This-Thing-Inside-Me

He lies on the living room sofa, propped on a bolster of pillows, covered with a blanket, head shaved clean and white. Cancer. I am here to talk about what this is like. Outside, orange leaves speckle the green lawn and pumpkins climb the three steps to the front door. My mind wanders. Why do…

“God Hates Religion”

The message of the Bible is that God hates religion. The great Reformed theologian Karl Barth wrote those words. They’re striking. “The message of the Bible is that God hates religion. [What] we must say [of religion] is that it is the one great concern of godless men” (Church Dogmatics, vol. 1). The young Karl…

Three Things

Yesterday I received a cry for help. After only ten months, a marriage had disintegrated. One party was filing. Could I help. Forty-five minutes later I sat down with a couple for a pre-marital session, on our way to a fall wedding. They were sunny and excited and I tried not to bring that phone…

God, Dogs, and Unconditional Love

On the Monday following the terrorist rampage in Orlando, a dozen Golden Retrievers showed up in the Disney city. They were part of the K-9 Comfort Dogs team, a ministry run by Lutheran Church Charities. The dogs had come to give the kind of love and comfort that come only from a furry friend. There…

Orlando and the Banner of Love

Early on Monday morning I walked over to the church and lowered the flag to half mast. It felt good to do something. When we are faced with another horror, it’s easy to turn away. “What can I do, anyway?” I slid the red, white and blue down to a lower station and secured the…