Summertime Blues

July 7th, 2008 No comments

Have you ever tried to explain where Yucca Valley is?

I recently took study leave to attend the Joe Engle Institute of Preaching in New Jersey. Whenever I met someone, they would look at my name badge and ask me where Yoo-ka” Valley was. The first few times I said things like “not far from Palm Springsā€ or between L.A. and Las Vegas.” These both seem like fair descriptions, but they weren’t all that helpful to people from the east coast. In desperation, I started telling them to watch the nightly weather report. Then, I said, when the meteorologist announced the high temperature in the nation, Yucca Valley would be about 50 or 100 miles from there.
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The Safety Dance

May 29th, 2008 No comments

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. — John 10:10 (nrsv)

Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked; for a night and a day I was adrift at sea; … in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, hungry and thirsty, often without food, cold and naked. — 2 Corinthians 11:24-27 (nrsv)

When we read Paul’s litany of troubles in 2 Corinthians, it reminds us how easily we misread Jesus’ words in John 10. Jesus came to give us new life, and have it in abundance. It will be a good life. But it will not necessarily be an easy life.
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Fallout from the Early Easter

May 21st, 2008 No comments

The Revised Common Lectionary apparently didn’t realize how early Easter could fall. This week is the 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time. I keep finding resources that assume the 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time must have fallen in February and the first Sunday in May after Pentecost is the 9th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

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A Spiritual gift i don’t think about much

May 1st, 2008 No comments

I saw something new in Judges 14:5-6:

The spirit of the LORD rushed on him, and he tore the lion apart barehanded as one might tear apart a kid.

I realized I have tended to think of the Spirit of the Lord as conferring gifts and abilities that are, well, “spiritual.” I haven’t usually thought of the Spirit as conferring gifts of strength. This is dumb of me for two reasons. First, when I say “spiritual,” most of the time I’m really thinking “cerebral.” That much even I know is wrong. But the second way I’m wrong is I ask God to give me strength many times a day — sometimes in so many words, sometimes with more flowers. So who do I think is going to give it to me?

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April 30th, 2008 No comments

This makes me sick:

A homeless man searching for cans in a Rancho Cucamonga parking lot Dumpster made a startling find Sunday morning: a 5-pound baby girl.

The newborn was naked, her umbilical cord still attached, and stuffed in a plastic Target bag full of discarded mail. She was not crying. She felt cold — her body temperature had dropped to 87.5 degrees — but she was alive.

The big question is: will it make me sick enough to do something?

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First Entry

April 27th, 2008 No comments

Hey. I’ve set up a blog for the church website. Let’s see where we go from here.

Update: and now I’m able to access it from my blogging tool.

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