EVERYthing happens for a reason.

“It was meant to be.”

“The Universe wanted me to….”

“I was supposed to learn something from that.”

“There are no coincidences.”

“There’s a reason for everything.”

These statements are nearly universal, and there is no pattern to them. Atheists, believers, liberals and conservatives, and people characterized as either spiritual or not use some version of these statements.  Many (I would say most) believe in some form of fate, destiny, providence, or another form of external manipulative power. Continue reading →

Car Repair

Coming down the hill from Yosemite required downshifting in order to spare the brakes.  Third gear worked the best, but it was not meant for the flat straight-aways.

But getting the shifter back into Drive required determined strength, inspiring a moment of concern about the remainder of the trip home.  This was not pleasant to be discovering this at 60 miles an hour. Continue reading →

The Loaded Question

“Did you see the picture of the President praying with his council of religious leaders,” he asked.  “What did you think about it?’

We were in the produce department of the grocery store.  The question came immediately after ‘hello.”  Not a good sign.

It was soon apparent to me that this was a loaded question, based on the presumption that I would agree with his opinion about the praying President picture.  “You’re a pastor; surely you would find the picture gratifying and refreshing.” Continue reading →

We have the Temple of the Lord!

Ancient Israel was politically and religiously pragmatic.  The earliest description of this can be seen in the nation’s clamor for a Golden Calf to quell their fears at Mount Sinai.

Fearing that God had abandoned them, they called for Aaron to cast an idol they could see and worship. They did this In spite of the fact that the Calf was of their own making and had no existence prior to the time when they turned their jewelry into a statue. Continue reading →

No Joke

no-jokeNo Joke

by Jim Henderson and Cara Highsmith

At a small group meeting recently I told a group of people from our church about the imam, rabbi, and pastor from Peoria.  “Sounds like a joke,” said one of our group members.  It does sound like a joke!

But it’s not.  These three men from Peoria are real, honest-to-goodness friends.  And Jim Henderson is helping them take their wonderful story public.  It’s a story we all need to hear because of the rancor, fear, and division we’ve all experienced in the past year. Continue reading →