Showing posts from May, 2008

pomp and circumstances

consider this commencement week. i attended two graduations this week, and were it not for a wide variety other activities this weekend i might have been at a third. i do not remember much about my high school graduation (1989), other than my parents and i immediately took off for austin that night to register for summer school at the university of texas. fours years later (1993) i graduated from college, not from u.t. but sam houston state university in huntsville. the guest speaker that day was james baker, secretary of state under the first president bush. i don't remember what he said, but it was cool to have someone important at my graduation (besides my family, of course).

the next time i walked across the stage was when i graduated from perkins school of theology at smu, 1999. for whatever reason (probably because my bride also graduated that day) i attended the university-wide commencement ceremony in the morning, in addition to the seminary-only service at highland p…

update pt. 2

the saga over leaders and their spiritual advisors/pastors/whatever continues:

when will it end??

evolutionary theory

back in the swing of things! the trip to d.c. was good-- classwork complete! now all that is left is the final project, a 100-page document on an issue related to preaching. my idea for this project has progressed significantly over the last couple of years. first, i wanted to study preaching in the african-american church, but later felt this would not be effective, since that is not my personal tradition. next i wondered about the processes preachers use to decide topics for sermons; most use the lectionary, pre-assigned readings for each sunday. others, including myself, prefer to preach in series, developing a theme or question over time.

last summer the project progressed to the point that i would interview pastors in new appointments what they preached about during their first few months. how did they discern the congregation's needs? its questions? the issues that need to be addressed from the pulpit? the goal at the end of the project was to create a tool for preachers to u…

an update

in a recent sermon and blog post i raised the issue of the relationship between spiritual leaders and political leaders (see "an unfortunate development," left). one point i made was that the discussion was unfair because all of the attention was focused on senator obama and rev. jeremiah wright, while few talked about senator john mccain and pastor john hagee of san antonio. pastor hagee has made inflammatory comments about the catholic church for years. however, yesterday he detracted his language.


wow, what a wild 48 hours! two days ago we kidnapped the confirmands and took them to breakfast for their lasy big event before their confirmation. after the breakfast i took austin home, and we immediately went across the street to the bramer home and he was baptized in the hot tub-- not the pool. check out the video:

saturday afternoon we had james' birthday party. it was a crazy event. nearly 30 kids were there, we had a bounce house, it was hot outside, oy. but he had fun and we survived. of course yesterday was confirmation sunday. two others were baptized, bringing the total baptisms to four of the fourteen confirmands (jessica was baptized by a former pastor a week ago friday). the service was great, but it felt rushed, because i had to leave immediately afterward to get to the airport. and then i thought i would miss the flight-- i realized at the last minute i was at the wrong gate! of course everything was delayed anyway. american changed planes at the last min…