LTSP Blogs

Agreeing to Disagree in the Church

Small Historic Church photoIn every church and/or denomination there are disagreements. Sometimes the disagreements are about seemingly “small” things – the color of the new carpet for the sanctuary, whether to move the worship time earlier in the summer since the church does not have air conditioning, whether or not to place a memorial plague on the new baptism font, or what time the youth group should meet for pizza.

An Unholy Empire

Give the things that are Caesar’s to Caesar, and the things that are God’s to God.

Caesars, emperors, pharaohs, oh my! Claims about earthly dominion and heavenly sovereignty undergird and perfuse the scriptures and the societies that emerged from them, deeply influencing us across time, including here, today.

Give the things that are Caesar’s to Caesar, and the things that are God’s to God.

Calling an Audacious Community

Community I was asked recently to preach for the installation service for a PhD student at her new church in central Pennsylvania. I was happy to agree to preach at the service and enjoyed greatly seeing the affirmation of her calling and the acceptance of her by the congregation. Present were her Bishop, Synod Dean, extended family, colleagues, and her church community – both past and present.

We Can’t Always Get What We Want

Crying BabyThere are few things that I like less than being reminded that there are times in life when things do not go my way – or the way I want them to go. I heard it as a child from my parents and I found myself saying it to my son recently. Being able to hear that is hard sometimes – despite your age or life experiences. Being willing to accept that is a sign of maturity.

Torah on One Foot

While you’re still standing, if you’re willing and able, please stand on one foot and repeat after me: “What is hateful to me I will not do to another.” You may put your feet down. This is the law and the prophets. All the rest is commentary.

In the name of God who fathered our Redeemer Jesus Christ, Christ our Savior and the Blessed Holy Spirit. Amen.

Blazing Colors

I grew up in the Texas Panhandle. The county I lived in had a chain link fence around and an historical marker by the first tree planted in the county – and no I am not kidding. There were no massively tall trees from centuries of growth. I grew up in a flat, hot, dry place that had its own kind of beauty – but fall was not a time for beauty.

Being Too Full for Words

Overflowing CupI have not posted in a bit and there is a legitimate reason … I promise.  I could not find words to express the past 10+ days of my life. Sometimes we are so full from the buffet of blessings and smorgasbord of experiences that we cannot find words to speak. That is what I experienced the past few weeks.  It was something I will not soon forget. My cup runneth over …

Cleaning House Makes Me Happy!?

I am admitting something on this blog. It is something that I often don’t admit publicly but most people who know me will not be surprised by the news. I inherited it from my parents and I have even passed it on to my son in some small ways (though maybe not as much as I wish I had). It is hard to hide and even harder to explain sometimes but I will tell you anyway. I have OCD (or CDO with the letters in alphabetical order as they should be).

Upcoming and Previous Speaking/Teaching Engagements

July 3-August 4, 2012: Visitng supply pastor, St. John the Baptist Anglican Church, Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.

June 25-29, 2012 - Graduate Course:  "Children of Abraham: Perpsectives in Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations."  The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.

May 6, 20, 2012 -- "Images of Islam and Muslims in the Media" and "Background and Demographics of Muslim Communities in the United States."  Pleasantville United Church of Christ, Chalfont, PA.