There’s a riot going on
17 SHARES
6 comments
3598 views
It was our turn last week. As you have probably heard by now, Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood was torn up by rioters. People have been calling and e-mailing all week hoping that St. Marcus Church is okay. We’re fine. Although in our 1967 riots, St. Marcus was near the epicenter; this time we are several miles away. Last Friday night in Milwaukee five young men were shot and killed and four other people were wounded and hospitalized. Saturday night a... Read More
Where’s your identity?
12 SHARES
2 comments
2063 views
I have never tried to dive off a 10-meter platform. And I have never tried to do a forward 4.5 somersault tuck off of it either. And I certainly have never tried to do it at the exact same time that someone else did it too. That skill is what earned U.S. synchronized divers David Boudia and Steele Johnson the silver medal in Rio. Yet it was their interview with NBC afterward that made more of a splash than their... Read More
Ashes to ashes
7 SHARES
0 comments
2379 views
Have you made your own personal funeral plans yet? How will your heirs dispose of your earthly remains?   Does that question creep you out a little? If you are single, you have probably not given the matter much thought. The younger you are, probably the less you’ve thought about it. It’s hard enough to persuade people to prepare a will for their financial affairs. I don’t suppose too many people have left written burial instructions. I suppose people think... Read More
Do the work of making it easy
6 SHARES
0 comments
2072 views
You know the good athletes by how easy they make it look. Simone Biles plants a ridiculous vault with hardly a bounce. Katie Ledecky beats all her competitors by an ample twelve seconds in the 800m freestyle, breaking a world record in the process. Divers enter the water with comfortable precision. A sprinter’s face and posture is relaxed as his legs blur underneath him. These are the athletes whom we watch and think (even though we know better), “Well that... Read More
Good news in Iran
10 SHARES
1 comment
2471 views
The land of Persia (today’s Iran) played a significant role in the development of God’s plan of salvation. Some major parts of the biblical narrative involve Persia and the regions allied with it (Elamites, Parthians, and Medes). The Persians ruled the Middle East (including Israel) from 539 B.C. to the late 300s B.C. Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and part of Daniel take place in that era. The Magi who visited the baby Jesus almost certainly lived there, and on the day... Read More
6 SHARES
1 comment
2879 views
True confession: I recently turned into kind of an entitled brat over plans for our five-year wedding anniversary. My husband and I set aside an anniversary weekend months ago and planned to get away for at least one night to a gorgeous lake community nearby. Stay in a hotel, go out to eat for every meal . . .  But, with a $3,000 shower repair a month ago on top of some other financial circumstances, as we started making concrete... Read More
7 SHARES
2 comments
935 views
I’m a sucker for the Olympics.  You won’t catch me watching a cycling race at any other time. Ah, but the Olympics! My family and I were shouting at the television, rooting and cheering for Mara Abbott as if she were our next-door neighbor.  My extent of rugby knowledge came from an episode of Friends years ago. But the Olympics have me calling my daughters into the room and telling them they should try this sport. (Really? What am I... Read More
Whom Can You Trust?
3 SHARES
0 comments
1132 views
It’s been an interesting week for credibility. Melania Trump was just starting to get some approving reviews for her address to the Republican National Convention when some sharp mind detected that several phrases had been lifted from Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2008 DNC. Oops. After some floundering around, one of Melania’s speechwriter’s offered to fall on her sword but was pardoned by the Donald. Marni Nixon died this week at age 86. You probably never heard of her, but... Read More
9 SHARES
0 comments
1245 views
As college students are preparing to go to school, they are making packing lists: Bedding. Check. Toiletries. Check. Phone charger. Check. Turns out, they are taking more back to school than just tangible items: Anxiety. Check.  Depression. Check.  Stress. Check. The University of Wisconsin system found that almost one-third of the students enrolled in Wisconsin’s state schools experienced clinically significant mental health symptoms over a 12-month period. A spring 2015 survey of counseling center directors within the UW system showed... Read More
I hate screens. I love screens.
4 SHARES
5 comments
1925 views
One of the most noticeable changes in church furnishings in the last 20 years is the rapid growth in the presence of projection screens. You’d expect to see them in new church plants, places that intentionally look like warehouses or theaters or hotel ballrooms. But they have popped up (or been lowered) also in more traditional sanctuaries with altars, pulpits, fonts, and lecterns.  I will confess that I am conflicted about this new technology. I love screens 1. You can... Read More