Recently at the Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids, Mathew Clark of The Gay Christian Therapy Center hosted a panel discussion called Homosexuality and Christianity: A new approach in a polarizing debate.  Along with Mathew Clark, the panelists included Stephanie Sandberg, who directed the Actors Theatre production “Seven Passages: The Stories of Gay Christians”; Ruth Bell Olsson, president of the Grand Rapids Red Project for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment; and Jim Lucas, longtime chaplain of the Gays in Faith Together support group. A highlight of the evening was the official public coming out of Dan Dobson, son of the legendary and venerable Ed…

I cannot stand reality television. Well, I take that back. There are a few shows I like. I can handle Storage Wars, Pawn Stars and Auction Hunters (before they added the pawn shop.) But my favorite show is Bar Rescue. On Spike Network’s Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer, nationally known bar expert, scouts out failing bars for weeks in advance, then goes in and tries to save them. Typically, an episode has him doing a lot of yelling at the management, questioning their motives, not allowing them to make excuses, and bringing in experts to show the kitchen and bartenders how…

There is a remarkable statement in the Hebrew Bible about two men brawling: If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to the rescue of her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity. (Deuteronomy 25v11-12) The rule goes something like this: if two men are fighting, and the wife of one of them (who apparently is getting his butt kicked) comes over to rescue him from his attacker, and she reaches out and grabs him by his…

My first experience in youth ministry while in college was in a poor, rural community in Alabama at a Baptist church where the overwhelming majority of the 50 or so regular attendees were over the age of 65.  At some point, kids who lived in the small houses and trailer homes nearby discovered that every Wednesday night this church offered a free, warm meal and they started coming in droves.  Suddenly there were 20+ kids aged 7 to 15 at this church.  None of their families were involved in the congregation.  No one in the church had any youth ministry…

Imagine yourself and a group of people in a meeting with your church’s pastor. The church has been changing and seeing new life as people explore what it means to be a church in the early 21st century. The group presents a concept for a phenomenal new ministry connecting the community and congregation, leading to radically transformed lives. Excitement grips the group as they explain the concept to your pastor. You are elated when she says “yes!” and you start planning the roll out. As the group finalizes the plans, you find out about newly imposed guidelines and limitations that…

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Life

A friend told me about a time he met a Navajo Indian on a reservation in Arizona. The Navajo man tossed a can he was drinking from out onto the open ground. Taken aback, my friend questioned him about his…

I enjoy living in rural Kentucky most of the time. Good people who are willing to jump at the chance to take care of you when you have a problem. People who care about one another. They smile and say…

There is a reason that I typically don’t write about current events. First of all, the truths we can learn from the events occurring in our world are truths that have been openly touted for centuries. “There is nothing new…

I do not think C. S. Lewis ever directly said anything about gay and lesbian unions. But he did write about whether or not the federal government might be involved in defining what exactly is marriage and what exactly is…

Culture

David Bowie is not an artist without controversy. Since the release of his first album in 1967, the sometimes androgynous performer has always possessed the ability to stir the pot, especially when rock and roll needed it the most. One…

I cannot stand reality television. Well, I take that back. There are a few shows I like. I can handle Storage Wars, Pawn Stars and Auction Hunters (before they added the pawn shop.) But my favorite show is Bar Rescue….

As an aspiring writer, there are not many opportunities that I would turn down to translate my thoughts to words. I’ve written for children’s ministry magazines, news publications, online devotionals, book compilations and currently working on my own book. I’ve…

Sometimes I perform the popular, seek to satisfy the status quo because it’s socially easier to pretend to be like “them”. Sometimes I crave acceptance, even though it costs my soul.   I was created custom-made by God, with ideas…

Faith

Recently at the Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids, Mathew Clark of The Gay Christian Therapy Center hosted a panel discussion called Homosexuality and Christianity: A new approach in a polarizing debate.  Along with Mathew Clark, the panelists included Stephanie Sandberg, who…

My first experience in youth ministry while in college was in a poor, rural community in Alabama at a Baptist church where the overwhelming majority of the 50 or so regular attendees were over the age of 65.  At some…

Imagine yourself and a group of people in a meeting with your church’s pastor. The church has been changing and seeing new life as people explore what it means to be a church in the early 21st century. The group…

After the passionate back-and-forth on the news yesterday, with the looming possibility of federal legislation on the issue of same sex marriage, I quietly logged into my account, and with a few clicks of the mouse replaced that picture of…

Justice

Imran khan; a former sportsman, philanthropist, an active politician and 3rd most influential leader of 2012 according to the Global Post is the only hope left for the people of an economically diminishing state as such as Pakistan . By…

There is a remarkable statement in the Hebrew Bible about two men brawling: If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to the rescue of her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and…

Okay, this is an easy one. I was getting tired of all the polling and endless speculating before the 2012 elections.  Two days after President Obama was re-elected, the Republicans were threatening to run us off the fiscal cliff and…

While I was writing my book about fallen pastors, I ran into a few pastors who had found a way to restore their ministry. I was dumbfounded. They had, amazingly enough, found a way back into the pastorate. I’m about…

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Recent comments by presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann have stirred up the discussion about gay marriage once again. While speaking to a group of high school…

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The parable of the talents, we have been told, is a parable about personal responsibility, a warning of the terrible consequences of squandering our God-given…

This week, a dad disciplined his daughter. And at the time of me writing this piece, that discipline has been viewed over 14 million times….