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Fear

Fear seems to be in the air. Why is that? I’ve seen posts in my Facebook feed about fear of terrorists, fear of government takeovers of land, fear of home invasion, fear of refugees, fear of guns and violence committed with guns, fear of gun control, fear of medical bills, and fear that the hoverboard […] Read More

The U.S. is beset with what I’ll call “ceremonial Christianity.” Before identifying and addressing that concern, a little background as to how I reached that term and concept might be helpful. Separation of church and state has gotten a bad rap in recent years. It is this ingenious American concept that allows faith to freely […] Read More

What do you do when stress escalates, becoming distress? How about when you feel the white-hot anxiety burn? A husband feels discounted by his wife’s superior intellect so he becomes overly assertive, even slightly aggressive in his posture and mannerisms. A manager is caught in relational binds between the executives and the front-line staff, finding […] Read More

Three times in Luke’s birth narrative (Luke 2:1-20), angels appear to people and their first words are “Do not be afraid.” It’s an understandable statement. I’d be frightened if an angel appeared to me and started talking, especially if “the glory of the Lord shone round about them,” as it did with the Bethlehem shepherds. […] Read More

The recent horrific acts of murder and terror in Paris, Beirut, Nigeria and Mali have reminded us that we still live in a world inhabited by violence, hate and evil. These recent and almost simultaneous upheavals of violence and hate have shaken the foundation of our faiths, our trust in the moral order of the […] Read More

Be afraid, be very afraid. This is the motto of our age. Fear is in the air. We breathe it in, and it travels up and down our bloodstream, from our heart to our head and back again. Fear becomes part and parcel to our very being. It cultivates paranoia that has no rootedness in […] Read More

This is a pivotal time to be clergy in North America. The trends of our times tell us the North American context for the Christian church is dramatically shifting. More than any time in our lifetimes, being clergy in 2015 and into the near future is a dramatically different endeavor than for previous generations. What […] Read More

We live in a fearful society. I remember going to school after the 1999 Columbine massacre and meeting in the auditorium to learn about our now necessary lock-down procedures. The fear of going to school and dying there became very real. I also remember a time before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It was an era […] Read More

“Be afraid; be very, very afraid.” This was the message I heard as I listened to a sermon recently. It was a joyful worship service with enthusiastic singing and engaging congregational interaction until the sermon began. I was looking forward to a word about Jesus. Instead, the sermon was about how terrible America is becoming, […] Read More

There is no shortage of fear in this world, and of course no shortage of things to be fearful of. Given recent comments by a well-known U.S. evangelical Christian leader, Franklin Graham, concerning his views on Islam and Muslims – and how he feels his country should respond to it/them – it seems there is […] Read More