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Two Farmers

A conversation between two farmers went like this: The first farmer said to the second farmer, “If you had two fields, wouldn’t you be willing to share one of them?” “Of course!” If you had two houses, you wouldn’t live in both, so you’d be happy to share the...

The Masterpiece –a Christmas Story

A Christmas Eve/Day story   THE MASTERPIECE                 Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who, with his devoted young son, shared a passion for art collecting.  Together they traveled around the world, adding only the finest art treasures to their...

Christmas is not all sweetness

When you preach the Christmas story, never forget this: The Christmas story is not all candles, candy-canes and chocolate-bark. It is a story filled with scandal, betrayal, treachery, filth and murder. In Auschwitz, a young girl terrified of touching dead bodies, is...

Connection and Pastoral Identity

Friends:   Connection is the newold content. Life (and ministry) is all about four connections—our connection to God, to ourselves, to each other, and to creation.   Recently, one of my doctoral students (who shall go by the name of “Paul”) asked one of my most...

The Power of Metaphor

In my lecture yesterday on the future of preaching, I briefly touched on how narraphoric preaching differs from the narrative preaching of the 70s and 80s associated with Fred Craddock, Eugene Lowry, Charles Rice and others. I noted the priority of metaphor, and of...

Where’s the Grace?

To one degree or another, in six weeks you will need to celebrate or at least acknowledge the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. We will have some resources for you to use as we approach the date. But here is a Martin Luther story that sets the stage...