Jason’s Upside Down World

Jason’s Upside Down World

If asked to identify a favorite New Testament character, most of us go with the predictable and obvious: Barnabbas, Mary, Nathaniel, Peter, Lydia, Timothy, Phoebe. You know the list. Let me remind you of an obscure character who can remind us of an important truth...
Learning to See All Over Again

Learning to See All Over Again

Right after I turned forty years old I went to see my optometrist.  We were moving from Little Rock to Wilmington and my very budget conscious wife insisted I should go since for a few more weeks we would still have vision coverage through her job.  Nothing was really...
Tantalus, the Search for Perfection, and Grace

Tantalus, the Search for Perfection, and Grace

My education in preaching aligns with the tradition of excellence in manuscripts.  It is the tradition of the crafted phrase and the choice of the perfect word at the perfect time.  It is the tradition which includes Fosdick, Buttrick, and Claypool.  After using an...
7 Ways to Encourage Those Who Hear the Call

7 Ways to Encourage Those Who Hear the Call

While editing the recently published book, Call Stories, I had the privilege of reading dozens of unique testimonies of women and men God had called to pastoral ministry.These stories prompted me to revisit my own call experience at the early age of 16. I am grateful...
What the Gloomy Predictions about Church Overlook

What the Gloomy Predictions about Church Overlook

Are you tired of the doomsday rhetoric about the church in America? Have you noticed that the bandwagon of those predicting the imminent demise of congregational life is filled to capacity? Are you ready to tune out another diatribe proclaiming that the church ship is...
Bullies in the Church

Bullies in the Church

I had the privilege of volunteering in a local elementary school in its drug awareness and violence prevention program.  The fourth graders were quick to identify behaviors that victimized others; we talked at length about bullying in the school and identified...
Hold Your Applause and Show Your Appreciation

Hold Your Applause and Show Your Appreciation

On Easter Sunday at Wilshire our Sanctuary Choir sang two great choruses from Handel’s Messiah, “Worthy is the Lamb” paired with “Hallelujah.”  In conversation with our worship planning team we had placed these selections after the...
Building the Church

Building the Church

Cathedrals have been on my mind in recent weeks. I was one of millions who watched in horror as the famed Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burned on April 15. The world has since offered an outpouring of support for the people of Paris and the damaged structure that lies...