Todays Thought

The Church & Money

Jesus is quoted about money as much or more than any other topic in the Gospels. His perspective was not that money was bad, but that it needed to be used for the good of others. It isn’t money that is evil, regardless of how often that passage from 1 Timothy 6 is misquoted; it…
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Needing Church

 A couple of years ago I was contacted by a woman who had been a member of my congregation growing up, but her life circumstance had taken her away from our congregation, at least physically. She went to church because her parents went to church, and even after they divorced, she went with her dad…
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Erasing Self-Doubt painting by Janis Kirstein

What if they don’t come back?

This is the question that every religious institution is probably asking itself. With almost 2 years of online services and programs, and the ease by which most people can connect with the faith community of their choice, it is a very real concern. The vast majority of churches have been struggling for years with decreasing…
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Sacred Geometry by Drew Brophy

Is nothing sacred?

This happened a couple of years ago in a church I did not serve. There was going to be a community meeting, and one of the residents (a locally well-known and very demonstrative army veteran) was in attendance. We were meeting in the sanctuary, and he confronted the pastor, loudly protesting that the position of…
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Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Westminster Abbey

Freedom

Long before the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, his character was the victim of multiple assaults by racist Americans trying desperately to destroy his voice and his dream. No, King was not perfect, and his infidelity hurt his family a lot. No excuses for his behavior; but it didn’t take away from…
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The Last Judgment artwork

Universal Salvation? Nah… well, maybe…

First – I don’t think there is anything wrong with you if you believe that everyone goes to heaven; I just think you are wrong. No offense.  Second – Who is saved is up to God, so my opinion is irrelevant. God will do as God will do.  Third – Our modern understanding of heaven…
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Lavender painting with Japanese characters

Forgiven

One of, if not the, central concepts in Christianity is the idea and practice of forgiveness. Jesus speaks of it often, and the writers of Scriptures that follow the Gospels did as well. For Jesus, forgiveness worked this way: if you want to be forgiven, you have to be a forgiving person. If you don’t,…
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Leap of Faith artwork by Enrico

Success

What does success look like to you? It has always been a pet peeve of mine when I am asked how large our congregation is. Membership has never been the standard by which any church should judge its success; most churches only get 25% attendance of their membership on any given Sunday. Does that sound…
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The Boy Who Cried Wolf artwork by Francis Barlow

Crying Wolf

It is an old story that parents often tell; or at least, tell, their children. Don’t cry wolf. Although the book wasn’t published until 1867, the story was originally one of Aesop’s Fables, written before the 4th century BCE, when it was first compiled in a 10-volume series by Demetrius of Phalerum, an Athenian orator…
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Carl Schurz

Patriotism

I love my country. That said, I was not raised in a patriotic family. We didn’t have a history of men and women who had served in war, mostly because they weren’t the right age at the right time, but some (like my father) who just didn’t see the point. He was very negative about…
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