Reflections: Full Listing
Full Listing of Reflections

Click on a picture to go to that reflection.

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Rev. John Lewis
Posted: 8/25/20
A reflection on a personal hero: Rev. John Lewis
John Lewis has been a personal hero of mine. In this, I reflect on his life and work, as well as the hope his life gives.
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''Do You Have Anything to Eat?''
Posted: 5/12/20
The post-resurrection stories of Jesus eating fish stimulates some thoughts about a wonderful heaven.
Jesus eating fish after his resurrection might give insight into what a resurrected life might be like for us.
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God's, Sometimes Slow, Movement
Posted: 1/10/20
A picture of my wife and Bishop Curry stirs thoughts of the evolution of racial justice.
God brings about change -- change to increased justce. Sometimes it is very slow.
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Sacred Places; OLD Sacred Places (II)
Posted: 8/31/19
My Reflection on the Bishops & Breweries Tour genrerated many questions. I've tried to ponder these.
At the end of my last Reflection, I listed a few questions (called my wonderings). In this one, I share thoughts on those.
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Sacred Places; OLD Sacred Places (I)
Posted: 6/28/19
A tour of English cathedrals was not only informative but stirred many thoughts.
24 from our church toured many of the cathedrals in England (home to our Anglican faith), as well as breweries. Much food for thought and reflection!
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How Can We Sing in a Strange Land?
Posted: 1/5/19
When our life circumstances change, we can often feel isolated from God and in a Strange Land.
Like the Hebrews in captivity could not sing the songs of the Lord, we can also feel in an alien land, and we, too, find it difficult to sing.
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Seek God to Find ...
Posted: 12/19/18
We seek God to find many things: happiness, security, etc. Should that be our goal?
Christian bookstores have many titles about Seeking God to find what we desire: Happiness, security, and such. Should that be our goal.
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Our Prayers of Confession
Posted: 11/25/18
Confession is critical in our prayer life. But, what makes a meaninful confession?
Confession is necessary for forgiveness and our own transformation. But, is ''forgive my sin'' enough?
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Prayer: I have Questions
Posted: 10/19/18
Prayer is probably the least understood component of my faith. But, in spite of questions and doubts, it remains strong.
In this reflection, I wrestle with the importance of prayer, to me and to all Christians, but understand very little about it.
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Who Am I?
Posted: 7/29/18
St. Paul and Dietrich Bonhoeffer -- And I, Wrestle with Who We Are
A poem by Bonhoeffer and our church's study of Romans, give insight into some of our inner turmoil.
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Is Today the Time to Retreat? Or to Reclaim?
Posted: 6/20/18
All indicators show that Christianity is declining in our country. How should we as Christians respond?
Two books illustrate two different stragegies for how Christians can (and should) respond to our faith's delcine in our country.
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Renew My Mind: Do I Really Want To?
Posted: 5/11/18
I think the renewal of our minds regarding our beliefs is something that should be onging.
Some questions from my last Reflection encouraged me to think about how we approach the questions that arise about our faith.
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The Very Hairs on Your Head ...
Posted: 2/28/18
God knows all about us: Both a disconcerting and comforting belief.
From the beginnings of our faith, we understand God as an all-knowing God. I take a closer look at this as both a scary and a comforting belief.
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Let Jesus Be Jesus
Posted: 11/4/17
Preparing for a Good Friday meditation made me wonder about ''leaps'' we can make when trying to find meaning in scripture.
Many biblical scholars seem to take big leaps to make scripture ''fit'' their current understandings and beliefs.
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A Liturgy of Death & Resurrection for the Living
Posted: 10/5/17
The Book of Common Prayer's Funeral Liturgy can give comfort to the living and dying.
I used the Funeral Liturgy as the basis of a prayer of comfort for a dying relative.
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It Always Comes Down To: ''Where Are the Petri Dishes?''
Posted: 9/1/17
We like to deal with the spiritual side of faith, but there is a mundane component that makes this possible.
I use a couple examples that illustrate the need to include discipline into our lives of faith. And, we need to know the basics.
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Who Is It You Are Looking For?
Posted: 8/16/17
A liturgy for Mary Magdalene gives insight into the message we might share with others.
We often do not what to share when we share our faith. Mary Magdalene let's us know that we can share the Presence of Christ in our lives.
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Blunt Talk
Posted: 7/30/17
Pondering the meaning of scripture and be valuable; but sometime its meaning is obvious.
I like to study and discuss scripture. Relate it to historical context and language. But, sometimes scripture just means what it say!
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The Baptist at Eucharist
Posted: 7/12/17
Having ''lived'' various faith traditions, my communion experience is a mixture of my past and present.
I grew up in the Disciples Of Christ denonination, spent many years as an American Baptist, and now am an Episcopalian. My faith is so shaped by these
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Do Those 'Other People' Have Faith?
Posted: 6/17/17
Our relationships with others can help their seed of faith flourish.
Jesus's interaction with the Samaritan Woman at the Well can give us insight to help faith grow in those around us.
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Commend the Faith that is In Us
Posted: 3/30/17
A portion of Ash Wednesday's ''Litany of Penitence'' led me to wonder about the faith that is already in us.
Too often we worry about out lack of faith. ''My faith is not enough; it's not strong enough!'' But, are we using what we already have?
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Language for Loving
Posted: 3/12/17
Loving others can be difficult. Certain understandings, words, and thoughts can help or harm our loving.
In this third Reflection on love, I explore how certain words and phrases can keep us from finding ways to love others.
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A Tale of Two Priests
Posted: 2/16/17
How two different priests handled a tough situation gives insight into how love can make a difference.
We are often faced with difficult decisions of how to treat others when the situation brings with it conflicting faith views. Can love be a guide?
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A Time I Got It Right; (I Think I Did!)
Posted: 1/6/17
In a church ritual of welcoming, I was forced to think of the right words to use.
Can love-for-the-other really be used in our Ordinary Times and situations and remaining true to our faith?
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God Incarnate at the Center of Our Lives
Posted: 12/8/16
Some thoughts about the place of God in our lives.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer speaks of our need to make God the center of our lives, not just be our strength at the boundaries of our lives.
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Posted: 10/4/16
The sudden death of a friend continued my thinking about Eternal Life.
Ted Hill's sudden death was a shock, but a shock that made more real the truth of Eternal Life.
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The Past is Never Past
Posted: 9/11/16
A visit to my boyhood area -- The Ohio Valley -- stimulated thoughts of the past and its importance.
There is an interplay among our pasts, presents, and futures with one influencing the other. Is this related to Eternal Life?
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God is Doing a New Thing! Pharisees Don't See It.
Posted: 8/21/16
''See, I am doing a new thing!'' God says. ''Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?''
My certainity about God's ways can keep me seeing and embracing God's New Things.
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The God Who Leaves?
Posted: 7/14/16
An email from a friend described her ''spiritual dryness.'' This caused me to reflect on these times when God seems far away.
We all seem to go though spiritual ''dry times'', which can cast us down and feel lost. I wonder whether there are times when God actually leaves us.
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''May the Holy Spirit Be With Us as We Meet Today''
Posted: 6/10/16
We often pray that the Holy Spirit be with us in our church meetings. What does that mean?
If we ask that the Holy Spirit be with us in meetings, just what do we expect? Is the request simply a formality?
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Great is Thy Faithfulness
Posted: 4/29/16
Reflecting on a large wooden cross at a friend's funeral made me realize that God really is faithful!
Although I rarely sense God's direct guidance, I've realized that often we recognize God's guiding hand only in retrospect.
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Shock and Awe at Emmaus
Posted: 4/7/16
A Reflection on the Emmaus Road Story.
Some thoughts about how we like the Emmaus Road travelers do not recognize Jesus even when he is present with us.
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Maundy Thursday: The Full Story
Posted: 3/13/16
My friend and deacon Jeff Moretzsohn wondered why Communion is remembered as the main event of Maundy Thursday.
So much went on in that Upper Room on Maundy Thursday than the instituion of Holy Communion. There is more we should also remember.
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Finding a Balance in Lent
Posted: 2/28/16
While we are to do soul-searching and be penitent in Lent, we need to balance that with who were are to God.
During Lent, we focus on the sinful nature of our lives. We need, however, to not let that self-examination lead our impotence to serviing God.
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Oh, How I Love the Law!
Posted: 2/12/16
An unlikely columnist opens my eyes to see more to The Law than just restrictions.
While we usually view the law as many ''Thou Shall Nots'', they can also serve as the road to God's abundant life for us.
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''Blessed is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord!''
Posted: 12/11/15
Advent is more than waiting for Christmas; it is also awaiting the Second Coming.
In thinking of the Second Coming, I wonder about the Jesus who will come. Just who is this Second Coming Jesus?
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Jesus: Do Any of Us ''Get'' Him?
Posted: 10/9/15
Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia and a Letter to the Editor spur some thoughts about whether we understand Jesus.
A letter-to-the-editor writer questioned why Pope Francis would find prisoners ''worthy'' of a visit.
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Collects and Prayers
Posted: 9/15/15
''Prepared'' Prayers can be rich resources for or corporate and individual prayer life.
The Book of Common Prayer contains many resources that can enhance a person's spiritual life.
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Twenty Two & Twenty Three Say It All
Posted: 8/14/15
Psalm 22 and 23 show the range of emotions that are conveyed by the Psalms
The Psalms are a treasure in the Judeo-Christian tradition. They convey the emotions expressed by people of God and add richness to our worship.
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Maybe It Wasn't the Wine
Posted: 7/18/15
Perhaps we don't connect with God because we don't trust our emotions to experience God.
Fr James Martin, SJ, helps us understand how we should pay more attention to our emotions. They might be the way God is connecting with us.
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God's Transforming Love: Do We Want It?
Posted: 7/10/15
We pray for God to transform us? But, do we really want to have God do the transforming?
A discussion about helping others grow in faith spurred thoughts about whether we want God to do the transforming, or do we want to call the shots?
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Posted: 6/7/15
With Fathers Day upcoming, I remember a bit about my dad.
On Fathers Day, I describe my dad, some things we said, and things we did not say.
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Posted: 5/22/15
The brief Christian Doxology is a concise statement of deeper theological concepts.
The frequency of the Doxology in Christian ligurgy and worship, led me to ponder its meaning and to become a part of me.
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Church Felt Blah Today
Posted: 5/6/15
Worship is not always the uplifting experience we think it should be. What do we do?
Sometimes worship and meditation do not provide those positive feelings we thing they should evoke. Should we be concerned?
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''I Wouldn't Know What to Say''
Posted: 4/14/15
Many of us don't support the grieving because of our own discomfort and not knowing what to say.
A column by David Brooks, ''The Art of Presence'', stimulates thought about how we can overcome our discomfort around the grieving and actually help.
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I Do Not Believe in Death
Posted: 3/13/15
A quote by El Salvador's Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero helps me pu Death in its proper perspective.
I remain with a respect for and fear of death. But due to a quote by Oscar Romero helps me realize that my fear is not the same as believing in death.
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Dean Smith: More than a Coach
Posted: 2/21/15
As a Christian, recently deceased famous UNC coach Dean Smith is an example good to emulate.
Legendary North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith was a man of faith who acted on his faith. I recall him as a fellow American Baptist, too.
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Deniers & Betrayers: Peter & Judas ... and me
Posted: 2/13/15
The stories of Peter's denial and Judas' betrayal might suggest an attitude for us during Lent.
I reflect ... and speculate ... about the stories of Peter and Judas in the last days of Jesus' earthly life.
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When the Church Acts Like the Church
Posted: 12/26/14
As the Body of Christ, the church should reflect Christ to one another and to the world.
I describe three instances, in three different churches I've attended, where the church as seemed to truely act like the Body of Christ.
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Who's To Blame?
Posted: 12/7/14
A Bonhoeffer sermon gives some insight into what our prayer might be for Ferguson, Missouri.
Referencing a passage in Luke, Deitrich Bonhoeffer cautions us not to try to fix blame in bad events. We need to look inward and judge ourselves.
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Practicing the Faith (Part II)
Posted: 11/17/14
It can be difficult to ''practice'' the behaviors we know God wants us to improve. Perhaps ''coaching'' can help.
I discuss the possibility of using the techniques of Psycho-Cybernetics as a way of practice to help us grow in the ways we think God might want.
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Practicing the Faith (Part I)
Posted: 9/29/14
Drawing from my football coaching background, I consider the need for practice and discipline in our faith.
Often we think of faith as something that can just happen. But, even as a gift, we may have to have discipline and practice to deepen our faith.
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Saving the Nazis?
Posted: 9/8/14
The story of American Armed Forces Chaplains who ministered to Nazis on trial for Crimes Against Humanity.
My summary of Tim Townsend's recent book ''Mission at Nuremberg'', it's story of chaplains who tried to lead Nazi criminals back to God.
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I Believe in God and My Mechanic
Posted: 7/20/14
A look at earlier meanings of ''believe'' can provide a dynamic and deeper picture of the word.
Too often we think of ''believe'' as a static set of beliefs. Thinking of ''believe'' as a verb can provide a deeper and richer impact to this word.
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The Trinity of Marriage
Posted: 6/11/14
On our 50th anniversary I consider thoughts about what makes a marriage last.
For a marriage to last, we need to have solid, realistic models fo what marriage is and isn't. In the long haul, workable models are most valuable.
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Mick and The Word
Posted: 5/12/14
A colleague an friend's involvement with the bible lead to seeing scripture become THE WORD.
Mick Lehner, a friend in Wyoming, through my Bethel Bible Series course, started finding the words of the bible becoming Living Words.
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In 2001, My Filly Win a Nice Stakes Race!
Posted: 4/30/14
Moments in our lives ''live on'' as in the present.
Words in the Anglican Eucharist lead to a look at moments in our lives that are as alive today as they were years ago.
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My Crucifix
Posted: 4/14/14
Some reasons I wear a crucifix.
The body of Christ on the cross speaks to me.
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Baseball 2014: Again, the Cubs Won't Win
Posted: 3/20/14
The Chicago Cubs are cursed by Wrigley Field
Thinking that Wrigley Field has become a Sacred Space for its own sake, stimulates thought about the sacred of our faith.
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Call from Tomorrow (Part II)
Posted: 2/22/14
Presence of God in Time and Space
An attempt to give everyday meaning to the belief of the Omnipresence of God
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Posted: 2/6/14
To be a ''doing'' people, we must achieve a balance of understanding of our sin and of God's grace.
In this Reflection, I look at how tough but understanding football coaches might give us insight into Martin Luther's statement to SIN BOLDLY!
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Perhaps Lazarus was a Jerk
Posted: 1/23/14
Caution about Spiritualizing Jesus' story about Lazarus and the Rich Man
Our firemen and first responders just might model how we are to approach Jesus' commands to help the needy and feed the poor.
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A Call from Tomorrow (Part I)
Posted: 1/3/14
Got Called Us Yesterday, Calls Today, and Calls from Tomorrow.
A hymn ''Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness'' has a line about God's spirit ''Calling from Tomorrow''. Are we listening for that call?
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Posted: 12/22/13
Perhaps the Incarnation has more to it than the Divine becoming Human.
The human nature of Jesus might give us insight into what it means for us to be fully human.
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Christmas and the Public Schools
Posted: 12/6/13
Christmas time can be a difficult time for public schools to decide how to treat the holdiay.
As a Christian and former public school principal, I offer my perspective on schools and religion, as well as religion in the public arena.
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Pray for Her? I Don't Know Her. (Part II)
Posted: 11/15/13
Praying for ''others'' my change the way we view others.
This reflection extends the idea of praying for unknowns, which can lead us to perhaps start seeing others as God must see them.
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Anything Spiritual in Pittsburgh?
Posted: 10/18/13
Baseball can give us insight into our faith.
John Sexton's book ''Baseball as a Road to God'' and a baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates gave me insight into the nature of my faith.
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Pray for Her? I Don't Know Her. (Part I)
Posted: 10/4/13
An old priest opened my eyes to some of the ''others'' I should include in my prayers.
Our prayers need not be limited to those we know and those facing disasters; there are countless others who can be in our prayers.
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If George Burns Can Be God, Why Not Charlie? (Part II)
Posted: 9/23/13
The Importance of Spending Time with God
The key to Charlie Manuel's relationship with players is the same as the key to our relationship with God: Spending time together.
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If George Burns Can Be God, Why Not Charlie? (Part I)
Posted: 9/5/13
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel might give some insight into God.
While watching the now-fired manager of the Phillies, I saw some behaviors that seemed to be concrete example of what God is like.