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The recent passing of baseball legend Yogi Berra called up a lifetime of memories of the Yankee catcher and his post-retirement career as a statesman for the sport. He became a kind of unwitting philosopher as well with his famous “Yogi-isms” – clever and humorous turns of phrase that stated the obvious in amusing and […] Read More

Smaller churches often complain about not having any money. At times, however, the problem is that they have too much money. One small church that averages about 12 people each week told me they had more than $100,000 in savings. An even smaller church has nearly double that amount. A third small church was struggling […] Read More

I collected recently my daughter’s U.S. passport that needed renewal, noting that it was accompanied by a leaflet that read, “With your U.S. passport, the world is yours!” Nothing shocking on first glance; just a sense of pride and patriotism that citizens of most countries feel toward their flag, passport and other symbols of nationhood. […] Read More

A man left a dime, a nickel and three pennies in an offering envelope at First United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He wrote these words on the envelope: “Please don’t be mad, I don’t have much. I’m homeless. God bless.” I’ve been convicted recently, as I’ve heard several members from the congregation I […] Read More

At each stage of creation in Genesis 1, God likes what he has created. He declares that the world is good. When it’s all done, he declares that the creation is very good. And then something goes very wrong. First, the humans decide that they don’t want to be what God created them to be […] Read More

Graduation commencements usually are not very memorable. We’ve all been to our fair share and precious few of us can remember much of what the honorary guest speaker, impassioned with conviction, told us that day. The 2008 graduation commencement at McAfee School of Theology has proved to be an exception for me. Perhaps I paid […] Read More

One of the pressing concerns of 21st century individual and congregational spiritual life is the question of depth. To be blunt, there isn’t much. Study after study has revealed the sad truth that much of what we call faith and commitment is actually a thin veneer of religious ritualism that wilts at the first hint […] Read More

I stumbled into Christian stewardship quite by accident. It was not on my list of interests or career choices, but following God is not like mapping out the shortest route on your GPS. As a child I learned to tithe from my father. It was never a legalistic type of thing where you have to […] Read More

Quite often Malachi 3:8-10 will be invoked in a sermon series on stewardship. It makes for a powerful message due to its strong accusation in verses 8-9. “Will anyone rob God? Yet you are robbing me!” the prophet declares on God’s behalf. “But you say, ‘How are we robbing you?'” Malachi continues. “In your tithes […] Read More

According to the story, President Lyndon B. Johnson was walking across the tarmac toward a plane when one of his assistants informed him that the plane he was walking toward was not his.  LBJ’s response was, “They’re all mine, son.” Perhaps this was a bit of presidential humor on his part, but it sounds a […] Read More