Month: July 2019

Linda Tirado is an author and a journalist. And she told this story to some people at NPR: In 2008, Linda and her husband moved to Cincinnati. They didn’t have much money, so they got a cheap basement apartment. And then a summer storm came through and the flooding ruined a lot of their stuff and the mold destroyed the rest. Tirado was eight months pregnant at the time and all she wanted was a place to sit down, so she started calling around to churches and charities, asking if she could get a chair. So she gets a…
Sunday sermon preview: Every Christian is a representative of the one who called us. We are all the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. And a lot of that lifelong endeavor that we call faith formation is trying to figure out what on earth that means. Facebook Twitter Buffer…
I am a writer and a preacher, so I know a simple truth: words have power. Words can lift us up and tear us down. Words can impart wisdom and spread ignorance. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words… words have almost unimaginable power. A few months ago, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives swore in its very first Muslim woman legislator. Her name is Movita Johnson-Harrell. Right before she was sworn in—as in, minutes before she was sworn in—another legislator delivered the session’s opening prayer. It was two minutes long. And I know that doesn’t sound like…
When I was in seminary, I spent a few months as a student chaplain at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago. Along with the other student chaplains, I took classes at the hospital and covered on-calls.  During the week, during the day, there were real professional chaplains at the hospital. People who knew what they were doing. One night a week, there was only me. Just before my very first night, a pregnant woman had come into labor and delivery. She had a stillbirth. And after she spent some time with a real professional chaplain, she left alone. Her…
The church is a hospital for sinners, not a country club for saints. And even pastors like me struggle to love as we ought to. If you’ve listened to my sermons, you know that I have some issues with how our country has been treating people who come to this country seeking asylum. And you can probably guess that I have some issues with how our country treats immigrants—especially immigrants from the south—in general. Well… earlier this week, while I was working on this sermon, there was a news story. There was a group on Facebook made up of…
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