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The Last Word (Page 2)

Resurrection Business

In the 23rd Psalm it says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for thou art with me.” It’s a message of hope and courage. But have you ever wondered what it means to walk in the “shadow of death?” The most obvious answer is that…

Faith and Doubt

In John’s Gospel, after the resurrection, Jesus appeared first to the women and then to the disciples (minus Thomas). When Thomas heard the news, he was skeptical. I’ve always suspected Thomas doubted because his heart had been broken once already and he wasn’t eager to have it broken again. But here’s the thing about Thomas:…

Jesus Laughing

I’m probably more excited than I should be that Easter Sunday falls on April Fool’s Day this year. The last time it happened was in 1956, before I was even born. No one is quite certain about the origin of April Fool’s Day. However, there’s an old Christian tradition of people playing pranks and practical…

Hosanna to the King!

Human beings are funny creatures. We have it in our heads that real power and authority always comes from the top. That’s why so many people are in a hurry to get there, no matter what it takes. But, as Jesus made clear in both word and in deed, real power comes from humility, sacrifice…

Busted Brackets…

This week is the beginning of March Madness – which means it’s time for me to engage in some brilliant bracketology. Of course, like 99.9 percent of people who follow the NCAA basketball tournament, my bracket will be busted the first day. A professor at DePaul University puts the odds of creating the perfect bracket…

Living and Learning

Last year, I attended a workshop about church growth that was truly inspirational. It wasn’t until later that I realized why I liked the speaker so much. Where so many other workshop leaders highlight their amazing successes, this guy loved to tell stories about all the times he’d failed. Not only was it relatable and…

Flu Happens…

This past Saturday, I was prepared to preach on Jesus’ parable about the man who goes to his friend’s house in the middle of the night to ask for bread. Little did I know that later that night I’d also be calling a friend in the middle of the night to ask for a favor.…

All In

This past weekend, I preached on living a life that is “all-in.” I then went home and discovered an illustration in a strange place – my downstairs bathroom. The problem was a leaky shut-off valve to the cold water on my bathroom sink. It turned out to be an easy fix. When the valve is…

Aimless Love

This year, the season of Lent begins on Valentine’s Day and ends on Easter Sunday – which happens to fall on April Fool’s Day. I think God has a sense of humor! On Ash Wednesday, we remember our weakness and mortality. But we also remember God’s amazing love for us. Therefore, Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s…

The Purpose of Church

January is apparently a popular time for pastors to get together for continuing education and mutual support. This year, I was able to attend two events: the Minister’s Institute, sponsored by our region at the Conference Center, and the Senior Minister’s Conference, put on by the Christian Church Foundation. As always, I come away from…