Every Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I take some time to read Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Although I was raised all over the southeast, Birmingham is home for me. Nine years ago, I was leading a mission trip to El Salvador, and had arranged for our team to visit the final home of Monsignor Romero, and the chapel where he was killed. We also went to the UCA, spoke with Jon Sobrino, the Jesuit priest who narrowly escaped death during the Salvadoran civil war. It was a day filled with martyrs, being thankful for the sacrifice they had given, for the exampleRead More →

I Samuel 3:1-10; John 1:43-51 The National Constitution Center has been having a contest, called Address America: Six Words to Inspire a Nation. The rules are thus: write a six-word inaugural speech. All the winners would be submitted to Barack Obama and his speech-writing team. Here’s one of my favorites: These are testing times, study hard. Another favorite: Invest in civic energy. It’s renewable. The winning six-word inaugural speech is, “Divided by fear, united in hope.” As the week went on, I discovered that there were many threads running through the week.  Martin Luther King, Jr. day is Monday. Barack Obama is being inaugurated Tuesday,Read More →

In seminary, they tell you that preaching is “The Word of God mediated through the preacher’s personality.” That sounds so egotistical! It is, however, quite a responsibility: to be true to the text from which you’re preaching (for me, it’s the Bible), to be true to your understanding of who God is (remember! God is nicer than you think!), and to be true to the experience of your congregation. So you write this manuscript (some preachers don’t do this, but I do), and you stand up in front of a bunch of people and preach. You don’t read the text. You emote the text. SoundsRead More →

I led a discussion on boundaries today for a Peer Learning Group of ministers. It was a fun group, and they didn’t mind a little ribbing coming their way. But the topic, boundaries, really made me think some more about life and blogging. I’d like to be very clear about my boundaries. Physically, you’re welcome to come into my space, if you are invited. Do you hear that, Mr. Kiss-Me-on-the-Mouth-on-Christmas-Eve-at-a-Church-I-Don’t-Even-Attend? Kissing is really something I only do with people I like, you know, that way. Don’t come any closer. Or I’ll do the karate chop salad mixer* on your ass. Emotionally, I’m only going toRead More →

I decided today to get the website active, whether or not it’s ready. Why? Because I miss blogging. Many interesting (to me, at least) strands in the tapestry of my life have been threaded this week, and I just need somewhere to say it. First, on the job front. I’m still wondering what’s next for me, following Star Light. I live in this strange dichotomy: the feeling that I’m supposed to preach, and the struggle that I really don’t like the institutionalized church. Not a whole lot of preaching that takes place in the corporate world. Second, on the calling front. Are calling and jobRead More →