You may or may not be happy with the state of politics in our country right now, but you’d have to agree that it certainly is entertaining.
On January 20, Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. A crowd, the estimated number of which is disputed, assembled on the National Mall for the occasion. But the next day a far greater crowd assembled for the Women’s March on Washington, and similar marches took place... Read More
I’m hearing a lot of buts lately. It’s in the form of “yes, but . . .” and “but <he, she, you, they> . . .”
I shouldn’t have hit my brother, but he deserved it.
Yes, we lost, but the refs were awful.
I shouldn’t have said that, but their fans are annoying.
I shouldn’t have sent that text, but she’s an idiot.
I know God says to honor authorities, but he’s not my president.
Yes, he said offensive... Read More
Last week I blogged about transformational leadership in congregations. One of the brief points I made was that lay leaders need to know and focus on the right metrics. A Time of Grace reader replied, “Pastor, could you explain the phrase used in connection with lay leaders: ‘know the right metrics’? I’m not sure what that means or entails.”
The question is how lay leaders and people in governance get a handle on how well the congregation is doing. How... Read More
I’m tired of being aware. I’m really not trying to sound insensitive, but I’m a little worn out.
A month or so ago, Instagram was filled with photos from Disney movies—to spread awareness of childhood cancer. I ranted a bit about it to my daughter. I already know there’s childhood cancer, and Disney photos do nothing to actually help those children suffering from it! (She thought I was being ridiculous.)
This week, hearts showed up all over Facebook to spread... Read More
One of the most terse and brilliant summaries of the meaning of leadership I’ve ever seen is found in 1 Chronicles 12:32, which describes the incredibly valuable contribution made to King David’s army by the officer corps from the tribe of Issachar, “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” I’ve never heard it said better: understanding what is really going on and knowing the right things to do next is what I dream of in the people... Read More
You’re bombarded with the images every day. Couples post photos of their googly-eyed loving adventures. Singles share pictures of how they spend time that isn’t consumed by children. Magazine covers shout at us why our current status shouldn’t be status quo: “5 Ways to Make Your Marriage Better,” “Take this test to see if you need to end the relationship you’re in,” “7 Ways to Find Love.” No matter what, it seems we are supposed to feel that our relationship... Read More
As big as the ordeal of the campaign season turned out to be, now comes the really hard part—governing. Honestly, I can’t remember an election season like it—it started out with so much promise and talent in the primaries and got so ugly and weird. The only part I liked was praying. Somehow God has to help us make lemonade from all the sour lemon juice.
Nobody knows for sure what the next four years will be like. Mr. Trump... Read More
“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Peter 1:24,25). St. Peter found Isaiah’s words appropriate to his century, incorporating them into the first chapter of his first letter. Twenty centuries later, they still ring true.
Here is my annual list of people whose work and lives have made our culture richer and more interesting, people... Read More
Apparently nothing quite says “Happy New Year!” like the words: “I want a divorce.”
According to lawyers, though, that’s exactly what happens—and law firms brace themselves for the first working Monday after the holidays. The number of people who contact them about divorce doubles (or sometimes triples) during this time.
While the good news is that the divorce rate is dropping from its peak in the 1970s and 80s, the bad news is that divorce still hurts. Deeply. If you’re one... Read More
Being pregnant makes me uncomfortable.
And I don’t just mean that in the physical sense because there is a human being growing off the front of my body.
It makes me a little uncomfortable because I know how many women wish they were in my shoes.
Granted, my journey to pregnancy was difficult and many years long, but my heart still hurts when someone tells me, “I’d love to be pregnant right now.”
I’ve been there.
I was out... Read More