The Blessing of Brothers

I am guessing most of what I have to say in this post would apply to our sisters, too, but I can only speak to my own experience as a man, so while this isn’t just for the guys out there, please forgive me if my experience and perspective is somewhat narrow. That being said, I’ve been thinking today about the blessing of brothers, first, because I missed out on a chance to drink beer with some after the district conference north of me tonight, and with good reason, as my daughter had her softball banquet (she got her varsity letter as a freshman) and my truck needs some fixing (nothing major), and, second, because I’ve been so blessed by what this podcast has become and afforded me. Continue reading “The Blessing of Brothers”

Beware the Fearmonger

It seems like the sky is falling every other day now. From politics to culture to religion to about anything else, there’s one purported cataclysm after another on the horizon. Thankfully, there are plenty of people willing to tell us about them, to give us quick answers, to point the way, to give shallow analysis and paint quick panoramas. Beware the fearmonger, though. Those who live off or for crises are often the last you should give the time of day. Yes, there are legitimate crises, but those are never as clean and so easily labeled and summarized as the fearmonger claims. Continue reading “Beware the Fearmonger”

Why the Church Year (Episodes)?

Sometimes people, extremely well-meaning people, even and especially those who have grown up in historic churches who observe the ancient church year and its propers and festivals and all that, will ask a very innocent question, “Why observe the church year?” Also sometimes, people, not so well-meaning people, especially those who have grown up in such churches, will ask the same question, but not so much for an answer as for an opening to explain why we Christians should give up our calendar. Continue reading “Why the Church Year (Episodes)?”

Pentecost from the Pew

For ten years I was a Lutheran preacher. That was my vocation. And that’s what I did, preached, a lot. And Pentecost was always an interesting Sunday. As much as I hate to admit it, it’s hard to read an account like that without questioning one’s ministry. I mean, just once, couldn’t I have a Pentecost Sunday? Or couldn’t we compromise? Maybe not thousands, and, fine, not hundreds, or even dozens, but maybe a handful would come to faith and be baptized? It’s hard to imagine what it must have felt like Peter, preaching a sermon and having such immediate results. Continue reading “Pentecost from the Pew”

Lessons on the Diamond

I know a lot of people don’t get club sports. I know a lot of pastors don’t like them. I’ll admit, we become a Thursday, Saturday, Monday church family once the season kicks into gear. I’ll also note, though, that we’ve made it work, even when I was the pastor and my wife was the pastor’s wife and my kids were PKs.

What’s the problem with club sports? There are many. First, anyone can play, if they can find a club willing to take their money. And a lot of times that anyone doesn’t really want to play, or maybe shouldn’t play, but their parents are determined to spend money. Second, anyone can play, if they have money to give a club, and some of the best players I know, and best families, struggle to find the money. Third, this is a commitment to a sport year-round, at a high level (if you are getting your money’s worth). There is no off-season, as some T-shirts boast. There are other problems, but these suffice for now. Continue reading “Lessons on the Diamond”

Christ’s Ascension Is Our Ascension

If you haven’t yet, check out our episode on the Ascension with Pastor Tyler Peil, which can be found here:

2 Kings 2:1-11

Bible trivia time. The Bible only reports two men ever having gone to heaven without dying. We have one before us in this reading. Do you remember who the other was? Want a hint? We hear about him in Genesis 5: “When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.”

And that’s all we hear about Enoch. Pretty interesting isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be nice to know more? Wouldn’t it be nice to more about Enoch’s life, what he was like, where he lived, what he did, who he knew, what he had? But Moses doesn’t tell us. Apparently he didn’t think it important and apparently God didn’t think we really needed to know. And maybe there’s something to that. Enoch walked with God. That’s all that mattered in the end. Whatever he did or had, whoever he knew, wherever he lived, in the end, when it boiled down to it, what mattered was that he walked with God. And what does that mean? It means he believed. Enoch was a believer. And so Moses tells us Enoch was born, he raised a family, and he walked with God, and God took him without ever dying. Continue reading “Christ’s Ascension Is Our Ascension”