This January, I will have the blessing of being able to spend ten days in beautiful South Dakota. South Dakota in January, where the average temperature for that month is 9 degrees and can plummet to 50 degrees below zero a the drop of a hat. Why am I going to South Dakota in January? Well, I’m going to visit the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and do some missionary work and learn about poverty and social justice issues in this Native-American population. But, while I’m there
Based on Matthew 22.15-22 One of my all-time favorite movies is called “Stranger Than Fiction,” and it stars Will Farrell as a much-reserved and extremely obsessive-compulsive man who works as a tax-fraud auditor for the Internal Revenue Service. In the movie, Farrell’s character, named Harold Crick, must investigate a woman named Ana Pascal, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. And Ana Pascal is his antithesis: She’s a fiery and outspoken anarchist who owns a boutique bakery where s
Based on Matthew 22.1-14 I was watching a movie on Sunday night called “The Fighting Temptations.” It starred Cuba Gooding Jr. as a selfish and deceitful junior advertising partner in an unethical New York City advertising firm. And when his character learns of his Aunt Sally’s death in his small Georgia hometown, and that he’s set to inherit a decent amount of money from her will, he makes his travel arrangements. But when he gets there, he's surprised to find that the terms
Growing up Catholic, we always said “grace” at the diner table. We used to say “Bless Us O Lord for these they gifts which we are about to receive through thy county through Christ, our Lord, Amen. It’s still a good prayer. But I always wondered what that phrase “These thy gifts” meant. You see, as an 8-year-old boy, I didn’t understand Old English, but I was able to later figured it out. Thy meant Your. No surprise there. But as a small child, I wondered what the connection
Based on Matthew 21.23-32 Just a couple of years ago, a man lay down under a large shade tree in a church yard in a small Tennessee town as the congregation entered the sanctuary. The man looked homeless in a long coat and covered in a blanket, all scruffy and disheveled and filthy-looking. Not many people took notice. They passed right by him. As the service started, the new pastor, his name was Willy Lyle, who was being installed on that very Sunday morning as the new pasto
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