Surrender

In church recently, we sang the song I Surrender All. It is actually an old hymn, originally published in 1896, and over the years has been sung by many artists and in many different styles. What does it mean to surrender? Not usually thought of as a positive term it’s connected to giving up or…

Why Do You Help?

A week ago, I was part of a team that drove to Houston to help with the flood relief efforts. Let me begin with recognizing Cypress United Methodist Church in Cypress, TX (northwest Houston), who showed us incredible hospitality. Their pastors, staff, and the church have committed a tremendous amount of resources in hosting teams,…

A Home

The house I grew up in was a parsonage. Which means the church provides a home to their pastor and is where the family lives. Today there are size standards and other requirements. Our house would fit in the garage of most other parsonages today. This house is the cover photo on my book Parsonage…

Simplifying Grace

It’s something we can’t earn. It’s available to everyone of us. Regardless of what we’ve done, it’s simply offered.  It’s grace from God. One of the simplest, yet most complex understandings of how God interacts with us, is the concept of grace. Grace is simply the love God has for us that we can’t earn…

Face-to-Face

I attended a meeting in Chicago and we had an evening meal with a local church that has seen its neighborhood change.  Like many congregations, the choices are adapt or fail.  This small congregation has decided to embrace refugee and immigrant families and reformat its future. After sharing a meal together, families from different continents…

Being Alone, Alive

Everyone spends part of their lives alone. Even in the midst of the busiest cities, even when surrounded by people, we can be alone. Starting a job where I work out of our home and travel, I’ve been spending more time alone. It’s different. It’s not that I have much to complain about – it’s…

In Two Words

There was a monastery and one of the requirements of this religious order was that the young men must maintain silence. Opportunities to speak were scheduled once every two years, at which time they were allowed to speak only two words. A young monk completed his first two years of training and was invited by…