The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel

Denomination: United Church of Christ (UCC)

The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel served three churches over the last two decades, before beginning her tenure at First Congregational Church of Dubuque on February 1, 2016. From 2004-2015, she served as Senior Minister of the First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, a UCC church in the suburbs of Chicago. Previous to that position, she served eight years as Senior Minister at the Church of the Redeemer, an urban congregation in New Haven, Connecticut, and three years as an Associate Minister in Cheshire, Connecticut.

Along with her ministerial background, Rev.Dr. Daniel is a published author and public speaker. Some of her works include the books Tell It Like It Is: Reclaiming the Practice of Testimony--the story of one church's attempt to get people to talk to each other about God, and When Being Spiritual but Not Religious Is Not Enough. Rev. Dr. Daniel is an editor-at-large for the Christian Century magazine and a contributing editor at Leadership Journal. Her work has also appeared in The Huffington Post, Christianity Today, Relevant Magazine, Books and Culture, The Journal for Preachers, and in the daily Still Speaking email devotionals available athttp://www.1stcongucc.org/home/stillspeaking-daily-devotional.html or ucc.org, with over 20,000 subscribers.

Rev. Dr. Daniel is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and Yale Divinity School, where, in 2010, she received a distinguished alumni award for "Distinction in Congregational Ministry." She earned a Doctor of Ministry from Hartford Seminary and serves on the Board of Trustees of Chicago Theological Seminary and the Board of Advisors at Yale Divinity School. Rev. Daniel has taught preaching at the Chicago Theological Seminary, the University of Chicago Divinity School, and at her alma mater, Yale Divinity School.

Lillian Daniel was born in Anderson, South Carolina, but she grew up in Asia, London, and Washington, DC. She is the only child of her late parents, Carobel Calhoun and Leon Daniel, whose career as a United Press International journalist took the family (and many cousins from South Carolina) all around the world.

 

Day1 Weekly Programs by The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel

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I'm With the Band

Saturday January 24, 2009
Have you ever been to a wedding reception where the bride sang in her own wedding band? Musicians do things differently. The wedding reception was held upon the stage of a grand old theater in Buffalo, New York. Elegantly set tables dotted the wooden floor, with its stage markings and velvet curtains swagged casually aside.

Fear of Public Speaking

Saturday January 24, 2009
The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel focuses on Jesus' teaching in Matthew 5:14-15 about being the "light of the world." She reveals why many mainline Christians are hesitant to share their story of faith, and shows how we can do a better job of it in our daily lives.

The Stand-In Church

Saturday January 24, 2009
Sometimes we need to be prepared to "stand in" for church in the lives of those who are hurting, sharing our testimony with the grieving, calling out that we have seen light in the midst of darkness.

Articles by The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel

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Dr. Lillian Daniel: Blamed, Shamed, and Framed

Saturday January 24, 2009
Most grandmothers teach their grandchildren how to make cookies. My grandmother taught me how to make a gin and tonic.

Dr. Lillian Daniel: Spiritual But Not Religious? Please Stop Boring Me

Saturday January 24, 2009
In her meditation on Matthew 16:18, Lillian Daniel writes, "Being privately spiritual but not religious just doesn't interest me. There is nothing challenging about having deep thoughts all by oneself."

The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel: Two Thumbs Up for Roger Ebert

Saturday January 24, 2009
Two thumbs up for Roger Ebert. Two thumbs up for all those who work to make a more loving, less shallow world.

Dr. Lillian Daniel: A Mother's Work Is Never Done

Saturday January 24, 2009
Simon's mother was very ill, consumed with a fever, but Jesus was able to cure his friend's mother, to literally "raise her up." What a moment that must have been.

Lillian Daniel: The Poor Are Not Lucky

Saturday January 24, 2009
A devotional on Mark 4:24-26: I have heard rich people say that the poor are lucky before. But I have yet to hear a poor person say it.

Dr. Lillian Daniel: The limits of taste

Saturday January 24, 2009
Someone was complaining to me about why she had stopped going to her church, saying, "You know, when it came to worship, I just didn't get much out of it." To which I replied, "Well, it wasn't directed toward you."

Lillian Daniel: Acting Out on the Airplane

Saturday January 24, 2009
In a New Year's reflection on patience, the Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel describes an experience with a trouble-maker on a flight--and how Jesus showed up.

Dr. Lillian Daniel: Touchdown Theology

Saturday January 24, 2009
A few weeks ago, Tim Tebow's pastor said he knew why the Denver Broncos were 7-1 since installing Tebow as quarterback. "It's not luck," Hanson said. "Luck isn't winning six games in a row. It's favor. God's favor." Really?

Dr. Lillian Daniel: Daffodils and the Life of Faith

Saturday January 24, 2009
The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel draws a powerful life lesson from a story from her youth about her mother's daffodils.

Lillian Daniel: Fiat Lux!

Saturday January 24, 2009
For our church's 150th anniversary, we celebrated throughout the year in every conceivable way, including commissioning a choral anthem, "Fiat Lux."

Lillian Daniel: I Was a Teenage Werewolf

Saturday January 24, 2009
Sometimes parenting is a job that is so hard, you couldn't pay me to do it. And sometimes it's a job I do so poorly, you wouldn't pay me to do it. And sometimes motherhood is not a job at all, but a calling that feels like a beautiful blessing I did nothing to deserve.

Lillian Daniel: When It's Good to Have Church

Saturday January 24, 2009
At times of grief, it means so much to have a church. There's someone to say, "We'll take it from here." And you might actually believe it.

Lillian Daniel: Talking Cancer

Saturday January 24, 2009
When we talk to people who are going through a very difficult time, we often don't know what to say. We try to be encouraging and instead we say something that annoys the person. Or we say nothing and later find out that they wondered if we cared. How do you get it right with the people you love?

StillSpeaking Devotional: The Disciples Did Not Accessorize

Saturday January 24, 2009
After a great vacation at the beach, packing to come home is not nearly as much fun as packing before the trip. Before the trip, I spend days anticipating the vacation. Will it be cold enough for a sweater? Or so hot that I need to bring more shorts?

Dr. Lillian Daniel: 10 Signs You Should Not Be Getting Married in Church

Saturday January 24, 2009
Lillian Daniel shares 10 signs you shouldn't be getting married in church...and 10 signs you might be in the right place after all.

Lillian Daniel: What are you going to give up to do that?

Saturday January 24, 2009
I love to take on new projects. I've never had a new idea I didn't like. At the time, I always think I can take it on and add one more thing. It's like time is elastic and it can expand to include every single thing I want to do. I think at some points in history, we called that heresy.

Lillian Daniel: The Portable Church

Saturday January 24, 2009
The church is so much more than a building. Whether you're in your yoga clothes or in a long black robe, whether you are in the pews or at the gym, once you have a church, it has a way of finding you wherever you are. It's remarkably portable.

Lillian Daniel: Strange Bedfellows

Saturday January 24, 2009
In Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, the enchanting debut novel by Helen Simonson, you are invited into a quaint English village to meet 68-year old Major Pettigrew, a retired widower, whose brother has suddenly died. In his grief, the Major comes to look at his life differently, and realizes how lonely he has been.

Lillian Daniel: "Making Health the Center of Your Life" And Other Bad Ideas

Saturday January 24, 2009
While we can support our own good health, there is absolutely nothing we can do to guarantee it. At some point, every single person's health will deteriorate, right before death, if not much earlier.

Lillian Daniel: An Office Blessing

Saturday January 24, 2009
For people who work in hard jobs and under unpleasant conditions, the office does not feel like a place of blessing but something to endure. But what if you blessed your office anyway?

Lillian Daniel: The After Tax Blessing

Saturday January 24, 2009
Early in my working life, I met with a financial planner. It seemed absurd since we were deeply in debt. We had nothing to save, let alone invest. But a wise friend had said this was just the time for such advice.

Lillian Daniel: No Small Votes

Saturday January 24, 2009
Today, on Election Day, our attention is appropriately drawn to the big stage of presidential politics, but there are all sorts of votes taking place today. Let's not forget all the smaller stages where big things also happen.

Lillian Daniel: But Why Don't They Just Come to My Church?

Saturday January 24, 2009
I’m a woman senior minister of a large liberal Protestant church in the middle of the conservative Western suburbs of Chicago, where dreams of evangelical mega churches dominate the ecclesiastical imagination. So I didn’t need Justin Lee to tell me that the ex-gay movement doesn’t work.

Lillian Daniel: Cute at Any Age

Saturday January 24, 2009
While I have no trouble believing that God constructed us to be more careful with little ones, I think God made us able to love creatures of all ages and to delight in every stage of life.

Lillian Daniel: You Are Not the Power Source

Saturday January 24, 2009
When you want your nineteen-year old son to take a trip with you, you have to be willing to think like a nineteen-year when it comes to travel plans. That's how I ended up spending a week with him in a remote tree house in Nicaragua.

Lillian Daniel: The Beautiful Transcience of a Remote Place

Saturday January 24, 2009
There are times in life when you want to be surrounded by other people, in the thick of it, when you are ready and willing to jump into whatever life throws at you. And then there are other times when you want to hide yourself away and take refuge. You want to go to a remote place where the only one who can find you is God.

Lillian Daniel: No, You Are Not Actually the Power Source

Saturday January 24, 2009
When you want your 19-year-old son to take a trip with you, you have to be willing to think like a 19-year-old when it comes to travel plans. That's how I ended up spending a week with him in a remote tree house in Nicaragua.

Lillian Daniel: The Church Calendar, New and Improved

Saturday January 24, 2009
An Important Message from Church Headquarters: Treasuring the freedom that allows us to honor our unique ancient traditions while keeping up with the times, we propose adjusting these special Sundays in the church year.

Lillian Daniel: The Importance of Being with Friends

Saturday January 24, 2009
There was a story a while back about a guy on Facebook who had about 900 friends, and he invited them all to a party. You know the punch line: not one of them showed up.

Lillian Daniel: Another Rock Star Disses the Church

Saturday January 24, 2009
It seems to be a growing trend””people who claim to love Jesus but don't want to call themselves Christians. The latest to stake a claim for not staking a claim is Marcus Mumford, of the wildly popular Mumford & Sons, whose Christian-themed lyrics have been a source of fascination to believers and nonbelievers alike.

Lillian Daniel: Magical Thinking About Unread Books

Saturday January 24, 2009
I am always carrying books around in the hope of reading them. It's as if I believe that if I continually carry piles of books from my church, to my car, to my home and then back to church again, the information from all those books will somehow just sink into my aching arms without my actually reading them.

Lillian Daniel: A Loaded Statement and the Benefit of the Doubt

Saturday January 24, 2009
While waiting in line at a store, the man standing next to me and I engaged in some conversation, perhaps to assuage our mutual boredom. It's amazing what you can learn about a person in a short time. He confided many personal details of his life, and I in turn related to them with stories of my own.

Lillian Daniel: Litter Bug

Saturday January 24, 2009
I remember childhood car trips when my family tossed trash out the window. I remember littering. And I also remember when I learned that littering was wrong.

Lillian Daniel: Green Pastures (Psalm 23)

Saturday January 24, 2009
The image of God as a shepherd runs throughout scripture. What exactly does a shepherd do? It's a job description that the ancient Israelites would have been familiar with, as would much of the world throughout history, when society was more agrarian. But in today's world of agribusiness, when only a few farmers spend time on the land or with animals, we have become increasingly distant from this image.

Lillian Daniel: A Table Before My Enemies

Saturday January 24, 2009
Thousands of years ago, in the world's most beloved psalm, the people were told that one day God would spread a table before them in the presence of their enemies. What does it mean?

Lillian Daniel: Don't Think of a Pink Elephant

Saturday January 24, 2009
Adam and Eve had a choice to make. They could stay in Paradise, in the garden of Eden, as long as they did not eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge. Which would you pick? A rent-free existence with no worries about what to wear to work every morning? Or a piece of fruit?

Lillian Daniel: A Clear Conscience

Saturday January 24, 2009
The apostle Paul knew that just because he felt like a good guy, he wasn't necessarily. Just because he believed his conscience was clear, it didn't make it so.

Lillian Daniel: Misplaced Confidence

Saturday January 24, 2009
There are many kinds of confidence, some of them appropriate to behold and some of them downright annoying. Admit it, you know someone, somewhere, who is confident for all the wrong reasons.

Lillian Daniel: Contradiction or Conversation?

Saturday January 24, 2009
Often parts of the Bible seem to contradict one another. I prefer to think of them as being in conversation. And the short book of James is always having a conversation with the letters of Paul.

Lillian Daniel: So You Can't Carry a Tune in a Bucket

Saturday January 24, 2009
In the psalms, we often hear about music. Sometimes the processions are solemn, sometimes they are joyful, but clearly, our music matters to God.

Lillian Daniel: Cheers

Saturday January 24, 2009
At one congregation I served, potluck suppers at church did not attract many people, but when we started having them in people's homes, the attendance doubled.

Lillian Daniel: The Modified Christian

Saturday January 24, 2009
I'm frustrated with the many labels we attach to Christianity in order to modify its meaning. I know why we do it, of course. I do it myself. I want to explain to someone that I am 'this kind' of Christian and not 'that kind' of Christian.

Lillian Daniel: An Honest Prayer

Saturday January 24, 2009
Sometimes we pray to God with so much specificity, it sounds like we are lecturing a sloppy subordinate at work about when and where to show up for the key event, complete with last names, details about the hospital room number and the exact diagnosis. When what God really desires is an honest emotion, straight from the heart.

Lillian Daniel: Losing Your Calling

Saturday January 24, 2009
Eli, who had a genuine call from God, should have stepped aside and allowed the people to celebrate his years of work. Instead he stayed, and started listening to all the wrong people.

Lillian Daniel: The Ministry of Transportation

Saturday January 24, 2009
Early in his ministry, Jesus had a reputation for healing, and so he was starting to get mobbed wherever he went. The crowds were so big because there were, and still are, so many people who long for physical healing. The irony was that in order to push through to the front of the crowd, you would need physical strength.

Lillian Daniel Interviews Will Willimon: Flawed and Fallen Folk

Saturday January 24, 2009
After publishing 64 books on theology, worship and church leadership, William H. Willimon wrote a novel,Incorporation (Wipf and Stock), about a large suburban congregation, its dysfunctional staff and its narcissistic senior pastor. We wanted to know what led Willimon to try his hand at fiction. Or is it fiction? We asked Lillian Daniel to find out.

Lillian Daniel: A Savior in Work Boots

Saturday January 24, 2009
Advent is a time to repent. Sometimes we forget that and leave all the heavy lifting to that other season of repentance in the church year””Lent. But really, Advent and Lent are both times to examine our lives and the world and ask God for forgiveness. These are the seasons for the prophets to call us on our crazy ways.

Lillian Daniel: Love Needs a Head as Well as a Heart

Saturday January 24, 2009
So often, when we speak of love, we speak of the heart, and when we speak of logic, we speak of the brain. It's as though these two are separate, and they can't possibly come from the same place.

Lillian Daniel: A Blessing for the Shopkeepers

Saturday January 24, 2009
Given that Advent is a season of repentance, let's look at what we need to confess at this time of year, late in the season. By now, I can guarantee I have slipped down the slippery Christmas shopping practice of 'One for you and one for me.'

Lillian Daniel: Cell Phones at the Altar

Saturday January 24, 2009
On the Sunday before Labor Day, we invite our congregation to bring symbols of their work to the altar to be blessed. People put up lap top computers, resumes, shovels, notebooks, mops and boots. And all that sits behind the communion table, set up for the feast.

Lillian Daniel: Who Makes Coconut Cake Anymore?

Saturday January 24, 2009
Every year, when my mother's birthday rolls around, I imagine how old she would be had she not died fourteen years ago. Last year, her birthday fell on a Sunday in what was a tender time in my own life. I missed her terribly.

Lillian Daniel: Awkward Playground Memories

Saturday January 24, 2009
I have a childhood memory of watching other children play during recess on the school playground. I longed to join them, but didn't know if I would be accepted. I didn't know the rules of their games.

Lillian Daniel: Shut Up and Take a Compliment

Saturday January 24, 2009
Do you ever find yourself answering a compliment with a rebuttal?

Lillian Daniel: Supersizing Spoils the Small Surprise

Saturday January 24, 2009
Sometimes being given too much spoils us for smaller things.

Lillian Daniel: On Good Friday, If You Can't Say It in Front of the Rabbi, Don't Say It at All

Saturday January 24, 2009
On Good Friday, if you can't say it in front of the rabbi, don't say it at all. But don't assume you have to water it down either. Because if we can not respect each other's uniqueness and difference in public worship, how will we ever go deep enough to get to the really important questions that clergy desperately want to ask?

Lillian Daniel: Too Busy to Give

Saturday January 24, 2009
I try to give money to street musicians whenever I can. But often I'm in a rush, so if I know I will encounter them, I stick a few dollar bills in my outer coat pocket so that I'm ready to give.

Lillian Daniel: Eating for Two (Psalm 119:13-14)

Saturday January 24, 2009
In the early months of pregnancy, I was ruled by appetites that were not my own. I craved things I had never craved before. I was a new person, melded with this other growing person. Suddenly we liked oranges and we hated salad dressing and we needed to build strong bones by eating ice cream every day.

Lillian Daniel: It's Not Your Book

Saturday January 24, 2009
When you get your first Bible, you treasure it, and keep it somewhere special. You open it and start reading, telling yourself you'll read a little every day because it's such a special book. And then you stop.

Lillian Daniel: The Midcourse Evaluation

Saturday January 24, 2009
During her second year in a three-year Master of Divinity degree, a divinity student from my church invited me to attend her 'midcourse evaluation.' I was to be there as her pastor, but also in attendance would be a couple of professors and the supervising pastor from her church internship.

Lillian Daniel: The Brain's Brief Moment

Saturday January 24, 2009
There's more to life than brainpower. No matter when you make the big decisions, gray matter is just one small piece of it.

Lillian Daniel: The Power of Privacy

Saturday January 24, 2009
I was listening to a friend describe his work volunteering at a local jail, where he meets one on one with inmates. When he talked about what the inmates needed most from him, I was surprised to hear him say that it was privacy.

Lillian Daniel: The Reading Train

Saturday January 24, 2009
Sometimes we have to step away in order to go deep. Sometimes we have to turn things off or actually leave them behind. Sometimes we have to take a train away from our own distractions.

Lillian Daniel: A Finger Can Block Out the Sun

Saturday January 24, 2009
The 19th century Hasidic rabbi Levi of Berditchev once pointed out that a finger held up to the eye could block the sun. Think about that image.

Lillian Daniel: The Power of a Paystub

Saturday January 24, 2009
A recent study of low-paid workers found that 57 percent do not get a pay stub. In other words, when they get paid, they have no idea how their pay is calculated or what is deducted.

Lillian Daniel: Did Jesus Ignore Her?

Saturday January 24, 2009
'Jesus ignored her'? This is a story in which nobody wants to pay attention to a suffering woman, even Jesus.

Lillian Daniel: We All Have Debts

Saturday January 24, 2009
Ask God for what you need for this day, something modest just to live. Ask for your daily bread. Then, while you two are talking, why not also ask God to forgive your debts?

Lillian Daniel: Plan to Be an Outstanding Houseguest

Saturday January 24, 2009
When we take our egos out of the mix and add God instead, it makes Paul's statement less arrogant and more touching. And it turns out he was right.

Lillian Daniel: What's Your Big Idea?

Saturday January 24, 2009
When David Christian was a young professor at Macquarie University in Sydney, he grew frustrated by the rigid categories and divisions in scholarship. Teaching a class in Russian history, he wanted to examine his subjects from a number of unconventional angles.

Lillian Daniel: What Makes a Good Boss?

Saturday January 24, 2009
At a workshop on supervision, a group of us were telling stories about past bosses. One person worked for an admiral who had a clear vision and knew how to share it. She carried his gift for managing by objective into a very different career in the non-profit world.

Lillian Daniel: Let's Not Meet in a Restaurant

Saturday January 24, 2009
I often meet my friends and family in loud and crowded places. We go to the coffee shop or the new restaurant. We exchange news about our lives in the midst of ordering from the menu, or waving hello to other people we know. We catch up, but do we really share?

Lillian Daniel: An Honest Prayer

Saturday January 24, 2009
A seminary intern was offering the pastoral prayers one Sunday and received a request to pray for a woman who had a last name he found very difficult to pronounce. It was a name from a country whose language most of us did not speak, Polish, and it sounded nothing like it was spelled. But in the intimacy of congregational life, we had learned how to pronounce it over the years.

Lillian Daniel: Can't Anyone Move Here?

Saturday January 24, 2009
I recall that when I told people I was moving from the East Coast to Chicago, they asked me if I had family there. "No, I don't," I responded, now concerned. "Was I supposed to?"

Lillian Daniel: Reasonable, Rigorous and Real

Saturday January 24, 2009
I want to make a case for a church that is reasonable, rigorous and real.

Lillian Daniel: Do You Like Surprises?

Saturday January 24, 2009
When Mary found out she was pregnant with the Son of God, she responded to the surprise with joy and delight.

Lillian Daniel: Why Do Christmas Pageants Make Us Laugh?

Saturday January 24, 2009
No matter how serious the children are in their Biblical roles, we end up laughing at Christmas pageants.

Lillian Daniel: Confessions of a Freeloader

Saturday January 24, 2009
I'm a freeloader. And I admit it. I'll even put it in writing.

Lillian Daniel: As I Ponder The Logistics Of Noah's Ark

Saturday January 24, 2009
Imagine what it smelled like on that ark. You had dogs, cats, reptiles, bugs and every creeping thing. There probably wasn't room for a litter box.

Lillian Daniel: Review Your Job Description

Saturday January 24, 2009
There was no big crisis, but my colleague and I were both in that rut where you feel like you are working really hard but never getting caught up. Everyone has those times but this one was going on a little too long and didn't show any signs of magically correcting itself.

Lillian Daniel: Exercise Your God-given Maturity

Saturday January 24, 2009
True believers on the God topic scare me, whether they are arguing for or against. Sometimes, when atheists and Christians debate, I want both teams to be disqualified. If I were God, I wouldn't want any of them arguing on my behalf or even in my ballpark. But then I remember all the quiet people.

Lillian Daniel: The Dry Bones of Depression

Saturday January 24, 2009
God called the prophet Ezekiel to prophesy to the dry bones, and promised that by God's healing power, flesh would appear and those dry bones would live again.

Lillian Daniel: Real Relationships Renegotiate

Saturday January 24, 2009
Relationships are a constant and continual renegotiation. What you say on your twelfth birthday, your retirement date or wedding day may not be your plan ten years later. And yet, to the other person, it can be a total surprise.

Lillian Daniel: Prayers on the Clothesline

Saturday January 24, 2009
A recent art exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art at St Louis University featured the work of photographer Regina DeLuise, whose black and white photographs attend to the ordinary moments in the spiritual lives of the people of Bhutan.

Lillian Daniel: The Poor Are Not Lucky

Saturday January 24, 2009
I have heard rich people say that the poor are lucky before. But I have yet to hear a poor person say it.

Lillian Daniel: Relax, It's Saturday

Saturday January 24, 2009
How long is your to-do list for this Saturday? What does your schedule look like? What games are you driving people to? What errands do you have to do?

Lillian Daniel: What Do You See?

Saturday January 24, 2009
I recognized myself in Amichai's poem about the tourists. When I travel, I want to see all the big sites, the beautiful buildings and the somber markers. I don't want to miss a thing.

Lillian Daniel: When Cells Differentiate

Saturday January 24, 2009
If you watch a time lapse video of a sunflower, you can watch months of growth in just a few moments. It's beautiful and poignant, to see the tiny seeds take shape, in fast forward.

Lillian Daniel: Where Do Watches Come From?

Saturday January 24, 2009
Fifty years before Darwin's Origin of Species, William Paley wrote Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity, offering a fresh metaphor: Imagine if we came upon a watch, having never seen a timekeeping device before. How would we explain the existence of that watch?

Lillian Daniel: The Importance of Being with Friends

Saturday January 24, 2009
There was a story a while back about a guy on Facebook who had about 900 friends, and he invited them all to a party. You know the punch line: not one of them showed up.

Lillian Daniel: You Don't Need More Storage Space

Saturday January 24, 2009
If you put your stuff in a storage facility, and you find that you can live without it, maybe you really can live without it. So here's a radical thought from Jesus: Don't store it in the first place.

Lillian Daniel: Kicked Out or Freed?

Saturday January 24, 2009
In the initial story of happiness, choices and paradise lost, Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden. They didn't have to work or worry about what to wear. Everything was available to them. God only asked for one thing...

Lillian Daniel: A Loaded Statement and the Benefit of the Doubt

Saturday January 24, 2009
While waiting in line at a store, the man standing next to me and I engaged in some conversation, perhaps to assuage our mutual boredom. It's amazing what you can learn about a person in a short time. He confided many personal details of his life, and I in turn related to them with stories of my own.

Lillian Daniel: Genre Fatigue in Vegas

Saturday January 24, 2009
At the risk of overstating matters, let me say that Las Vegas is not an understated place. A little bit of everything can be too much.

Lillian Daniel: Pious Amnesia

Saturday January 24, 2009
Asa was a powerful ruler who felt badly that his country had not been very faithful, so in a sudden moment of religious remorse he declared a massive religious celebration and demanded attendance. Apparently everyone felt pretty great afterwards. So, suddenly, feeling so close to God and to each other, they did what comes naturally in such situations. They agreed that anyone who did not feel equally passionate about God should be killed. What?

Lillian Daniel: Change Happens

Saturday January 24, 2009
'Suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us...' - Romans 5:3-5

Lillian Daniel: Childish Ways

Saturday January 24, 2009
"When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways." - 1 Corinthians 13:11 If only that were true! I know a lot of adults who have not put aside childish ways. How else do you explain all those boats, fast cars and silly games on Facebook?

Lillian Daniel: Socializing with Sinners

Saturday January 24, 2009
Last Sunday we welcomed new members to our church. Coincidentally, I was preaching about one of many Bible stories where Jesus is criticized for socializing with sinners.

Lillian Daniel: "You can’t carry two watermelons with one hand." - Proverb

Saturday January 24, 2009
Try it out this summer if you like, but trust me, you can’t do it. There is a reason these things become proverbs. They are true!

Lillian Daniel: Sing Once, Pray Twice, or Just Sing Already

Saturday January 24, 2009
'He who sings, prays twice,' said the great church reformer Martin Luther. I've always thought that was kind of unfair to the people who don't like to sing.

Lillian Daniel: And Don't Forget Your Sweatshirt!

Saturday January 24, 2009
A mother makes a cake for a special occasion and she tells her two kids, 'That cake is not for you. It's for the church supper tonight. So do not touch it!'

Lillian Daniel: On the 25th Anniversary of an Ordination

Saturday January 24, 2009
On my first day of Divinity School, I knew I liked Bill because neither one of us wanted to get our feet washed in a plastic paint bucket. Nor did we want to sing Kumbaya. And sadly, as our worst fears about seminary were confirmed, we were expected to do both.

Lillian Daniel: Is God Responsible for Everything?

Saturday January 24, 2009
'Our time on earth is temporary. If I won't try to find out who you are, how will I know who I am?' That's a rough translation of the song that stayed in my head long after I heard it. But I didn't remember it for the lyrics. I learned those later.

Lillian Daniel: Hell is a Place Where the Visitors Wear Name Tags

Saturday January 24, 2009
Asking visitors to announce themselves in church signals the rarity of the occasion. Asking them to wear a visitor name tag, when no one else is wearing one, is even worse.

Lillian Daniel: Age as Accomplishment

Saturday January 24, 2009
An American church group was visiting Haiti. The Haitian church leaders were leading the opening introductions to facilitate the bonding of these two groups who had never met before, so they asked everyone to go around the room and introduce themselves by saying their name and their age.

Lillian Daniel: A Victory Speech from Someone Who Never Wins Anything

Saturday January 24, 2009
When it comes to little contests and games of chance, I never win anything. But guess who guessed the number of chocolate coffee beans in the jar last Sunday? It was me, it was me, it was me! The humble pastor!

Lillian Daniel: Joy is the Intersection of Pleasure and Meaning

Saturday January 24, 2009
There is a lot of talk in our society about happiness, but what I would like to hear more about is joy. And I would like to hear about it in church. Don’t promise me that I will be happy. Tell me instead about joy.

Lillian Daniel: Comfortable in My Seat

Saturday January 24, 2009
At a recent Interfaith Worker Justice board meeting, Naeem Baig, President of the Islamic Circle of North America, shared a story about a scene he witnessed on an airplane. A mother was traveling with three small children but for some reason, none of them were seated together. So the mother asked other passengers if they would move so she could stay close to her little ones.

Lillian Daniel: Canonize Yourself

Saturday January 24, 2009
The late Mother Teresa, who devoted herself to the care of orphans in Calcutta, India, got fast tracked on the path to sainthood. If anyone deserved it, she did.

Lillian Daniel: My Multifaith Moment at Marshall’s

Saturday January 24, 2009
In this excerpt from her latest book, Lillian Daniel describes an encounter where she ends up apologizing on behalf of the Christian Church to a stranger in the checkout line at Marshall’s.

Lillian Daniel: You Can't Step in the Same River Twice

Saturday January 24, 2009
I'm fascinated by the river I live next to. Maybe Dubuque's natives are used to it, but the Mississippi River is brand new to me, and each season reveals a new side to its personality.

Lillian Daniel: The 4 Types of Nones

Saturday January 24, 2009
These days, one out of three people under the age of 30 checks off 'None' as their religious preference. In writing my last book, I came to understand that the people who check off 'None' do so for a number of reasons.

Lillian Daniel: Grace Cheated Me Out of My Discount

Saturday January 24, 2009
I got a coupon to my local movie theater for 50% off the cost of a movie ticket with popcorn too. The trouble is, I don't have much time to go to the movies. So I've been waiting for that rarest of combinations: a movie I want to see and the time to see it.

Lillian Daniel: Don't Congratulate a Cat on its Landing

Saturday January 24, 2009
When I was a child, my mother would proudly tell people, 'Lillian is like a little cat. Whichever way you throw her, she always lands on her feet.'

Lillian Daniel: When "Sorry" Seems to be the Easiest Word

Saturday January 24, 2009
After a terrorist atrocity, I hate seeing Muslims at a news conference being forced to apologize for something they didn't do. 'We're not like them,' they have to say. 'Islam is a peaceful religion.' They shouldn't have to deal with those stereotypes. And when it's Christian people slinging the stereotypes, that makes me angry.

Lillian Daniel: Mansions of Mysterious Metaphors

Saturday January 24, 2009
The 1843 children's board game The Mansion of Happiness used a sixty-seven space spiral track to teach children the various Christian virtues and vices. You have to love that they tried.

Lillian Daniel: Lessons from a Lonely Lobster

Saturday January 24, 2009
It stinks to be single in a couple's universe. When your couple pals are not ignoring you for their paired-up parties, they're trying to fix you up with someone they would never have dated themselves. In the media, when singles get attention, it's for living wild, sexually chaotic lives, which is mostly done for the entertainment value of couples who enjoy watching such things on TV. And what's that about?

Lillian Daniel: Did we come all this way to meet no one but ourselves?

Saturday January 24, 2009
Tamar Elad-Appelbaum was raised in an orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem. But it was on a trip to New Jersey that she learned there were different ways to be Jewish, and first saw the possibility that a woman could be a rabbi. Today she leads ZION, an Eretz Israeli congregation that meets in the workout room of a community center in Jerusalem.

Lillian Daniel: Stop Trying to Find Yourself

Saturday January 24, 2009
Individualism tells you that you are special and unique. So go find that unique quality about yourself, then live by that quality and then you will be happy. In other words, the first thing to do is 'Find yourself.'

Lillian Daniel: Seven Deadly Apps

Saturday January 24, 2009
It seems that for every ancient sin, there is a social media app. Envy? Try Pinterest. You get so busy looking at pictures of what other people have, you don't pay attention to what is right in front of you.

Television by The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel

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Day1 Conversation with Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel

Saturday January 24, 2009
The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel sits down with Day1 host Peter Wallace to discuss a wide variety of subjects including: the congregational United Church of Christ outlook, her work on the "God is Still Speaking" Identity campaign, as well as the four points of interest for her congregation: "everyone is a child of Christ," "God is a part of our everyday lives," "We are free to think of God in our own way," "Another world is possible" and the commitment to social justice, "It takes all kinds to make a difference."

Conversation with Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel Part 2 - Day1 with Peter Wallace

Saturday January 24, 2009
The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel sits down with Day1 host Peter Wallace and discusses a wide range of subjects including her upbringing in the church, discerning her call to ministry, youth and young adults in the church, her book "Tell it like it is" on testimony in the church, and what books she has found helpful in her own spiritual growth (she mentions Richard Fosters book on Prayer).

Lillian Daniel, "A Big Enough Life" - 30 Good Minutes

Saturday January 24, 2009
The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel, Senior Minister of the First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, says Jesus' call to us to live abundant lives is actually a call for the transformation of the world, so that justice will roll down into every life.

Conversation with Lillian Daniel - 30 Good Minutes

Saturday January 24, 2009
Hosts Daniel Pawlus and Lydia Talbot continue in conversation with Lillian Daniel, who says we all have God given passion within us to meet the needs of the world in some way.

The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel & Rev. Martin Copenhaver - Day1 Conversations with Peter Wallace

Saturday January 24, 2009
This week our host, Peter Wallace, sits down with the authors of the new book "This Odd And Wondrous Calling," The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel and The Rev. Martin Copenhaver. 

Radio by The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel

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The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel - Podcast Extra 2009

Saturday January 24, 2009
The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel, senior minister of First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, IL, talks with host Peter Wallace about the unique statement of beliefs her church offers, her calling, how to reach youth, her book on testimony in the church, and other topics of faith and life.