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The Last Word

Jubilee is Coming!

“Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.” In a world that values productivity, work, and wealth above almost everything else – the command to stop working and look to God is a fairly radical thing. Eugene Peterson once wrote, “I don’t see any way out of it: If we are going to honor the Father,…

Bonfires and Illuminations!

A few years ago, Tammy and I started hosting a little family reunion at our house over the fourth of July. Just before the party our first year, I ran across a quote by John Adams about how Independence Day should be celebrated. He wrote, “It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with…

On Vacation this Week!

The other day I ran across a word I’d never seen before: “lifewithoutspacemakesnosense.” Of course, it didn’t take me long to realize the spaces had been left out. Add the spaces back in and you have the makings of a great sermon: “life without space makes no sense.” As we enter into the summer months,…

The River Rises

As I write this, the water in the Mississippi is rising once again. The road through Alexandria will soon be impassable – less than a week after being reopened from the last flood. One of our regular 8 a.m. service attenders, who lives in Missouri, said she’s just thankful she has an alternative route –…

Old Dogs, New Tricks

Over the years, I’ve noticed the people who are most likely to bring others with them to church are the ones who are newest to our worship and fellowship. Oftentimes, their excitement is contagious. For those of us who’ve been around for a while, however, keeping it fresh can be a little harder. It seems…

God’s Reflection

A few years ago, I was leading a youth group the week before Mother’s Day – and eventually our conversation came around to moms. What I discovered was that kids still love their moms, despite how they sometimes act at home. When I asked them to finish the sentence, “Mothers are…” they said things like…

Kids Are Us!

Occasionally, I’ll hear someone say the church needs to make children and youth a priority because “they are the church of tomorrow.” Of course, that’s true, but it misses the fact that they’re also the church of today! In a time when young people often grow up disconnected from older generations, I’m proud to be…

Easter Joy

I love Easter because it reminds me, every year, of why my faith is so important to me. One might think that re-reading and retelling the same story over and over again might get tiresome at some point, but it never does. The story of Jesus’ resurrection and his victory over death is Good News…

Ordinary Donkeys

With Palm Sunday just days away, I thought I’d share with you again a parable about the donkey who carried Jesus into Jerusalem so long ago. The story goes that on the day after Jesus’ triumphal entry, the donkey awakened, still excited about the day before. He went into town and found some people near…

Oyster People

During the ministry of John Wesley (founder of the Methodist Church), many churches were led by lay preachers with limited education. On one occasion, one of these simple preachers was called on to preach from Luke 19:21, which reads in the King James, “Lord, I feared thee, because thou art an austere man.” Not knowing…