Enduring the cross, despising the shame

Jul 16, 2018 by

If I were to try to convince someone to become a Christian, shame is not a quality I would advertise. I would probably talk about the wonderful sense of being set free from guilt, the comforting presence of a...

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Be careful what you ask for

Mar 27, 2018 by

I was at a lunch recently where Matt. 20:20-28 was read devotionally before the meal. It’s the passage where the mother of James and John seeks to stake out some territory for her sons in the kingdom of God...

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He goes lower still

Mar 26, 2018 by

God is immense. He spread the universe with one wave of his hand; billions of galaxies spanning light years, completely unseen and unreachable by man. This same God created the intricacies of our bodies that...

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5 tips for holding convictions with humility

Feb 12, 2018 by

Entreat God. God delights in the humble, and he wants to help us grow in humility. Our first step must be to pray for humility. Discern others’ background. Often others’ beliefs are shaped by their...

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Kehrberg: Hospitality more than a clean house

Aug 14, 2017 by

Having people over. Getting together. Fellowshipping around the table. Regardless of the phrase you use, hospitality is a difficult thing. It involves time, effort and vulnerability. The statistical data and...

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No Tomahawk missiles in the kingdom of God

Apr 12, 2017 by

This post is a sermon (audio version here) given April 9, 2017 at Washington City Church of the Brethren. Our gospel reading this morning is about Jesus’ triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, just days before...

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Holy fire and human flailing

Mar 3, 2017 by

Lord Jesus, please hear the heart of your handmaiden. I read this morning in Leviticus 10 of the death of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu. As is the case every single time I read it, my heart aches for Aaron...

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If refugees can’t come, we must go to them

Feb 20, 2017 by

I have heard a lot of discussion about the parable of the good Samaritan among Christians debating the crisis and President Donald Trump’s ban. What surprises me as I listen to these conversations is that...

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Walk the second mile

Jan 30, 2017 by

The 2016 election results have renewed interest in laws to protect religious freedom. Among them are the First Amendment Defense Act and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Their ostensible purpose is to...

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Paul’s letter to veterans

Dec 7, 2016 by

In Philippians 2:1-13, Paul exhorts the Christians of Philippi to be of one mind and one love. “Be uniform,” we might paraphrase. This kind of language would appeal to Christians in this place because many...

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Firm foundations for relational health

Nov 30, 2016 by

We have done a disservice to our children in terms of relational health. We have, in a myriad of ways, taught them not how to handle conflict or to reconcile relationships, but to avoid conflict and deny its...

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Reclaiming Scripture

Nov 7, 2016 by

We Anabaptists often say “Jesus is the center of our faith” when describing our distinctive beliefs. In addition to explaining how Jesus is our example for daily living, we use this statement to describe...

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Showalter: How to give

Sep 12, 2016 by

When he said goodbye to the Ephesian elders at Miletus (Acts 20:35), Paul’s last words were, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” He quoted Jesus. Questions about how to give dominate...

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Bible: Salvation for a tax collector

May 9, 2016 by

Humility is a theme of all three of these stories in the Gospel of Luke. We might expect such a theme from the story of people bringing the little children to Jesus and Jesus’ saying, “Whoever does not...

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Are you going to wash my feet?

Feb 15, 2016 by

Two days after open heart surgery in January, I peed on my socks. You perhaps would do the same if a surgeon so recently had split open your chest, stopped your heart, and grafted in three bypass arteries...

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Polarizing fallout

Jan 18, 2016 by

Kyle Hinckley made a stir in the video-game world by successfully completing the hardest mode of Fallout 4 with zero kills. In this popular series of video games set in a post-apocalyptic United States, gamers...

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Jesus didn’t blow his own trumpet

Sep 14, 2015 by

Like a lot of Christians, I’ve often found Jesus’ reluctance to talk about himself strange and even unsettling. This is a particular theme in the Gospel of Mark — Jesus seeming to go out of his way to...

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Preparing to enter Lent — thoughts on Ash Wednesday

Feb 18, 2015 by

Three years ago I developed a creative arts Lenten retreat based on the Revised Common Lectionary passage. And guess what? The Lectionary has cycled back around to those same passages this year. The following...

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Learning to learn from my children

Sep 23, 2013 by

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” — Matt. 18:3 It is amazing. If I stop to pay attention to the delicate, curious and...

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