Talk with the Preacher

Monthly Archives: March 2006

We’ve instituted a new plan at our house. I totally stole the idea from my sister and, frankly, had my doubts about its effectiveness. So far it has worked shockingly well. Watching the curious phenomenon of this plan’s implementation in our household has been very funny and, I got to thinking, rather instructive. Here’s the deal. Each member of our family under the age of 13 (except the dog) receives 21 marbles… Read More

For as long as I can remember I’ve maintained a list of things I really want to do before I die. Up until this point I have been unable (read: unwilling) to do most of those things because I have been too busy trying to accomplish all the things I am supposed to be doing in life (you know, college, marriage, children, career, graduate degrees . . . this is suddenly making… Read More

I am a very occasional television viewer but recently have become mesmerized by a show called Flip That House. It seems like every time I turn on the television another episode is on (could it be because the show is on about 20 times a day?).Have you seen it?The premise of the show is that the cameras follow someone who “house flips” for a living—that is, buys a house, fixes it up… Read More

This is certainly far from politically correct, but I must confess that the Dixie Chicks‘ song Goodbye Earl has often been blasted on my CD player and sung at the top of my lungs in the relative privacy of my car. This song would be a highly inappropriate sentiment for any religious professional, you know. I have to tell you, though, over the years I’ve had a few Earls in my life…. Read More

***DISCLAIMER***There’s some debate among my clergy friends about how much the pastor’s personal perspectives can or should run over into the professional realm. How much is being prophetic and how much is using the pulpit to advocate your own position? Frankly, when you pastor a church I just don’t think there’s any simple delineation to be had.But I am aware that what I say and do reflects on the church, and that… Read More

The following appeared our March Calvary Caller. I get a whole page every month, you know–the Pastor’s Column. Whenever I write these things I wonder who reads them . . . if anyone. This month, though, I’ve already stopped counting how many people have mentioned the article to me. Must’ve struck a chord . . . . I am also beginning to notice that the life of our congregation often mirrors themes… Read More

Everybody needs a LaLa. Her name is not really LaLa, of course, it’s Bethany, but her Chinese name is Hou Le (happy) and it just seems right to call her La or LaLa. And happy she is, into everything and very busy in her little two-year old explorations of the world. La is my sister Maile and her husband Tim’s fourth child, adopted last year from China. For some reason that puzzles… Read More

One of the crosses I bear in this veil of tears we call human life is that I have two of the most beautiful sisters (Maile, left, and Katie, middle). This may not sound like a particularly difficult burden in the overall scheme of things, but at least give me chance to make my case, would you? Not only are both of my sisters beautiful, but by any standard, both are also… Read More

I spent some time with a friend yesterday who told me her mantra for life these days. I thought it might come in handy for me, too. Thanks, Lia. All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.Dame Julian of Norwich – 14th Century – Mystic

The Calvary staff spent a day this week with Mark Holland, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Kansas. Mark was kind enough to come in and do a day-long presentation and exploration of a new model of church staffing which calls for a commitment to what he called . . . transformational ministry. Sounds totally holy, doesn’t it? Upon hearing this model, all of us in the training thoughtfully… Read More