When you have a Love-Hate relationship with “The” church

It’s been nearly seven years since I’ve preached in a church of Christ.  And on certain nights I lose sleep, suffering through the nightmares that occasionally haunt me as scenes play out from old elder’s meetings, and the negativity cranky members spewed out.  So, I’m really not sure why I still engage in conversations surrounding […]

What Do We Know of Holy

  A young woman preaches grace and truth and receives death threats from other Christians. College students are hurt by their school and then wounded even more on social media by other Christians. A preacher spends weeks agonizing over a sermon, praying it will bring glory to God and encourage the Kingdom only to be […]

What You Have To Do

  I received this note from a kid at school the other day. I especially like the second line. “I love God and Jesus so you have to love God and Jesus.” I can hear her attitude loud and clear and it cracks me up. This sweet, innocent child of God has some bad theology […]

2017, Rom 15:4-13 & A Plea for Unity (part 4): Welcome Each Other!

In the 1980s the Black Student Association at Fresno State displayed this slogan, “We have a SIN problem, not a SKIN problem.” It’s a true statement that sounds overly simplistic. Skin problems are still here because sin is still here. Some briefly thought we might be living in a post-racial world. We now realize that sin hasn’t gone […]

What is a Strong Woman?

A strong woman feeds the hungry, gives to the needy, and visits the sick and imprisoned even when it’s unpopular and uncomfortable. She accepts her body, her age, and her shortcomings with dignity and gives herself permission not to be perfect. She speaks, tweets, texts, and posts words of grace from her pulpits and playgrounds knowing […]

2017, Rom 15:4-13 & A Plea for Unity (part 3): Paul’s Fictional Turmoil

If the Book of Romans is Paul’s most important letter, then we ought to hone in on passages such as Rom 15:4-13. These ten verses summarize the entire message of book: The good news is that ALL are God’s chosen people—both Jews and Gentiles. Glory be to God! Paul’s universalist-sounding message brings up a key question. […]

Healing from Our Achilles Tendency

What I’ve loved about Wineskins for over two decades now, is its safe environment to exchange our new ideas, or to even stretch our comfort zone.  I would like to utilize this format now to raise an issue none of us really want to face head-on, yet this common struggle is decimating us. Take a […]

2017, Rom 15:4-13 & A Plea for Unity (part 2): The Divider-in-Chief

Does religion divide people? Is it race, socioeconomic status or politics that separates us? Is our world and are the churches that inhabit that world hopelessly divided by things that we are helpless to control? As a Jew trained by the prominent Jewish teacher Gamaliel, Paul had learned that what divided people was religion. Jews […]

2017, Romans 15:4-13 & A Plea for Unity (part 1): Intro

As we leave behind the acrimonious year of 2016, can I make a plea for unity among God’s people in 2017? Paul made a similar appeal in the first century. His letter to the Romans provides us with clear markers for how to get there. In particular, Romans 15:4-13 is a text that summarizes the complex message […]

Visibly Practicing the Unity of the Spirit: What Shall We Do?

I suggest five (yes, count them, five) modes of visible unity that give expression to the underlying unity of the Spirit among believers. These practices not only exhibit the unity of the Spirit but are also means by which the Spirit dynamically works among believers for unity. The Spirit acts through them to manifest the […]

There Will Be A Day!

     I don’t know how many times I have spoken of it. Or written about it either. But over the years I have talked often about the hymn I’ll Fly Away. There is something quite compelling about the lyrics: Some glad morning when this life is o’er, I’ll fly away; To a home on […]