Wednesday, June 20, 2018
~ for those who have too much integrity to preach someone else's sermon!

Give It a Rest

My colleague Bob Kaylor is on sabbatical this summer. You can read about it in this issue on page 7. I think he’s doing something important — for himself, his ministry and his church. He will be a better person for it. Let’s talk about sabbaticals for a moment. I read an article recently the…

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Cruise Control

Summer is movie blockbuster season, and there’s no movie I’m more excited about than the new Mission: Impossible — Fallout flick coming out at the end of July. It’s not because this is one of the greatest movie franchises ever (it’s not), nor is it because it has all the elements of a good spy thriller, including…

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The Apology

I am writing in the frenzied climate of the sexual abuse scandals hitting the political, media and entertainment industries. Big names are involved — Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, Charlie Rose, Louis C.K., Matt Lauer, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey and others. Many of those implicated or accused have admitted wrongdoing and offered some sort of apology. But,…

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The Preacher as Tour Guide

When I was in college, I took an involuntary vow of poverty and majored in history. One of my internships was working as a historical interpreter at Gettysburg National Military Park, site of the great Civil War battle in 1863. Every day of the summer, I gave a 90-minute walking tour of different parts of…

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Doctrinal Statements: Do We Need Them?

Recently, I visited over coffee with a pastor I had never met. I had anticipated the meeting eagerly. He was, after all, a recent arrival in the community, and I believed we might have a good, collegial relationship. I still hope for this. He asked a lot of questions about cultural, political and doctrinal matters.…

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When to Shut Up

As preachers, we spend most of our time trafficking in words. We’re constantly thinking about the words we’re going to speak to a congregation each week, which also means studying the Word of God in the words of the Scriptures. Then we deliver those words and receive the words of encouragement (or rebuke) from the…

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Designing for Joy

Joy is a hot topic right now. I base this conclusion on my extensive research — two books I read recently. They are: Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans (Knopf, 2017), and Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and…

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Adam and Eve Day

One of the most arduous tasks of the Christmas season at the Kaylor household is the annual assembly of the Christmas tree. We have had the same artificial tree for the last 22 years. We bought the tree because of my allergies. Now that it has 22 years of holiday dust on it, it’s probably…

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I See Dead People

“I see dead people.” —Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), The Sixth Sense (1999) The church calendar has two three-day seasons, if you can call them that. I don’t know what to call them, actually. Three successive days in which something really holy and mysterious is going on — that’s all I know. The first is Good…

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The Cutting Room Floor

So, you’ve just finished writing an epic sermon that is sure to cause your congregation not only to be overwhelmed by the Spirit, but also to marvel at your stunning command of biblical exegesis and the brilliance of your powerful illustrations. This one is definitely a home run — a grand slam, even. Problem is…

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