Inspiration

Wrestling with God

Wrestling with God

Chera, my wife, was glaring at me with the type of fire normally reserved for people who tell her Christmas music should wait till after Thanksgiving. “God is good,” she said. I nodded, more than slightly annoyed. “Say it,” still glaring. “God is good,” I...
A father’s forever influence

A father’s forever influence

Sometimes it takes a lifetime to truly appreciate all the ways a good dad made all the difference. My father grew up during the Great Depression in a Wesleyan Methodist preacher’s home, having to wear his older sister’s blouse to school and cardboard in his shoes. He...
Pandemic fear, pandemic faith

Pandemic fear, pandemic faith

Haga clic aquí para español   There are so many Scriptures that have ministered to me through the pandemic. My Bible is my lifeblood in ‘normal’ life and more so in this time of uncertainty. Verses like,* “They that wait upon the Lord will renew their...
Love in the time of COVID

Love in the time of COVID

Thirteen people. Nineteen if you count the kids that piled into the nursery with their juice boxes and tablets. With hushed discomfort and wide eyes, we kissed their foreheads and then tried our best to stand at least a few feet apart in the lobby while we waited for...
Hope for Eeyore 

Hope for Eeyore 

Eeyore is the gray, gloomy donkey filled with sawdust in Winnie the Pooh stories. He is sensitive and intelligent but quiet and downcast most of the time. He is forever losing his tail. His favorite food is thistles, and his go-to phrase is, “Why bother?”  Eeyore...
COVID-19: the great reset

COVID-19: the great reset

I was brushing my teeth in my apartment when I heard a knock at my door. My friend in unit 6B across the hall quickly explained that a plane had crashed into a building in New York City. I ran across the hall, and after a few minutes of watching the unfolding drama on...
The bold, adventurous and risky gospel 

The bold, adventurous and risky gospel 

I have absolutely no track record as a political or social activist. It is not that I don’t have strong opinions, but they are complicated. They do not fit on a placard. Nor in a tweet. Furthermore, both by temperament and as an academic, I like to be understood. At...
What’s your bag of flour?

What’s your bag of flour?

I was headed to the grocery store for ground beef just as fear over the coronavirus seemed to be peaking in South Carolina. I knew I would find some of the shelves bare, but what I didn’t expect to find was a lesson on empathy and compassion. As I walked through the...
Disfrútala más

Disfrútala más

In English El Día de la Madre siempre es una buena oportunidad para celebrar a esa mujer maravillosa que Dios te dio por madre. ¿Pero qué pasa con algunos de nosotros que ya no tenemos a nuestra madre? Definitivamente me aseguraré que mi Suegra, mi hermana y mis...
Enjoy her more

Enjoy her more

En Español Mother’s Day is always a good opportunity to celebrate that wonderful woman God gave you for a mother. But what about some of us who don’t have our mother anymore? I will definitively make sure that my Suegra (mother-in-law), sister and sisters-in-law know...
Bringing hospitality to Chicago’s most vulnerable

Bringing hospitality to Chicago’s most vulnerable

My friend and I were walking home one Monday evening from dollar burger night at one of our favorite local places two blocks from home. As we completed the first block, a woman who was approaching the intersection from the direction of our home spoke to us and warned,...
Lay leader remains optimistic despite cancer challenges

Lay leader remains optimistic despite cancer challenges

My upbringing and Christian walk are rooted in family traditions, Catholic school teaching and the influence of friends. My mother and father were originally from La Passe and Toronto, Ontario, respectively, and eventually settled in the town of Deep River once they...
We are all the ministers

We are all the ministers

My parents tell me I was in church the week after I was born, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t missed being in a church building on a Sunday for three weeks straight ever in my 53 years on earth — until this March. Frankly, it’s a little unnerving. I know so many fellow...
Beloved educator remembered

Beloved educator remembered

I stood by Janet’s bedside and watched her slowly move towards heaven. I thought, “This cannot be.” I had begun to think of Janet as immortal. In 1992, Janet and her late husband, Duane, a professor of religion at Indiana Wesleyan University, purchased and ran a...
A providential God in uncertain times

A providential God in uncertain times

As I sit here at my computer in Mitchell, South Dakota, the COVD-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on the normal-life activities of virtually all humanity. We arrived home from South Asia on March 8, and by March 11 we were in a self-quarantine condition for the next two...
Holiness and the coronavirus virus

Holiness and the coronavirus virus

The COVID-19, or coronavirus, has now been labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization as countries struggle to contain the spread of the virus. Bottom line, the coronavirus is now considered a global threat. I cannot remember a time when a pandemic has...
Lent abandonment

Lent abandonment

Christians around the world associate the Lenten season as a time of sacrifice. A high school friend always gave up chocolate for Lent. Another friend decided his household would give up television viewing during Lent. That is, until she realized she would miss...
Mighty Haviland fought for freedom

Mighty Haviland fought for freedom

Little February, the smallest of months, boasts loudly of its holidays — Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day. It is also African American History Month. The Wesleyan Church was formed in 1968 with the merger of two historic denominations. One of them — the Wesleyan...
Earthquakes: breaking down strongholds in the New Year

Earthquakes: breaking down strongholds in the New Year

Our missionary team had been praying for God to break down century-old spiritual strongholds in the country of Albania when a month before Christmas, for roughly 50 seconds, a 6.4 magnitude quake shook our home, our neighborhood, our city and region.  While other...
To tell the truth

To tell the truth

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. (Ex. 20:16) “Each of us fibs at least 50 times a day,” claimed Jerald Jellison in USA Today. He suggested people lie about their age, their income and their accomplishments. They may fib to escape embarrassment...