Month: January 2017

On Friday, January 27, Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending the admission of refugees from Syria indefinitely, suspending America’s refugee program entirely for 120 days, and barring all people from certain ‘terror prone’ countries for 90 days. The list of ‘terror prone’ countries – Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia – are all Muslim-majority countries where Trump does not have business ties. He signed the order on Holocaust Memorial Day, a time when we should remember that millions of people were murdered in Europe because they were Jewish. And because no one – including the United States – would…
Every fundraiser knows that data is important. Knowing our supporters is vital, and what we need to know more than anything is how to ask them, when to ask them, and how much to ask them for. The best way to do that is by observing their past behavior. People, as a friend of mine likes to say, are reliably themselves; all things being equal, people will tend to do what they’ve always done. And if we know what someone has always done, we can subtly make other things not equal and try to change that behavior. This is why…
In the early-ish days of blogging, it was normal to have a blogroll: a list of links to other (often more popular) blogs that the author was interested in. The blogroll would sit calmly in the sidebar and let readers browse their way to other blogs and other authors, discovering fresh ideas and insights. Now, nobody maintains a blogroll. The best hope you have of finding someone else is to follow a link in the body of a post or in a comment or in a link dump. Around here, they also show up in link posts that I share…
Richard Beck posted this quote shortly after I published a post titled No Country but the Kingdom and a sermon titled Jesus the Refugee. It seemed appropriate to share it here. Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life. Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men. Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine. With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow…
As long as there is poverty in the world I can never be rich, even if I posses a billion dollars. As long as millions of people are inflicted with debilitating diseases and cannot expect to live more than thirty-five years, I can never be totally healthy even if I receive a perfect bill of health from Mayo Clinic. Strangely enough, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. John Donne placed this truth in graphic terms when he affirmed, “No man is an island entire of itself. Every man…
“A universal basic income would provide a much more secure income base in an age of deepening economic and social insecurity and unpredictable work patterns,” economists Howard Reed and Stewart Lansley said in a report on basic income published in May last year. “It would offer much greater financial independence and freedom of choice for individuals between work and leisure, education and caring while recognizing the huge value of unpaid and voluntary work.” CNBC: Finland Experiments with Universal Basic Income Scheme FacebookTwitterLinkedInredditBuffer…
I belong to a church that began as a church of and for German immigrants. It’s a congregation that’s proud of its German heritage. The nativity story is still told in German on Christmas Eve. Hymns occasionally include a verse in German. Events have German roots. It’s also a congregation that’s proud to be in America. On one side of the chancel, right next to the pulpit, is an American flag. On the other side, next to the lectern that holds the Bible, is a POW/MIA flag. In the little chapel that’s hardly used for anything are plaques listing…
In the early-ish days of blogging, it was normal to have a blogroll: a list of links to other (often more popular) blogs that the author was interested in. The blogroll would sit calmly in the sidebar and let readers browse their way to other blogs and other authors, discovering fresh ideas and insights. Now, nobody maintains a blogroll. The best hope you have of finding someone else is to follow a link in the body of a post or in a comment or in a link dump. Around here, they also show up in link posts that I share…
Although Christ may transcend race, he also descended into the racial context of the New Testament. Jesus did not come as the king of the Romans, but rather as a child of a colonized and oppressed people group. If our modern Jesus is only white, then we miss who Jesus really was and is today. Sojourners: White People Need a Non-White Jesus FacebookTwitterLinkedInredditBuffer…
This sermon was delivered at Union Congregational United Church of Christ in Moline, Illinois on January 1, 2017. The scriptures for this sermon are Matthew 2:13-23 and Hebrews 2:10-18. I’m a geek. I’m enough of a geek that, when I was traveling for work a couple of weeks ago and that latest Star Wars movie came out, I went to see what I’m pretty sure was the first showing at a theater in D’Iberville, Mississippi. Now, I’m not going to spoil the movie for you. I’m going to tell you what anyone who follows Star Wars — and what a lot…

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