You’ll Love What You Hear

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While on retreat a few weeks ago with a group known as The Desert Brothers one of the guys showed the rest of us an ad from a magazine.  It was a promo piece for Bose earphones.  The ad said: you’ll love what you hearand what you don’t. Excitedly he …

When God Moves In

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Elizabeth Weil observes what is happening in the world of young people.  In order to get ready for these new days she writes, “Prepare to feel obsolete. It’s the first step to moving ahead.” The first time I read that I put a question mark in the margin.  The next …

I'm Making 3 Stewardship Pledges

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A friend of mine in ministry was leading a stewardship campaign. He told his congregation about the studies of Elizabeth Kubler Ross. She was a trailblazer in the study of how people die. Some of her work seems simple now but she was a pioneer. When she reviewed the thousands …

After Easter

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Easter asks us to name what we worry about and bring it to God. Easter asks us to face the things that we are afraid of the most (like death and taxes!) and place them on a cross shaped altar.  Easter says “forget about being in control and give yourself …

We Take the Bible Seriously, Not Literally

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The Bible is an amazing collection of writings.  They were collected over hundreds of years.  Reading the Bible thoughtfully reveals that there is a wide variety of styles and forms within this sacred treasury.  One can find history, poetry, hymns, letters, sermons, legal documents, and more.  Within the books themselves …

Rich Toward God

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Have you heard the story of a man who is dying at home in bed? He could smell the aroma of chocolate chip cookies – his favorite – baking in the kitchen. He was on his death bed but he wanted just one more cookie before he died. He crawled …

Temptation, Sin and Holy Laughter

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My friend Russell, a preacher, says that every one of us deals, every moment of every day, with great temptation. That temptation is hurting us; that temptation is killing the church. The temptation he is talking about is probably not what you might think. The temptation he has in mind …

More on the Modern Church

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My Feb. 12 sermon, “The Modern Church,” received a great amount of comment. I am grateful for the many kind words. Many of our younger members have contacted me with their thoughts and ideas on how we might move as a congregation into this new era. I am grateful for …

Mid-Winter Reading

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The weather outside has been delightful but the long winter nights have been the perfect set up for reading some terrific books. Here’s what’s gotten my attention lately. The Naked Now, by Richard Rohr, is one of the best books I have read in the last couple of years. He …

Confessions of a Preacher

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I’ve spent a lot of time the last couple of weeks working on sermon series ideas for the new year.  Lara, our Director of Communications, and Lauren, our Director of Church Growth, were very helpful in this process.  They let me know what sounded interesting and what sounded like an …

Just Be You

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“Just be you” were the words John spoke to me a few years ago when I went into the soundproof room to record a radio ad for the Christmas Eve service.  That’s pretty good advice for most of us, most of the time but it was a little strange in …

Help and Give Thanks

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Writer Anne Lamott says that the most important prayers are “Thank you,” and  “Help.” There is great truth in her simple proclamation. I dare say most of us, including myself, have a hard time with these sincere prayers.  One of the most difficult things I had to learn to do …

The Spirituality of Exercise

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The man in the weight room lifting weights next to me looked like he was about 85 years old, give or take a couple of years in either direction.  He was seated, lifting ten pound barbells over his head. He was fit and trim.  Like me he was doing a …

Peter Gomes: Pastor, Preacher, Prophet

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The Rev. Prof. Peter Gomes died on Mon., Feb. 28. He was 68 years old. You may remember that he lectured and preached here at Country Club Christian Church on  Jan. 20 and 21, 2007. One week after his death I am still grieving this terrible loss. Just two weeks …

Best Picture

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My wife Julie and I love going to movies. The first movie we saw together was the original Star Wars. During our years in grad school we couldn’t afford to eat out at restaurants or attend concerts. However, we found that student discounts at movie theaters combined with matinee prices …