirty stories of Jesus performing miracles in the four gospels. Some of those might be shared stories, but that’s just the ones we hear about. As the epilogue added to the end of John’s gospel suggests, there were lots more that: “if every one of them were...

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Keep reading to the end

Just what is a “christian,” exactly? You’d think I’d know, being a minister. I’m sure that I could dust off a long-winded definition I learned in seminary. Or Google it and see what the latest Wikipedia or dictionary entry says. But I guess I’ve become a little confused, so please...

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One word makes a difference

I think “belonging” is a hot topic in churches right now. I want to say that it always has been, but we did go through several centuries where obligation, requirement and fear were pretty powerful motivators. Maybe they still are, for some. But, in these days of declining attendance and...

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