Friday, January 18, 2013

Blog Series: Musings on Isaiah Chapter 58

During Lent of 2012, I wrote a series of blog posts on Isaiah Chapter 58.  Here are links to each article in the five part series:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

So Live, That When ...

So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take 
His chamber in the silent halls of death, 
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night, 
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed 
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave 
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch 
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams. 

William Cullen Bryant

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Rethinking Church?

I can’t stand your

religious meetings.

I’m fed up with your

conferences and conventions.

I want nothing to do with your

  religion projects,

your pretentious

  slogans and goals.

I’m sick of your

  fund-raising schemes,

your public relations and

  image making.

I’ve had all I can take of your noisy


When was the last time you sang to me?

Do you know what I want?

I want 


oceans of it.

I want


rivers of it.

That’s what I want. 

That’s all I want.

How does this strike you?  
It's a direct quote from 
Amos 5:18-24 
(The Message translation of the Bible)

*Image is the Tower of Babel, from a Russian manuscript of Cosmas Indicopleustes (c. 1539), scanned from В. Д. Сарабьянов, Э. С. Смирнова. История древнерусской живописи. М., ПСТГУ, 2007, стр. 586 by an anonymous source. It is in the public domain due to expiration of copyright.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Forgiving ...

Forgiving what we cannot forget 
creates a new way to remember. 
We change the memory of our past 
into a hope for our future.

- Lewis B. Smedes

*Photo of Rosa 'Iceberg' at the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, taken April 2005 by Stan Shebs

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Magic of Childhood

Today is a big day for me.  On this Epiphany Sunday, marking the visit of the wise men to the baby Jesus, the sermon in church was about the question, "Who Is This Baby?"  Good question!  A quarter of a century ago, I looked at my own child and wondered the same thing.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Redemptive Road

On Sunday, September 16, 1963, during the Sunday School hour, a bomb blast ripped through the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.  How doeFour little girls were killed: Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Denise McNair.  How does that tragedy speak to us today, nearly fifty years later?