A Time and Place to Sing ‘Silent Night’

And the Word became flesh and lived among us… (Jn. 1:14) It was mid-December and my friends at the jail asked if I would bring them a Christmas songbook.  The following week I brought one with several choices.  They immediately began to argue over which one to sing first, until one guy said, “Stop wrangling.  …

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What Jesus Knew

Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. (Jn. 8:6) The woman caught in adultery stands in the midst of the crowd ashamed of her actions and afraid for her life.  The Pharisees are feverishly using that woman to set up Jesus. Many of the townspeople are gathered around with great curiosity, some …

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Let the Little Children Come to Me

People were bringing little children to [Jesus] in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them.  But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me…'   (Mk. 10:13-14) David, a seminary classmate, and I were at a folk mass.  As we …

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…and a Little Child Shall Lead Them

“The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” (Is. 11:6) Let me call him Fred.  He didn’t like the changes I was making at church.  He made an appointment to express his …

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Room For All

He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.’   (Lk. 4:17-18) One of church’s receptionists buzzed to tell me that she had a woman on the phone that demanded to talk with …

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Words of Encouragement

When he had gone through those regions and had given the believers much encouragement, he came to Greece…   (Acts 20:2) Paul returned to the congregations he had founded because he knew they needed support.  He encouraged them by saying that Jesus was always with them, proud of their efforts, and would share their struggles. Paul …

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With Barnabas

When he [Paul] had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord...   (Acts 9:26-27) …

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Following Jesus

Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’    (Mt. 16:24) Are you all-in?  Do you live with urgency, conviction, and purpose?  Or, do you hesitate, dabble, hedge your bets, play it safe? One of the most striking characteristics …

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In The Kingdom Business

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church…  (Mt. 16:18) I’m tremendously grateful for the church.  I’m grateful for its worship and fellowship; its ministry to needy people; and its service to the world.  I’m grateful for the many times the church has given care and solace …

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Worshipping and Praising God

Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.    (Ps. 96:9) I recently led a workshop on Emotional Intelligence at the sheriff’s academy.  Before starting to present the material, I asked the participants what it was like to be police officers these days. They were very forthcoming about all the strains, …

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