The Night Before Advent

The calendar gave us an early Thanksgiving this year and it seems like it has been an eon between turkey and Advent. But I am ready for Advent. I need Advent right now. I need it more than I need Christmas.

Dreams for the Church

I like Reformation Day. Probably more than a person should like Reformation Day. I’ve written Reformation Day carols. I used a Martin Luther bobblehead in this past Sunday’s communion meditation. At our youth Halloween party, I dressed up as the Wittenberg-by-way-of-Asgard Avenger Martin Lu-Thor. Yes, I like Reformation Day quite a bit.

Death and All of His Friends

Earlier today, the oldest and I were riding in a car to an appointment. He was having a rough morning of his own doing and I wanted him to get re-grounded before we set off on the day. So I plugged in my phone and I played the Coldplay song “Strawberry Swing.”

The Walking Dead

Let me start off by just laying it out there. The title of this sermon is “The Walking Dead.” I do not like scary movies or TV shows. At all. “Well, Chris, that’s silly. Scary movies aren’t real.” I know that. I know that the odds of being chased by a chainsaw-wielding maniac are infinitesimally small.

Crappy First Drafts

Crappy first drafts. Anne Lamott phrases it slightly more colorfully, but that’s the gist. Can’t write? Don’t wait for the Almighty to hand you a perfectly formed manuscript from the sky. Put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and just write. Will what you write fall somewhere beneath the quality of a hundred grand emoji? Often yes. Often much less.

The Great Cloud

I have been thinking a lot about my spiritual journey recently. The truth of the matter is that whatever has been done to get me to the nebulous “here” of being ordained is not solely my doing. Not even close.

His Heart Went Out to Her

There is this simple moment that is essential to my understanding of Jesus. Sometimes I think we see him as almost a miracle-working robot, the unstoppable antithesis of the Terminator. He was sent to our Earth to save, heal, and point others towards God.

Our Stories Will Probably Be Small, But They Will Matter

Sometimes I get discouraged because I feel like my story is very small. I live in a small city. I go to a small church in a land where churches can be quite enormous.

Satellite or Star

My eyes drew open a little after 4:30 this morning. The alarm wasn’t supposed to go off for another hour and a half, but I was awake. Though I knew I could go back to sleep, I also knew that I probably would wake up feeling more groggy than I did at that moment.

The Decline of the American Church, Boy Meets World, & Me

People can slice statistics any way they want to (and already have), but the short of it is this: While Christianity still remains the majority religion in the U.S., it is on the decline.

Why I Love Superhero Stories

They are the heroes of adventurous tales in which good triumphs over evil. The fact that these stories are works of fiction do not make them any less true.

10 Things the Church Could Learn from Parks and Rec

On Tuesday night this week, Parks and Recreation aired the final episode of its seven season run. The writing is fantastic. The ensemble, led by Amy Poehler, is one of the funniest and deepest casts on TV.