Riot in a padded cell…

There were (are) riots in Baltimore. In an press conference on April 28, the Mayor of Baltimore – Stephanie Rawlings-Blake – said, It’s a very delicate balancing act because while we tried to make sure that [the police] were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those whoContinue reading “Riot in a padded cell…”

Choose who you listen to…

In my experience as a pastor for over two decades, I’ve learned many lessons. Here’s the one on my mind today. A strong, strong, strong, majority of people are people of good will. They will receive you and your story – both the negative and positive aspects – and respond in honest, truthful, loving, supportiveContinue reading “Choose who you listen to…”

Does it matter if we’re Mennonite? (a serious, in-house, question)

Does it matter? I’m knee deep in transcribing interviews, coding survey data and writing (Dmin thesis). It’s a bit like herding cats, only the cats are ideas and insights that have to be captured, and written down, and put into a coherent form. In the midst of all that, a question popped into my mind.Continue reading “Does it matter if we’re Mennonite? (a serious, in-house, question)”

Live long and prosper | The death of Leonard Nimoy and my imagination

A while back I was listening to local talk radio. The question they were discussing was, “Is there a famous person, that you don’t know personally, that – if they died – you would cry?” I’ve had some interesting conversations with people around that question.  At the time, I couldn’t think of anyone in particular. ThenContinue reading “Live long and prosper | The death of Leonard Nimoy and my imagination”

God compels us to try

Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too oftenContinue reading “God compels us to try”

Do my ears itch? | An exploration of the use of 2 Timothy 4:3

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. – 2 Timothy 4:3 (NIV) 2 Timothy 4:3 is often pulled out in the church inContinue reading “Do my ears itch? | An exploration of the use of 2 Timothy 4:3”

A soft rant (delivered in love)

I hesitate to say this out loud, but it is something that bothers me every time it happens.  My words here are an honest reflection on how a particular comment I receive (semi-regularly) feels.  My words are not meant as a slam to those who make this – or similar – comments.  Those who sayContinue reading “A soft rant (delivered in love)”

“We’re not your parents church!”

I got my start in vocational Christian ministry in 1993.  Back then people who started new, seeker-driven, contemporary churches would say, “We’re not your parents church!” That’s a perfect message to Baby Boomers who had experienced the institutional church as dull, with nothing to say and an old way of saying it. We’re not yourContinue reading ““We’re not your parents church!””