A Worship Hour Outline: Dreams

We come to dream with you, Spirit of Hope. We confess that some of our dreams have been selfish ambitions, and that we have often been driven by personal gain and little interest in others or your will.

Before I die . . .

When the waitress brought our food, I tried to find a way to ask, “How am I supposed to eat this?” I had to think fast.

Don’t Blink

Right now, time itself seems to be doing some weird things. Even when it seems like the days are trudging along, the weeks and the months might then accelerate. There’s a sporadic nature to it all.

A Bunch of Stories

“I don’t read that article by Ronnie McBrayer,” I heard a critic say not long ago; a critic who did not know I was within earshot. “He thinks the Bible is just a bunch of stories.”

Spiritual but Not Religious

Many would say, to use a modern phrase, that Lincoln was “spiritual but not religious.” Such a posture should be celebrated as an expression of heartfelt belief and longing, but it should also be considered with a word of caution.

God Is Greater than Our Hearts

I once owned a car with a broken gas gauge. When the tank was empty, the needle pointed to “E.” When the tank was half full, the gauge still read empty. When the gas tank was filled to overflowing, the needle budged just a little, moving slightly to the right of the empty mark.

5 Guidelines for Building a Racially and Culturally Diverse Church Staff

One of the best ways to communicate a goal of racial and cultural diversity is to have a diversified staff. Actions do speak louder than words.

Thou Shalt Remember Thou Art Creative

The question I get more than any other—more than “What’s the meaning of life?”, or “Why do people suffer?”, or “Why are the New England Patriots so . . . them?”—is “Can I learn to be funny?”

Noah’s Lawsuit: Is God Trying to Say Something?

The headline reads like a punchline: “Owners of Noah’s Ark sue over rain damage.” Does God have a sense of humor or what?

My Undelivered Stand-up Routine for Those Not Likely to Come Back to Church

How is everybody doing tonight? You look great. You’re less sober than the people I usually talk to.

Missional Prayer

Missional churches require missional praying. We do not inform God in our praying, nor do we instruct God in our intercession. But we do join God when out of love we pray for the mission of God in the world.

Just the Way You Are

Like millions of kids who grew up between 1970 and 2001, our son watched Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood almost every weekday for many years. Generations of kids loved and trusted this caring adult who spoke directly to them in the most personal and respectful way.

The Wind and the Spirit

What would you do differently if you could start over? What would you change if you could be born again? If I could edit my life, I would skip junior high football, wrecking my father’s car, and the last five minutes of my first date. I would stop my mother throwing away my baseball cards.

Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade, my grandmother, and bad theology

My favorite grandmother took her own life in 1950—eleven years before I was born. My other grandmothers were fine (my father’s father provided me with four grandmothers), but my father’s mother is my favorite.

My Speech to Seminary Graduates

Once again, no seminary has chosen me to give the speech at their graduation service. My mother and I do not get it.

Reimagining “Church” and “Christians” as the “Jesus Tribe”

This may be unsettling to some, but the earliest followers of Jesus did not refer to themselves as Christians. I am rather glad about this because the word “Christian” has too much baggage attached to it.