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Do you remember, when you were a little kid in school, out on the playground for recess or PE, and you were playing a team sport? And do you remember the playground politics involved in picking a team? There would be captains (usually the best players/natural leaders) who would chose […]

Sermon: Chosen


When Diane and I moved into our house in New Mexico several years ago, we found a tangle bramble of twisted branches spanning half the length of the stucco wall that enclosed our backyard. Seeing it for the first time, I remember wondering, “What in the world is this contorted […]

Sermon: THE FAMILY VINEDRESSER





A number of years ago, late one Saturday morning, I received a phone from one of the parishioners of the church I was serving in Cleveland, Ohio. It was Karen, a young mother of four small children, and she was just beside herself. She told me that her youngest child, […]

Sermon: The Shepherd’s Fold


There was a fisherman who always seemed to bring home a boatload of fish, every time he went out. It was really amazing, and people wondered how he could be so successful at fishing. Well, the local game warden heard about this man’s uncanny success and asked, without mentioning he […]

Sermon: Recasting the Church



An Ohio colleague tells the story of driving through Pennsylvania Dutch Country with his daughter and her seven-year-old son. And when they passed an Amish horse and buggy, his grandson’s curiosity was stirred. “Why do they use horses instead of cars?” he asked. His mother explained that the Amish didn’t […]

Sermon: Beyond Belief





One of my fondest memories of childhood was the annual Christmas parade in Wichita, Kansas. Like most small Midwestern cities, the downtown would be all dressed up in greenery and garlands, banners and lights; and the Christmas shopping season would officially open with a grand procession down Douglas Avenue. We’d […]

Sermon: Passion Parade