We’re Here in the Middle of it All!

We’re Here in the Middle of it All!

“Today’s message was written by my friend, Roger Kunkel, founder of Dial Hope.” -Joe There’s a story of two cowboys out on the range caring for a large herd of buffalo. One of the cowboys says to the other, “These buffalo are the dirtiest, smelliest, ugliest creatures...
Staying Open to Change

Staying Open to Change

I recently heard about a strange ocean animal called the sea squirt. It is interesting that a young sea squirt will travel through the sea searching for a suitable rock or piece of coral to cling to and make its home for life. When it finds its spot and takes root, it...
The Fake Rabbit

The Fake Rabbit

The great preacher and scholar Fred Craddock once told about visiting one of his students after graduation. This former student was married and had young children in the house. Before dinner, Fred watched the kids roll around on the floor while playing with the family...
Daylight on the Other Side

Daylight on the Other Side

Many years ago, when Pierre Trudeau was prime minister of Canada, he gave a speech in which he shared with the nation that because of budget shortfalls, the government was going to reduce financial assistance programs. “If there is any relief,” he said, “it will be...
We Need Each Other

We Need Each Other

Not long ago, I heard about a woman who always went to a branch post office in her town because the postal employees there were friendly. She went there to buy stamps just before Christmas one year and the lines were particularly long. Someone pointed out that there...
Blessed, and then Blessing

Blessed, and then Blessing

Once the eminent philosopher John Dewey found his son in the bathroom. The floor was flooded and he was mopping furiously trying to contain the water in that room, keeping the damage to a minimum. The professor began thinking, trying to understand the deeper...
Handing Over Worry

Handing Over Worry

      A young man just out of business school, answered a want ad for an accountant. He got the interview, and met with a very nervous businessman who ran a small business that he had started himself.   “I need someone with an accounting degree,”...
Shining Brightly

Shining Brightly

Star-like energy exists in all of us. Author Sue Monk Kidd once told a story about when her daughter was small and got the seemingly small part of the Bethlehem star in a Christmas play. After her first rehearsal, she burst through the door with her costume, a...
Worry

Worry

When a gifted preacher is nailing a sermon, you would think that it wouldn’t be difficult to follow and engage. But we aren’t so simple, are we? I was in the church of one of the most gifted preachers I know, and this particular morning he was on his game. He was...
Reclaiming the Richest Aspects of the Season

Reclaiming the Richest Aspects of the Season

Yesterday was the first Sunday in Advent. And so we have begun a new year in the Christian liturgical calendar. We usually begin this season in church with readings about Jesus second coming. As the weeks progress toward Christmas, we then move toward the birth...