Rachel, Mary, and the Lament of the World

The Bible is the Story of God. This morning I finished my journey “thru the Bible” for 2017, Genesis to Malachi; Tobit to 4 Maccabees; Matthew to Revelation. The Bible is the Story of God. But the Bible is more than that. The Bible is the story of God with the world, with creation. The […]

Come, Emmanuel!

Come, Emmanuel! No sooner had the Thanksgiving dressing been put away to become a late-afternoon football snack than the Christmas decor began to make its grand entrance from almost a year’s worth of being stored away! Isn’t this story so true in many of our homes?  Seems like some folks have been ready to unleash […]

Scar Stories, Memory, and the Stories We Tell Ourselves

When we were unloading our moving truck having just arrived in Bakersfield I moved a shelf inside the moving truck that happened to have another piece of furniture leaning on it. When I pulled the shelf out the other piece smacked me right by my right eye. I saw stars. Then I saw the blood. […]

Listening to Lamentations: Making Space for Silence

A few of my friends have had a hard year. They’ve lost children. They’ve lost their mental health. They’ve lost security in their future…the list could go on and on. This year has been a painful year for many of my friends. As a friend, I want to be present and supportive. As a preacher, […]

Congregational Gravity and Ministerial Escape Velocity

If you walked out in your yard, picked up a rock and threw it up in the sky at 25,000 mph you could put it in orbit given a few other assumptions. It takes quite a bit of power, effort and direction to escape the gravitational pull of the earth. Congregations are often like that. […]

Riding Shotgun with Faith **Where is God?**

This is a daunting question I’m faced with daily as a chaplain. Individuals burned over 75% of their bodies, trauma victims from motor vehicle accidents and gunshots and stab wounds, women who’ve lost their babies, first-time chemo patients…this is a normal day within a hospital. This is real life. While we all desire an unstormy, […]

What the Birds Know

Isaiah 40:31 ESV -But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. “The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is […]

November Theme: Trauma

I am not much of a feeler but it is hard to miss all the hurting that is going on out there. Well, it is not just “out there” but “in here” as well. Those of us who like to think the trauma is always somewhere else or with someone else just need to reflect […]