• headphones for listening
    Engage

    Listening: An Antidote to Polarization

    Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. James 1:19 (NET) I visited the National Museum of African American History & Culture last week—I and thousands of other people—and the experience overwhelmed me. The upper floors of the museum celebrate the significant contributions of African Americans to every sector of our culture. But the three-floor basement of the museum documents how the powerful have dominated the powerless in our country. For example, when enslaved people were finally freed in the U.S., compensation was given—but not to the slaves who had put in a lifetime of uncompensated labor. Instead, slave…

  • Engage

    Three Responses to Charlottesville

    Like many of you, I watched in disbelief as white supremacists spouted bigotry, violence, and KKK rhetoric last weekend at a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA. For a brief summary of the weekend’s events and aftermath, see: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/13/us/charlottesville-virginia-overview.html I’ve noted two common responses to the persistent racial and political divide in our country: 1)     Us vs. Them. Whether it’s Democrat vs. Republican, black vs. white, black vs. blue, male vs. female, gays vs. straights, or Cowboys vs. Redskins, a “vs.” in the middle necessarily puts one group in complete opposition to another. Dividing ourselves into ideological categories is a natural way of expressing our identity, heritage, and values.…

  • Engage

    Six Ways to Grow in Unity

    I’ve been disturbed by the trend to disagree without unity within the body of Christ, not only in this putrid political climate but also within churches. Belittling Christians who don’t agree with us or treating them as enemies is undermining our unity, which Jesus clearly identified as the way the world would see the reality of who he is (John 17:20-23). So it’s no small thing! We are divided by our backgrounds, life experiences, the biases of the teaching and preaching that we hear, and the people we hang with. (And yes, we all have biases because of pride and the preconceived ideas that we fail to recognize.) Is it…

  • Engage

    Thanksgiving: Thanks and Reconciliation

    While we associate Thanksgiving with Pilgrims and Native Americans, it was Abraham Lincoln who made Thanksgiving a national holiday in the midst of the Civil War. Our country was fractured, yet in his October 3, 1863 proclamation, Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving. Not only that, he asked for prayers for “the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.” Our recent election has aggravated and exposed many divisions that have been simmering below the surface in the United States. Like it or not,…

  • Heartprints

    Can’t We All Just Get Along? 3 Quick Observations From A Peacemaker!

      If you know me, I’m a peacemaker and I really don't care for confrontation so when I hear about protests going on about Trump’s victory I’m a little troubled by it.  I thought for blogging purposes I would share 3 quick observations of what I believe is challenging for a person like me who asks the question – can’t we all just get along?     It appears that the losing team is throwing a hissy fit. I may be wrong but it seems to me that the protesters are simply throwing a big hissy fit about losing.  In life, when we lose we can be sore losers or…

  • Impact

    Should a Christian Attend a Homosexual Wedding?

    “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For the things they do in secret are shameful even to mention” (Ephesians 5:11-12). Not too long ago my wife was listening to New Life Live, a Christian radio and counseling program she has listened to for years. But she was shocked when she heard one of the hosts, Stephen Arterburn, say he would attend a homosexual marriage; though he admitted the other hosts might not agree with him on this decision. I was also stunned to hear about this, so I searched the web to find out what he and/or others were saying about this. I…