I didn’t plan for that! It wasn’t supposed to happen this way! I can’t believe it!
Whether you are talking about a relationship falling apart, a child’s illness, a possible dam failure in California, a car accident, or a cancer diagnosis, none of us really thinks the worst will happen. But the worst does happen. To others—you can read it in news headlines. To friends—you’ll see it on social media. To you—you’ll get a middle-of-the-night phone call.
So what can... Read More
Originally published July 2016
No one ever told you that the promise to love, honor, and cherish would be so much work. The adrenaline rush of new love makes love seem easy. Over time, though, paying the bills, negotiating the household, and general life stresses wear you down and leave you impatient with the one you promised to stay committed to until one of you dies. I know you promised for better or worse. But on that happiest of days,... Read More
The attendees at the National Prayer Breakfast last Thursday got more than they bargained for. Then again, when the keynote speaker is Donald Trump, you might assume that something striking will come out of his mouth.
After ripping on Arnold Schwarzenegger, his replacement on The Apprentice, Mr. Trump offered some sweeping condemnations of the so-called Johnson Amendment, named after Lyndon Johnson when he was still a senator. The amendment goes back to 1954 and forbids political endorsements from pastors when... Read More
A Time of Grace viewer called recently and questioned my comments in a broadcast message that people who died as children would be resurrected as adults. She wanted to know where that is found in Scripture.
It’s a great question and a worthy topic. For people who believe Scripture’s promises of the resurrection of the body, it seems somewhat logical that a revivified corpse would come back to life with an appearance very similar to the way in which he... Read More
Have you ever felt stressed because you feel stressed?
Yep; me too.
It’s kind of sad and hilarious when you think about it. But, from what we’ve been told, stress is really bad for us, right? (Even the “good stress” like getting married or having a baby!)
We’ve also been told that God designed our body’s stress response to work well for primal peoples (who, for example, needed to avoid becoming a tiger’s lunch), but not for today’s people (whose... Read More
There I was, just before the workout began, whining about what was ahead. Mainly I was nervous because the movements that day weren’t exactly in my exercise wheelhouse.
That’s when my friend told me, “Talk to yourself. Don’t listen to yourself.”
Well that just might be a good idea . . .
So I took her advice. I stopped listening to myself about how hard it was going to be and how I didn’t want to do it. Instead,... Read More
People are ALWAYS surprising us, aren’t they?
Just when you start to think your coworker is ALWAYS a jerk, you find out she volunteers at a nursing home.
Right about the time you think the friend on the opposite side of the political spectrum will NEVER understand, you discover you do have some common ground.
When it comes time for your performance review and you believe there is ZERO CHANCE you’ll get a promotion because your boss never compliments you,... Read More
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