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 …

A Wonderful New Small Group Study Guide

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My old college buddy Bob Cornwall is one of the smartest guys I know.  He’s written a study guide on the book of Ephesians that would be an excellent small group resource. Bob combines the mind of a scholar and the heart of a pastor in this participatory study guide …

Christmas Reality

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Have you ever noticed that some of the most popular Christmas carols deal with very serious issues? We sang the hauntingly beautiful Advent carol, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, on the first Sunday of Advent. It calls on God to put to flight “death’s deep shadows.” I suppose the somber …

Holy Surprise

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Several years ago I participated in a ministers’ study group. We met once a month to hear one another’s sermons. We scheduled our presentations a month ahead of the church’s calendar. That meant November was the month to hear sermons on Advent and Christmas. I remember one particularly grey, bleak …

Cold, Snow and Prayer

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Last December I mentioned in a sermon that I was hoping for a White Christmas. I had never experienced one before. Gary Lezak, my favorite TV meteorologist, had been hinting that the possibility of significant snow on Christmas Day was beginning to look good. On Christmas Eve I saw Gary …

What is the Purpose of Life?

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Someone asked me the other day, “What is the purpose of life?” I said, “The purpose of life is love. Period.” Being a preacher I can’t really stop at two short sentences so allow me to elaborate:

Don't Stop Believin'

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I was born in 1958, the same year that the San Francisco Giants began playing baseball in the city by the Bay.  My birthplace was Los Angeles but my dad, a long time New York Giants baseball fan, never gave a single thought about pulling for the Dodgers.   I cannot …

On Being Real

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Sunday afternoon is usually a time for me to decompress. Julie and I like to go to lunch on The Plaza or sometimes we pick up a light lunch, grab our tennis rackets and head out to the courts for a few games. There are other times when we head …