To Wound the Heart

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The Argentinian Poet Antonio Porchia has written, “To wound the heart is to create it.”  That is a truth that is difficult to embrace.  We try to protect our hearts.  We guard them.  We don’t want to have them wounded in any way. No one knows how to hurt each …

What Is Lent?

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I grew up attending mostly very conservative, evangelical churches.  We did not participate in the season of Lent.  Some of my Sunday School teachers and youth group leaders implied that Lenten practices like giving up chocolate for 40 days or praying a certain set of prayers every day was “Catholic,” …

Following Jesus?

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Jesus taught, “Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you.” This is not an easy thing to do. We have a hard enough time loving each other. I’m a preacher’s kid. I went to church for the first time when I was six days old. One of the complaints …

That’s Not in the Bible!

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That’s Not in the Bible! There are several popular sayings in our culture that are attributed to the Bible but are not found in the pages of that sacred and holy book.  Some are relatively harmless and kind of helpful, too, like Cleanliness is next to Godliness.  Being clean is …

Grace for Christmas

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My father-in-law, Roy Pomeroy was, like Mary’s husband Joseph, a carpenter. A few years ago Roy flew out from his home in Oregon to help us build some book shelves and a deck. Ok, he built the shelves and the deck. I tried to help but he kept me out …

Coffee with Santa

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I met Santa years ago. After working late at one of the malls on a Saturday night he came to worship.  After the service I invited him for a cup of coffee in the Social Hall.  I asked him how things were going.  He told me about a little girl …

Give Thanks

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   Tis the season for gratitude.  Here is a list of just a few of the many people and things I am grateful for this year.   The most generous congregation I have ever known, Country Club Christian Church.  You all are amazing.  From the volunteers who work with the …

From Port Au Prince, Haiti

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From the perspective of riding in a van through the narrow streets of Port Au Prince, this country can easily appear to be not much more than a chaotic mess.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Once we stepped out of our van we discovered a resilient and hard …

And It Was Dark

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My boys are five years apart in age but both of them, at the age of three, loved the book, Can’t You Sleep Little Bear?  Little Bear is wide awake.  He is afraid of the dark.  He asks his daddy for a night light.  Daddy bear brings a light, then …

Be Quick to Listen

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Two thousand years ago, James’ advice to the church is still pretty good: “Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger…” This is street theology. This advice comes from everyday living in the real world. James is not worried about the meaning of life or the …

The End Is a Beginning

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The end is a beginning but it is not always an easy thing to face.  Endings often bring confusion, sadness and pain.  They symbolize loss and disorientation. Anne Lamott says that her two favorite prayers are “Help me” and “thank you.”  I like that but sometimes I feel like my …

Between a Rock and a Pile of Sand

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A few years ago we decided to renovate our kitchen and family room.  As the work began we noticed a slight warping in the kitchen floor.  We went under the house to see if we could diagnose the problem. Sure enough, we found a large support beam with a crack …

Holy Rest

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The Ten Commandments seem to pop up in the culture every now and then. There have been legal and religious fights over putting them on display in a courthouse or on the lawn in front of the court or in schools or, well, whatever.  It all gets rather boring. I’ve  …

Practicing Faith

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I practice prayer.  At times I find it dull and boring. Sometimes it feels like a terrible waste of time. After all, there are emails to answer and phone calls to make and meetings to attend and memos to write.  But I do it anyway because I have found that …

When Life Is Difficult

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Peter wrote to the early church, “rejoice in so far as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed.” I do not normally put rejoice and suffering in the same sentence.  But there is a serious lesson …