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Fact-checking and Faith

What’s the capital of Switzerland?  It was a relatively simple question for Eva, our German exchange student.  She had been to Switzerland and she had stood in the capital. “Bern,” she said confidently.  “No, anyone else?” the social studies teacher paused briefly then added, “The capital of Switzerland is Zurich.”…

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Last Tuesday night, Dwayne and I wanted a pizza.  We have “pizza” on speed dial and called to order a pepperoni pie.  There was no answer.  I called again, and the ringing went on and on and on.  Why?  Why wouldn’t the pizzeria pick up?  We thought, maybe they’re very…

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It’s OK to Feel Guilty

I don’t imagine anybody likes to feel guilty.  Owning up to our shortcomings is painful.  That’s why we get defensive when criticized, or blame others when we’re accused.  I can’t sleep for days when I know I’ve hurt someone.  I cry.  Taking responsibility for our faults is not only emotionally difficult,…

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Prayer Doesn’t “Fix” Things, but It Does Change People

The front page of the New York Daily News shouted to the nation: “God isn’t fixing this.”  Clearly it was a call to political action to deal with the numbers of terror-producing mass shooting in the United States. The article described the many post-San Bernadino comments, particularly from Republican presidential…

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“Here I Stand” a Reformation affirmation

Growing up Lutheran I sometimes think I was raised loving Martin Luther more than Jesus. I would imagine him nailing ninety five theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517.  My great grandmother told me stories of her small Bavarian hometown not far from there….

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Default Living

In the nineties I served a church that defined itself a great deal by what it was NOT.  It was NOT, after all, like the church down the street which had defined itself as “bible based,” “contemporary,” “evangelical,” and “growing.”  I’ve seen this a lot in congregations since then, too….

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Bumper Bowling Faith

We were sitting around the table after a great dinner of homemade fajitas, cheese dip and guacamole.  I loved talking with my nine-year-old nephew.  I loved how engaged he was in conversation, how quickly his mind responded to new ideas, how deep a thinker he was already, how articulate he…

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10 Things the Church Can Learn from Community Theater

Dwayne’s brother played Snoopy in the Warren Players’ production of “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.”  It was his first musical theater experience since High School.  So, of course, being community theater geeks, they couldn’t keep Dwayne and me from making the drive to northwestern Pennsylvania to see the show this past weekend….

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What about a Biker Missionary?

Throwback Thursday a day late.  This is an article I wrote in September 2009 and was published in the October issue of “Connections,” the newsletter of New Covenant Presbytery.   I share it here, because this story will be featured in the fourth chapter of the book I’m currently working on, “Twenty-eight…

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