The Wealth in our Wallets instead of the Well-being of the World

This afternoon I watched the United States join two nations… Syria and Nicaragua… in being the only three nations in the entire world that are no longer signers of the Paris Climate Accord. As I listened to the justifications, what I heard over and over again was the mention of a few economic sectors that

Cries for Healing

“I alone am left. “ That was what Elijah had started to believe in his heart, as Trevor shared with our congregation last week. But Elijah was not alone.  He was not the last of the faithful prophets. In fact, right there in that very cave, Elijah hears the name of the one who would


When I was in high school, my youth group went on an international mission trip to Peru. Forty youth plus chaperones set out from Cedar Rapids determined to make a difference in the lives of other people. We even made t-shirts. I remember the night that we came up with the slogan for the back


Yesterday, I preached on Jesus and the fig tree.  It is such a strange pericope (aka story).  Both Matthew and Mark tell us (Matthew 21 and Mark 11) that Jesus was walking along, sees a fig tree, doesn’t find fruit, curses the tree and wham-o, it dies. What?!?! There is a broader point to the story,

Spiritually Blind

I mentioned earlier this week a youth group conversation about Mary Magdalene and demon possession.  There are so many different ways of understanding what demon possession might have been about and what Mary’s demons might have been. I’ve had demons explained away and described lots of different ways. Illness. Mental disorders and illness. Cultural misunderstandings

self-awareness, faith, repentance and the Lord's Supper

In the past two weeks, I have had a number of conversations with colleagues and family about the Lord’s Table… not necessarily about who is welcome, but about what MAKES that person welcome. My friends in the LCMS church have been discussing what kind of understanding of faith is required for a first communion experience.

Shake It Out… #gc2012

I’m not even sure there are words to describe the last 24 hours.  My roommate and re-acquainted friend from our youth days, Jessica Ireland, was hit by a truck in an intersection last night.  She came out on the other side sore, scraped up, with deep scrapes on her foot that will take a while