Showing posts from March, 2008

an unfortunate development

in a couple of weeks i will begin a new sermon series called "ripped from the headlines." you can check out the entire series outline here. the point of the series is not to anger people or show them the right way to think about issues, but to ask how we form opinions about important questions. the first sermon in the series is the politics of faith. i will explore whether a candidate's personal faith is really worthy of being a political issue. in other words, vote or not for john kennedy on the issues, not because he is catholic; ditto for mitt romney who is a mormon; ditto for barack obama, whose former pastor, jeremiah wright, said some pretty sharp-edged things in a few sermons on youtube.

this weekend i was to visit wheeler avenue baptist church in houston to hear dr. wright preach in person. he has preached a revival every year there for 20 years, and it happened that i would be in town this weekend. but today it was announced that dr. wright would not make …

comin' home

christy and the boys took off for bay city monday morning-- a few days at home to spend time with grandparents and cousins. i had to stay here for holy week and easter stuff. i knew that if i went i would be nervous and unsettled the whole time. turns out i was right-- here it is good friday and we still do not have everything ready for easter!

the three and a half days at home by myself was a mixed blessing. it was good, this week above all, to have quiet and good sleep. i caught up on some movie viewing (see below) and a little pre-reading for my next d.c. trip. by wednesday morning i had a sort of strange sensation. i got a full eight hours of sleep each night, the house was free of running and yelling, but i was not myself. it felt like waking from a nap that was too long-- sort of hung over. i diagnosed my problem as a disruption of routine. the absence of activity, at home and church, caught up with me.

all of that changed last night, as the family came back to prosper. i woke up …

different pathways, same destination

last sunday night i went with the confirmation class to a mass at st. francis catholic church in frisco. if you do not know what confirmation means, it is time for young people-- usually sixth graders-- to learn the basics of Christianity and declare their faith publicly. many confirmands were baptized as children, so their parents made commitments on their behalf. at confirmation, students affirm those commitments for themselves.

part of their journey has been to visit other traditions. a few weeks ago we attended worship at temple beth torah in richardson, a synagogue. we were excited to go for a bar mitzvah. little did we know the service would last more than three hours-- and that it was actually four services-- no wonder folk kept walking in and out during the service!

anyway, two days ago we visited st. francis. i have attended masses before, and i have great interest in the similarities and differences in catholic and methodist traditions. a significant difference is our …

strange days

last sunday morning was a busy day. we changed service times and added new bible studies. the service itself was going well-- we began the communion liturgy, brought the kids back in from children's church, and then sirens and flashing lights went off all over the church. i thought someone must have pulled an alarm. after a few seconds of wondering, i announced to the church that we would leave the sanctuary and finish communion on the lawn. had there been a fire we would have been consumed-- we were that slow. turns out we think opposite doors at either end of the hallway opened at the same time, releasing a day of pentecost-like wind through the church. that infusion of air somehow triggered the alarms.

i have tried to make an effort to exercise more-- ok, i'll be honest-- to exercise at all, so i go walking in the morning behind james' school. i was much better last fall, but the cold winter has sort of shut me down. i walked one morning two weeks ago and again …