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In a church I once served as pastor, there was an infrequent attender who was always chasing after various get-rich-quick schemes that never amounted to anything much. Most of her pursuits involved little work and little investment, especially on her part; and it seemed all of them involved the pyramiding of other people's money. One time she set up a meeting with me to try to sell the idea that, together, we could get the whole congregation involved in selling pre-paid phone cards, an item that you may have forgotten about now but something that was quite popular back before we all carried cell phones. The idea was that you purchased these credit-card-like-things that contained a set number of pre-paid minutes for long-distance calls; and instead of the hassle of dropping coins into a pay phone, you simply entered the numbers on the card and talked for as long as you had minutes available. My parents used to mail me phone cards in college, which they would expect me to use to call home. Calling card rates were cheaper than dialing direct, and you could always get some really good deals if you shopped around.Read full transcript...
I think I've been hearing the refrain of Psalm 30:5 all of my life. I've heard it proclaimed with powerful conviction from the pulpit and I've heard it beautifully intoned in the melodies of gospel songs and anthems.
In our blog post every Monday we will select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday, and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic. On March 8, 2015 we will celebrate The Third Sunday in Lent.
On any given Saturday, people join Habitat for Humanity teams and commit to work to help eradicate poverty housing. The individual volunteers give of their time, energy and physical ability because they want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Similarly, in the HBO TV drama “Game of Thrones,” individuals from the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos volunteer to serve as The Night’s Watch.
An intrepid explorer of the connections between popular culture and the spiritual realms invites us to travel with him as Dante did with his guide Virgil 700 years ago into Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso—a classic tale that we know as The Divine Comedy. Our guide is Greg Garrett, a noted scholar at Baylor University and author of 20 previous books. He calls his book, Entertaining Judgment: The Afterlife in Popular Imagination.
I was reading this article in the NYT, entitled, "Madam, CEO, Get Me a Coffee.” And it says a lot of the things that we have been reading and experiencing for decades about women. The workplace responds differently to the ways women work, and especially when it comes to staying late and helping others. This is particularly true for our work in the church.
A short excerpt from the novel "On the Road with the Archangel"
In any endeavor you attempt, there are always limitations. Sometimes there are the limitations of the context and circumstances, sometimes of the actors. But there are always limitations. Which isn’t always a bad thing.
How do we connect to one another in such a busy, distant world during that one precious hour on Sunday mornings? This article suggests how to start tearing down the walls that keep us from connecting with one another.
Taking everything into consideration, the Bible was written mostly by losers for the benefit of other losers. That’s not a value judgment, just an observation.
Mark 8:34-35: These are words we’ve heard before. We’ve preached on them before. We’ve told people of their importance before. But they are still challenging words. Even for pastors. Perhaps, I should say, especially for pastors.