Needing Each Other, Yearning for Divine Love

For the last 2½ years, I’ve had the opportunity to serve as interim pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in West Asheville. January 26, 2020 was my last Sunday with them. Here are a couple of outtakes from my sermon for that day, “Living is Jesus,” which drew themes from...

Not Regretting Life

Bluesman Paul Thorn sings: Then we’ll both look back Over where we’ve been We will have no regrets When the long road ends I resonate with his hope. I think it’s possible to come to the end of life’s journey and feel at peace about where we’ve been and who we’ve...

Brief Thoughts on Good Leadership

Good leaders (good, as in “worthy,” not merely “effective”): shoulder, rather than shirk, responsibility.treat power and influence as entrustments, not entitlements, given by followers for the purpose of serving the common good.make tough calls for the sake of justice...

Leading in a Time of Madness

This article appeared in the October 15, 2019 edition of the Center for Healthy Churches newsletter. One of the Desert Fathers, St Anthony (251-356) said: “A time is coming when people will go mad and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack that one and...

The Person and the System

“The Crowd” (1928) Every four weeks, I spend several hours at the Cancer Center, seated in a less-than-comfortable-but-by-now-familiar recliner, to receive an infusion to treat Multiple Myeloma. Recently, as the medicine dripped slowly into my bloodstream,...

Remembering the Voice of Love

A lot of us fear that we are “not enough”; and, in some of us, that fear exists alongside anxiety that we are “too much.” Whether we feel that we lack something which would qualify us for acceptance or that we have an excess of something which threatens people who...

Uncertainty, Anticipation, and Gratitude

Five years and eight months ago, in January of 2014, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow I’ve nicknamed “Frank.” Off and on since then—intensely in the first 27 months and consistently over the last 9 months—I’ve received...

Pruning

Last week, we had the trees in our yard trimmed for the first time in eighteen years. They had grown tall and full; their branches tangled into each other. Sprawling limbs brushed against our roof and our neighbor’s. Using their chainsaws like sculptors’ chisels, the...

Survival, a How not a Why

I recently spoke briefly at Mission Health’s Cancer Survivor’s Day. Regular readers of my reflections will recognize some of these themes, but I post these remarks in case they might prove helpful. 5½ years ago I learned that I have multiple myeloma. For...

Wager: It Matters (MHU Commencement Address)

This morning, I make, and elaborate on, a simple but contestable claim: It matters. It matters: your life, their lives, and the life of the earth; who you are and who you become; what you do and what you leave undone. It matters how you spend or waste time; how you...