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Amidst the Fog

From behind me, strapped into his carseat, came the question: “Where do God and Jesus live?” Never a dull moment with this kid. Can’t say this is the most spontaneous conversation he’s sparked heading south on 183. “Everywhere,” I hastily responded. “They live in Heaven—I mean I know they live in my heart—where’s Heaven?” Satisfied […]

Playfulness in the Church

Have we made the church so sterile and serious as to function less or other than God intends? Can the rigidity of a congregation—like that of a wineskin that has dried out and hardened, no longer pliable—ever fully hinder the Spirit from coming in and expanding it with fresh festivity? We wonder why younger generations […]

Pulling Weeds

It sounds silly—I know it—but the first time I visited Wartburg Seminary as a high schooler (and where I would eventually attend 6 years down the road), the thing I most fell in love with was the grass. Wide, soft, deep green blades. Inviting passersby to stop, remove their shoes, and walk about freely. A […]

Why are you apologizing?

Staring at my t-shirt as I walked in—trying to decipher its supposed subliminal message—the employee behind the counter asks: “So what does that sequence of symbols mean?” Ugh, I know where this is gonna lead. Well, he asked, so here goes. Unapologetically, I translate the simple graphics for him: “The water drop is baptism. The […]

Cow Patties, Kids, & Camp

Weaving through mounds of manure like a soldier trying to avoid landmines as they cross over no-man’s land into enemy territory, I followed after the program director and her dog out to the field where our students were doing their low ropes activities. From one pasture to another, through a gate, around a barbed wire […]

Confronting Pastoral Misperceptions

On the sixth day, God created humankind in God’s image, according to the Lord’s likeness. Every day since then, humankind has been tirelessly creating, and recreating, images of what a pastor should be, each according to their personal opinion and liking. There’s a great many identity misperceptions surrounding the pastoral office, some quite honestly brought […]

Out with the Old, In with the New

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. It’s been at least a decade or so since I’ve even tried to attempt one. Usually by about mid-January I’ve thrown in the towel. Not happening. I knew that was a dumb idea! I’m sure this says something about me on fifteen different personality scales. Lack of commitment. Shortsidedness. Complacency. So […]

Unrecognized Gifts

Over time I’ve come to learn (and believe) that entitlement, like atrophy, has a way of setting in when our motions of joy and thankfulness become irregular. As a child, I hate to say, there was no limit to my wants. Sadly, I probably could have supplicated Santa into submission with everything I wanted. I want this…I […]

No Room Inn Here For You

It was a sobering conversation. There in the colonia classroom surrounded by Solidaridad students. Nearly every one of them named a relative, perhaps even a parent, or someone else they know who has made the journey northbound. Some of the stories candidly closed with a semblance of Moses at the end of Deuteronomy—said person dying […]

Racism & A Cross-Cultural Lesson on Trust in Honduras

You’ve done it too, and chances are you didn’t even notice it. Racism. Now before you respond with disdain in the form of a mental expletive or make your way for the exit out of this page—HOLD ON and hear me out. For the sake of illuminating a response that shouldn’t be (but is all […]

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