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Category: Sermons

Short. Sweet. Simple.

I am a writer and a preacher, so I know a simple truth: words have power. Words can lift us up and tear us down. Words can impart wisdom and spread ignorance. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words… words have almost unimaginable power. A few months…

God’s Away on Business

When I was in seminary, I spent a few months as a student chaplain at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago. Along with the other student chaplains, I took classes at the hospital and covered on-calls.  During the week, during the day, there were real professional chaplains at the…

A Terrible Prophet

The church is a hospital for sinners, not a country club for saints. And even pastors like me struggle to love as we ought to. If you’ve listened to my sermons, you know that I have some issues with how our country has been treating people who come to…

Bargains

Sorry there’s no recording this week! We’ve heard the first part of this story before. I know. I’ve preached on the first part of this story from this pulpit before. There was a man named Elkanah, who had two wives: Peninnah and Hannah. In a world where a woman’s…

Wisdom

When I was in high school, I took an English class where I had to present and analyze a poem in front of the class. I chose a poem by Ogden Nash. I don’t remember which poem of his I chose, and his poems are still copyrighted by his…

That Holy Spirit

Sorry there’s no recording this week! For the last few weeks, we’ve been reading snippets of Paul’s letter to the believers in Rome. Three weeks ago, we heard Paul introduce himself. And he didn’t give the believers in Rome a summary of his resume. He simply told them a…

Who Would Go Back?

Sorry there’s no recording this week! You’re going to get a very short sermon today. Mostly because I off-handedly promised the confirmands that I would tell this story: When I was in college, I was in the jazz ensemble. And one of the things we did was travel to…

When We Were Still Sinners

I’ve said it before. I said it last week. I’ll say it again: You are loved and you are worthy of love. It doesn’t matter how you got here. You are here now. You are in grace. You are loved and you are worthy of love. I know that can be hard…

How We Got Here

How did you get here? It’s a question we ask each other a lot… and the answers matter. Way back when I was searching for a call to a congregation, I had to fill out forms—a ministerial profile—about how I got here.  I had to chart a journey through…

Other Gods

On my drives from Davenport to DeWitt, and from DeWitt to Davenport, I listen to a lot of NPR. Last Sunday morning, as I was on my way to preach a sermon that touched upon violence at a house of worship, some people on Weekend Editionwere talking about violence at…

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