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God-Talk

GOD-TALK is dedicated to spiritual and religious topics: the church, relationship with God, Bible topics, worship, Shepherd to Shepherd (pastors speaking to pastors), and everyday life with God-awareness.

Boundaries in our Boundless Worship

Posted by on Apr 18, 2016 in Church Chat, Featured | 0 comments

Boundaries in our Boundless Worship

Same worship song, one week apart, yet today I’m pained. This emotional ache is not a new place for me. I’ve frequently found myself here over the past decade, and it’s become increasingly more difficult to withstand. For me, the worship portion of church services used to be so “me-centric.” I owned those song— me and God, me and Jesus, me and the Spirit. I happily sang about the goodness, greatness, and bigness of God. His grace, mercy, and love, all lavishly rich and overwhelmingly undeserved. But, my “ownership” started to shift a decade...

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Please, Don’t Invite Someone to Church This Month

Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in Cafe Inspirado, Church Chat, Featured | 22 comments

Please, Don’t Invite Someone to Church This Month

We’ve got some big problems in the Church these days. That’s no great revelation. Just ask anybody on the street what they think of Christianity, especially during election season, and you’ll get an earful.  We hear it so often, in fact, that we in the Church turn a deaf ear to it. We tune it out. We’re callous to criticism. And we just go on our merry way, carrying on as good soldiers of the Cross. Well, at least on Sundays. So when I drove by this sign stuck lazily in the ground by the side of the road, insisting I “invite someone to church...

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What Would Jesus Scream?

Posted by on Mar 7, 2016 in Church Chat, Featured | 0 comments

What Would Jesus Scream?

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17 On Friday evening, Clarke and I decided to check out First Friday, a monthly event in the downtown Phoenix arts district where hundreds of businesses – restaurants, galleries, bars, and other retailers – stay open throughout the evening to attract people who might otherwise never visit them. In addition, there are numerous food trucks, street entertainers, and a myriad of vendors (we bought some local raw...

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An Introvert’s Guide to Following Your Peace

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Cafe Inspirado, Church Chat, Featured | 0 comments

An Introvert’s Guide to Following Your Peace

Today, another moral dilemma for an introvert. One of the guys in the company I work for put in his notice, and the managers want to do a “going away lunch” for him — today. Short notice. And it kinda freaks me out. I really don’t want to go. I hardly know the guy, I hate work-related social events, and especially without adequate time to mentally prepare myself. So, should I go or not?  “Should I.” That’s the operative phrase. When chewing on this … and getting texts from a friend who also...

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Not Especially: Changing one word in our prayers can make a huge difference

Posted by on Jan 12, 2016 in Church Chat, Featured | 0 comments

Not Especially: Changing one word in our prayers can make a huge difference

There’s a thing I do whenever I’m the one leading the prayers of the people that I don’t think I’ve ever really talked about before, but it came up at lunch after church this past Sunday and I found myself expressing myself in this way: I said, “I take deep theological exception to the word especially.” Until that moment, I hadn’t fully realized how strongly I felt about it.Now that I’ve realized, of course I have to spill it out into a blog. Those of you who don’t have a “prayers of...

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Thoughts on a Queer Christmas: Holy Innocents & the Politics of Power

Posted by on Dec 29, 2015 in Church Chat | 0 comments

Thoughts on a Queer Christmas: Holy Innocents & the Politics of Power

Queer Christmas Day Four – Holy Innocents The Feast of the Holy Innocents is another odd day in Christmastide, another horrific story of death during the season of Incarnation. There’s much to say about this brief episode in the second chapter of Matthew’s Gospel. Although there’s little historical evidence to support Matthew’s story of the mass slaughter of children, King Herod was known for going on killing sprees, even within his own family–all to preserve his power.  Matthew’s tendency to...

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Thoughts on a Queer Christmas: The Feast of Stephen

Posted by on Dec 27, 2015 in Church Chat | 1 comment

Thoughts on a Queer Christmas: The Feast of Stephen

Each year, I’m taken with the arrangement of the church calendar, that the First Day of Christmas, we remember and celebrate the Incarnation of God, followed by the the Second Day of Christmas (Dec 26), the Feast of Stephen, the first Christian to be martyred for his faith in scripture. It’s as if to say, here is God in the flesh, and here is just how fragile flesh is. But perhaps I get ahead of myself. I just reread the account of Stephen in Acts 6-7. It’s a short time to get to know him and what we know of him is mostly...

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Come On, God, You’re Not Supposed to Do It That Way. (Confessions of a Former Fundamentalist)

Posted by on Nov 24, 2015 in Church Chat, Featured | 0 comments

Come On, God, You’re Not Supposed to Do It That Way. (Confessions of a Former Fundamentalist)

It is my personal belief that we humans spend a lot of time trying to be in control of things we have no legitimate control over. I’ve had to realize this the hard way a number of times in my life. I spent many years with a belief that it was my job to save the world — to convince people that my understanding of Jesus and the Bible and the Gospel were absolute truth, and their understanding was incorrect—whether they be of a different religion all together or even just a different Christian denomination. (There we go with our “us vs them”s...

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Growing Beyond the Formulas

Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in Cafe Inspirado, Featured, God-Walk | 0 comments

Growing Beyond the Formulas

I just saw a cute meme on Facebook. Sounds almost like the beginning of a joke, right? But I really liked it. It was tasteful, unlike so many of the religious-themed ones. It had a message I liked.  And it was simple. But … It was also simplistic. As far as memes go, this one was probably as true as any of them. General encouragement, general principle, general instruction. Generally helpful. But the problem is that it was just that: general and simplistic. It could not address my specific situation. It reduced a complex and free-flowing...

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Now is the Time of Your Breakthrough. Or Maybe Not.

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Cafe Inspirado, Featured, God-Walk | 9 comments

Now is the Time of Your Breakthrough. Or Maybe Not.

  “God has a plan. God is working his plan. God’s plan includes you.”  Those were words printed in bold letters on a sign hung above the pulpit in a church I used to go to in Tulsa. The pastor wanted her people to know that their lives were not just stuck in the mud, that God was doing something in them and through them. God was working. We all need that hope. We all need that reassurance that we’re part of something bigger, that our lives have significance and purpose. Or at least, many of us do. I do. And every once in a while we need...

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