Saturday, May 25, 2019
~ for those who have too much integrity to preach someone else's sermon!

The Liver Sermon

The Liver Sermon

My grandparents on my mother’s side were German immigrants. When they hit America just before the war, they had no money, no kids and no English. But Grossmama and Grosspapa had plenty of food, especially spuds, which they heaped high on the kitchen table of their southern Idaho farmhouse. We kids liked to visit our…

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Acquiring More of Less

Acquiring More of Less

The 96-mile trek of the West Highland Way ends at a pedestrian shopping plaza in the city of Fort William in northern Scotland. After six days of walking 15-20 miles per day up and down Munros, traversing moorlands, viewing mystical and jaw-dropping scenery and reading place names that seemed straight out of a Tolkien novel,…

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Getting a Word from the Lord

Many mysterious things happen in the life of a preaching pastor — like why the mike fails to work on Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday morning; why the best-prepared sermon often falls flatter than roadkill on I-95; and conversely, why those sermons cobbled together at 6 a.m. Sunday are so often blessed with the fire…

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A Normandy Story

This June we will remember the 75th anniversary of D-Day, when the Allies stormed the beaches of Normandy to liberate Europe from the Nazis during World War II. It’s sure to be a somber day of remembrance, especially now that most of the veterans of that terrible day are gone. Last summer while on renewal…

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Living Stones

One of the things you notice as you walk through the various cathedrals and abbeys in Europe is that there are a lot of people buried under the floors — thousands, in fact. Westminster Abbey in London, for example, is essentially an indoor graveyard with the remains of dozens of famous and infamous people tucked…

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The Cross Checkpoint

Not long ago, I returned from a two-week trip to Israel and the Palestinian West Bank with our youngest daughter, Deborah. She had never been to this part of the world, and it was my fifth trip, so naturally, she thought I’d be the perfect person to show her around. While there, I was able…

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When Holy Communion Isn’t So Holy

When Holy Communion Isn’t So Holy

One Sunday recently, a youngish man, thirtysomething, father of two girls, asked me if the communion bread had any nuts. “We have some nuts in the congregation,” I said, “but not in the bread.” He smiled graciously at this lame attempt at humor. I went on to say that I would confirm this and would…

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Just Play, Man!

Just Play, Man!

Playing the drums has been a lifelong passion of mine. From the time I picked up my first pair of sticks and a rubber practice pad in elementary school, I have been fascinated with making the sticks bounce, learning the rudiments and eventually transitioning to a secondhand drum set my mom had purchased from a…

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Tree of Life Synagogue Shootings: So What Now?

The shooting that took place Saturday, October 27, at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, was, like all of the mass shootings we live through, an assault by hatred upon hope. I say hope, because most people of goodwill, and certainly people of faith, live with hope and by hope. Every day in Pittsburgh…

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Family Stories

As someone with a passion for history, I’ve always been interested in genealogies. Maybe it’s because as an adopted child with no knowledge of my birth parents, I’ve always been chasing my own history —where my family originated, what the stories are, etc. Some recent developments have helped, however. I managed to get a copy…

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