Yes, Your Theology Matters, Even to a 7-year old

In conversation with another parent, my wife and I shared that we are pastors (you never know how that’s going to go). A few minutes later she asked us what our week is like. As we started to describe what we had been doing, I felt an empowering assurance that we were both doing worthwhile things…

I’m White, but I Don’t Feel Like It

So for Father’s Day, I got an Ancestry.com DNA test kit. I spit into a little tube, mailed it off and awaited an emailed result. And the results are as intriguing as advertised. Prior to getting the results, I had my surname analyzed and found that “Raines” traces back to a village in Essex, UK called…

Son

Looking back no smile no wave no fond farewell

Closing Ceremonies

Note: A year ago today, I preached this final sermon at Sunnyside-Centenary United Methodist Church. I want to begin with an apology. This apology is generally for the remaining members, but it is more specifically for Cliff Fairley our illustrious choir director. Boy, hasn’t the choir just been magnificent? Several months ago, while we were…

Bible Leads: Genesis 32:9-32

TEXT Genesis 32:9-32 And Jacob said, ‘O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, “Return to your country and to your kindred, and I will do you good”, I am not worthy of the least of all the steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have…

Orlando and Psalm 137

I’ve been coming back to Psalm 137 ever since the Orlando shooting. It’s the Psalm I prepared for our vigil for Orlando. Of course, it is an awful Psalm and contains the worst, most despicable line in all of scripture. It is angry, vengeful and completely out of control. In fact, if the fruits of…

Bible Leads: Ruth 2:1-12

TEXT Ruth 2:1-12 Now Naomi had a kinsman on her husband’s side, a prominent rich man, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, ‘Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain, behind someone in whose sight I may find favour.’ She…

Bible Leads: Genesis 24:62-67

TEXT Genesis 24:62-67 Now Isaac had come from Beer-lahai-roi, and was settled in the Negeb. Isaac went out in the evening to walk in the field; and looking up, he saw camels coming. And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she slipped quickly from the camel, and said to the servant, “Who is…

Why Pray for Orlando

Prayer is for the pray-er. Prayer opens up the pray-er to God the same way talking opens up the griever to healing. And being opened up for God to change us is the first step to bringing God’s will to a hurting world. I understand the growing cynicism to constant prayer vigils following mass shootings….

Bible Leads: Mark 6:30-44

TEXT Mark 6:30-44 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the…

Bible Leads: Romans 5:1-11

TEXT Romans 5:1-11 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our…