Kingdom of God

marine-litterI didn’t grow up inside a culture of respect for the earth.  “Earth” as a totality – flora and fauna, beauty, wildness, and wonder.

In my childhood we used disposable products with abandon; old car oil was often poured out on the ground, and we never considered the impact that disposed plastics would have on our world.  Pesticides caused a decline in bird populations.  Oceans started to become big toilets  where our detritus was flushed when it rained.  And, worst of all, people became as disposable as our throw away products. Continue reading

Who do you trust?


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trusttrust  \trəst\ n 1: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something  2 :  one in which confidence is placed

“Friendship- my definition- is built on two things. Respect and trust. Both elements have to be there. And it has to be mutual. You can have respect for someone, but if you don’t have trust, the friendship will crumble.” – Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Continue reading

Facebook and Political Discussion – Part 3

integrityIn the 80’s there was a rumor that was going around, principally among churches, that Madelyn Murray O’Hare, the famed atheist, was petitioning the FCC to end religious broadcasting.  People were frantic!

Since there was no Internet in the 1980’s, concerned Christians carried around petitions for churches to fill up with the names of people who didn’t want their 700 Club to go away.  Periodically a new iteration of the petition would circulate. Continue reading

Facebook and Political Discussion – Part 1

the-scream-munchThe last place on earth that a political discussion should occur is on Facebook.

During the last year, I have watched what looks like a slow motion car crash as various people take to the Internet to vent their opinions about this candidate or that candidate.  Seldom is there any courtesy or nobility in the conversation.  It, most often, has a “don’t you get it, stupid” kind of air to it. Continue reading

Xenophobia or Hospitality?

Xenophobia 02The Greek word, xenos, gets a different spin in the New Testament than it does from the lips of Donald Trump or his British mini-me, Nigel Farage.

Xenos is the root of the word, xenophobia, which means fear of anything strange.  It could be a strange food, a strange practice, but in today’s useage it most often refers to a fear of people who are strange to us. Continue reading

Les and Henrietta


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ChauvenistLes was an old river rat who learned how to craft a life out of little wealth or conventional experience.

Henrietta, his wife, was a good partner because she was just as tough and creative as Les was. Sadly, Les did not treat Henrietta with the respect she was due. Like when she called up to Les while he was roofing a house, asking for some money to purchase shoes for herself. Not wanting to leave his perch, Les wadded up dollar bills and threw them down at her making her look like a bird hunting for worms. Continue reading

The Gargoyle


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GargoyleA gargoyle looks down menacingly from its perch on the top of my book shelves.  It’s easy to notice in the little 11.5 by 10 feet room.

My office was larger when it lived in a church building. In those days it had room for my 2000 book library and an area large enough for a small meeting. But now my office will hold only 1000 books, a desk, and a small couch.

But that’s enough.

A friend of mine once came into my Lodi office and asked, “Why do you have those evil-looking things in your office,” gesturing toward the ever-vigilant gargoyles.  I explained that gargoyles used to be ornaments on ancient church buildings, meant to both act as a rain gutter to direct water away from the church’s walls and also to frighten away evil spirits.  But that didn’t comfort her much. Continue reading