4: “…and the Holy Spirit”

If Jesus turned the religious world upside down while he lived among us, things did not settle down after he left.  It is recorded in The Acts of the Apostles: Pentecost was just the beginning of a revolution.  The Holy Spirit blew into the room with the sound of wind, the appearance of fire, and the chaos of several languages chattering at once. Jesus’ friends … Continue reading 4: “…and the Holy Spirit”

#3: “Then There’s Jesus”

Jesus was popular with masses of people not only because he healed some of them, but also because they sensed that he spoke with authority.  From our (Christians’) perspective, we know why he had that authority: he is one of the Godhead, the Son himself.  Because he is divine, and we believe the radical claim that he became human and lived among us, what he … Continue reading #3: “Then There’s Jesus”

Succeeding at Civility

Here in northwest Iowa we have been conducting an experiment for the past few months.  A colleague and I started a dialogue group to create a space for gracious conversation about issues that affect everyone, so we mostly talk about politics. Almost everybody I know felt beat up after the presidential election of 2016.  It didn’t matter whether your candidate of choice won or not.  … Continue reading Succeeding at Civility

Knock, Knock. Who’s There?

“Somebody ought to do something.”  How many times have you said that to yourself as you marked yet one more piece of evidence that our society is floundering?  I’m just as guilty as the next person of despairing over circumstances, then pushing my anxiety aside, filing it into an overstuffed file of “things I can’t do anything to change.” Except this time we’re not pushing … Continue reading Knock, Knock. Who’s There?

The Gift of Listening

This was originally written for the Spencer Daily Reporter in their Friday, November 25, 2016 edition.  Are you a good listener?  Think of a recent conversation that had some substance to it.  Did you interrupt the other person?  Were you preoccupied with waiting for them to finish so you could say what you wanted to say?  Then you probably have some work to do on … Continue reading The Gift of Listening


We were babysitting our two young grandchildren while their parents went to a wedding.  Rydia, 3 ½, was recovering from a little stomach bug and maximizing the rare privilege of watching endless cartoons.  Link was his usual energetic toddler self, alternating between pestering his sister, begging to be held, and investigating the kitchen drawers. I tried to get Link to eat something during the supper … Continue reading Bread