Category Archives: Faith

Column: Keeping politics out of the pulpit

The first amendment to the Constitution insures the separation of church and state. It is an imperative to democracy. The church cannot control the political decision of the state and the state (government) shall not mandate the religious identity of its citizens. Our Pilgrim ancestors left England in resistance to the King’s religious requirements. They… Continue Reading

Summer adventures at camp

School is almost over and summer break is about to begin. I remember as a young child saying my goodbyes to my friends and wishing them a great summer, and then heading home knowing that school was out and summer had begun. The sun seemed warm and pleasant coming through the bus window as I… Continue Reading

Column: Birth of the church

This Sunday is the birthday of the church. Acts 2 tells the story of how on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon the gathered believers. They all started glorifying God and the folks outside, who came from every corner of the Roman Empire, heard their speech each in their own language. Some… Continue Reading

Cure for quitting on God

Have you ever wanted to give up following Jesus? If you are not a Christian, maybe you have wanted to give up checking to see if Jesus is the truth. If so, the only true God has already spoken a message to you that he would like to make come alive in you — Psalm… Continue Reading

Column: A call to serve one another

I graduated from high school on June 12, 1972. The next day, I started my first full-time job as a machine operator at Standard Press Steel Technologies in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. On Wednesday, Feb. 5, 1975, I was handed a layoff notice. I was out of work! A few months later I began my studies at the… Continue Reading

Column: Don’t do this alone

Few disagree with the African Proverb that it takes a village to raise a child. None of us would want to hand the control of an airplane over to a pilot who has never flown an airplane and never sat in a flight simulator. Every vocation requires a time of training on the job through… Continue Reading

Column: A matter of death and life

Any loss of life is regrettable. Any taking of human life should be a last resort.When many of us were originally taught the Fifth Commandment, it wasn’t as “You shall not murder,” right? I learned the Fifth Commandment in King James English as “Thou shalt not kill.” (I am using the Roman Catholic/Lutheran numbering here.)… Continue Reading

Humbled by those who serve

Dr. Eusebio Lozora, pathologist, is a man devoted to faith and science.  He is also the imagination of story teller, Yann Martell, in his book “The High Mountains of Portugal.”  One night, Martell creates this endearing scene where Eusebio and his wife, Maria, are engaged in conversation about Agatha Christie novels and Jesus. Both Eusebio… Continue Reading

We are friends of God

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation for all that believe, providing all we need for life.    Mankind is made in God’s image and likeness. We are the expression of His being and His great love. We were given His life and have His DNA.  Because man was separated… Continue Reading

Column: Counting blessings

I recently read a great line about children: “A child isn’t a project; nor a problem to be solved, rather a child is a wonder to treasure.” I suspect that we all know this to be true, but we so readily lose track of the treasuring, and give in to problem solving. A wonder to… Continue Reading

The path of morality

I am teaching philosophy in Lithuania and have been revisiting Plato’s great work Republic. One of the interesting questions raised by Plato is whether morality is a constraint or a means to freedom. In the book, Thrasymachus and Socrates are discussing the reason one ought to follow moral norms. Thrasymachus says morality is an artificial… Continue Reading

Column: Comprehending God

One of the important aspects of Unitarian Universalist theologies is the belief that there is no one way to comprehend the Ultimate Source of All Being.  No book, no faith system, no single epiphany, no religious authority can capture the entire mystery of the cosmos, which some call “God.” Unitarianism and Universalism merged as a… Continue Reading

Column: I am the vine

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”   — John 15:5 NLT In the final days before his crucifixion and Easter resurrection, Jesus continued his work of teaching his disciples and preparing… Continue Reading

Column: The kingdom of God may mean world peace

World peace, a hallmark of the emerging global civilization, will be realized as a tangible expression of the principle of the oneness of humankind. This assurance is given in the teachings of Baha’u’llah. Such a peace will result from the culmination of two distinct but simultaneous and mutually reinforcing processes:  one leading to the spiritual… Continue Reading

Column: Making sacrifices during Lent

I was having coffee the other day with a couple of friends and Brady said, “I’d like to participate in Lent, but I don’t know how.” This led to a great conversation about the 40-day liturgical season framed by Ash Wednesday and the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. It brought to mind a statement from a… Continue Reading

Dust, ashes and diamonds

I suspect you know that diamonds, some of the most beautiful, valuable and cherished gems in all the world, are nothing more than carbon dust — ashes — that have been exposed to great amounts of pressure. I first learned this fun fact as a kid watching the old black-and-white Superman TV series, the one… Continue Reading

Column: Saved by grace alone

Grace Alone: Read 1 Corinthians 9:24–10:5 Christians are saved by grace alone. What does this mean? We are saved by the work of Jesus Christ in our place as our substitute. Our salvation from sin, death and the devil is a gift from God. We are saved apart from our conduct, apart from our good… Continue Reading

Column: Christian unity

I have become convinced after I first wrote during the summer that Christians in this town have a desire to see greater unity.  Many people came up to me and spoke to me on how they appreciated that I was willing to broach the subject. I repeat that I was just merely reflecting on Jesus… Continue Reading

Recovery: chapter and verse

I have had the privilege of coming to know and working with a number of men and women who have committed themselves to “Recovery,” primarily as this process relates to alcohol and substance abuse.  The traditional 12 steps of AA and NA have served many of these folks quite well.  But significantly, we have together… Continue Reading

Column: The perils of pastoral prayer

And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and… Continue Reading

Column: Go a head! Make someone’s day!

Well the old is gone and the new has come. It is difficult for me to believe that 2015 went so quickly and now we are in 2016. With the new year comes new opportunities and new possibilities. Many are consumed already with their New Year’s resolutions, and I would guess, that most of them… Continue Reading

Column: Peace on Earth!

We just went through another cycle of presidential candidates debating with each candidate saying in their loudest voice, “I and only I can keep you safe.” We just had Christmas, the 2015th birthday of a king. According to Luke 2:14, at the first Christmas angels declared to the shepherds, “On earth peace among men with… Continue Reading

Column: ‘Thou shalt not kill!’

Our first Scripture reading at last Sunday’s Mass was from the fifth chapter of the Prophet Baruch. Our reading began with an instruction: “Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery.” That verse spoke to me rather deeply. We, in this wonderful country of ours, mourn all too often upon hearing news of another… Continue Reading

Column: A culture of kindness

A few years ago, a gentlemen I met gave me some advice. He said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans for the day.” At the time I thought it was funny but not very practical advice. Then, two days later I found myself being life-flighted to Billings after a massive… Continue Reading

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