Grace

Ink marks and crimson stains

Ink marks and crimson stains

The telephone rang at 7:00 a.m. and the staff hurried to Mamie Eisenhower’s bedroom. When they knocked and entered, they discovered big black spots all over the sheets, covers, pink dust-ruffle, headboard, everything. To be exact, they were “dabs and blotches and...
Blankets and bathrobes

Blankets and bathrobes

The service had not begun on time and quiet whispers echoed in the quaint sanctuary. Nearly every pew in the sparsely decorated church was full as we anxiously awaited the beginning of the annual children’s Christmas pageant. It was the Sunday before Christmas, the...
Messengers of Grace

Messengers of Grace

We have a neighbor who is the strangest person I’ve ever met. He is intelligent and well-read, but physically very ill which leads to some very odd behaviors. The other neighbors want nothing to do with him. He is an outcast. To add fuel to the fire there were three...
​Perfection

​Perfection

I am a recovering perfectionist, paired with a lifelong struggle of laziness. So, we’ll call it “undisciplined perfectionism.” Basically, it means that if I am going to do something, I want to do it extremely well or not at all. And the fear of not...
Happy endings

Happy endings

She was two and a half years old and cute as a button. But when our son David saw her, she had just come from between parked cars and was headed across a busy parking lot, where scores of cars were coming and going for picture day at the soccer complex. David put his...
​The importance of forgiveness

​The importance of forgiveness

One of the most well-known prayers is what is known as the Lord’s Prayer. Part of this short but important prayer is the topic of forgiveness. In the book of Matthew 6:12, King James Version states, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our...
CBS Evening News profiles two Wesleyans in Benton Harbor, Michigan

CBS Evening News profiles two Wesleyans in Benton Harbor, Michigan

Years ago, a Michigan police officer wrongly arrested a man on a drug charge—and he knew the man was innocent all along. Former police officer Andrew Collins served 1 ½ years in prison for the crime he committed against Jameel McGee, an innocent man. McGee served four...
What this imperfect church wants you to know

What this imperfect church wants you to know

I recently attended a meeting in Hilliard, Ohio (suburb of Columbus), to represent the “faith community” for a drug awareness program. The meeting was made up of people representing Hilliard police, teachers, community sports leagues, even moms who have...
Been hurt? (when stuff happens)

Been hurt? (when stuff happens)

Being a human means you are going to be hurt. Getting hurt is an inescapable and disagreeable part of what it means to be a human being. Humanity = hurt. It’s a package deal. When it happens—whether through a betrayal, a negligence, harsh words, a loss, a...
Why pray?

Why pray?

Paul suggests that we do not know how to pray as we should (Rom. 8:26). The Holy Spirit has to intervene for us with groanings that words cannot express. I’m sure you have sometimes felt this way. There was a recent incident where a person was on life support,...
¿Por qué orar?

¿Por qué orar?

Pablo sugiere que no sabemos cómo orar (o pedir como conviene Romans 8:26). El Espíritu Santo santo tiene que interceder por nosotros con palabras que no podemos expresar (gemidos indecibles). Estoy seguro que alguna vez te has sentido así. He aquí un reciente...
A simple question changed Sherry’s life

A simple question changed Sherry’s life

They lived across the street from us in a suburban neighborhood of split-level homes. One night we heard a knock at the door. The three children, two boys and a girl, had been kicked out of their home by their stepfather. My husband Wayne and I took them in for the...
Christmas is the kiss of God

Christmas is the kiss of God

In his book Mortal Lessons, Richard Selzer, M.D., writes: I stand by the bed where a young woman lies, her face post-operative, her mouth twisted in palsy, clownish. A tiny twig of the facial nerve, the one to the muscles of her mouth has been severed. She will be...
​Instant save

​Instant save

NBC’s The Voice has this phenomenon called the “instant save.” Many refer to it as the first and most impactful Twitter-based vote spectrum on television. Some even go so far to say it is the most successful social TV integration of all time. Some of...
Pastor experiences restoration through grace

Pastor experiences restoration through grace

A little over a year ago, I found myself in a situation that I never thought I would be in. I was the assistant pastor at my church and part of my responsibility was being business manager. I had abused my church credit card for personal expenses and I was discovered....
The grace of Reformation Day

The grace of Reformation Day

We are approaching 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses (statements of belief) to the door of the Wittenberg Church in Germany–October 31, 1517. Luther had been studying the Scriptures and the more he read, the more he began to understand that “the...
Elite Services

Elite Services

I was going to miss my connection flight. Over the course of a year, that could happen well over a hundred times in my travel for the Church. Yet on this day, it was going to be a reality. I only had fifteen minutes to complete a twenty-minute walk before my next...
A Hollywood movie that can inform the Church’s response to homosexuals

A Hollywood movie that can inform the Church’s response to homosexuals

I recently viewed the 1993 film, Philadelphia, starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. This is only the second time I have seen the movie. Tom Hanks plays Andrew Beckett, an up and coming lawyer who for years has managed to keep his homosexuality a secret from the...
Modern snake oil tastes like revenge

Modern snake oil tastes like revenge

In the frontier days, unscrupulous people traveled from town to town selling worthless medicines that claimed to cure any number of diseases. Instead of useful remedies, they were worthless concoctions that gave an immediate sensation, but provided nothing curative....
Small potatoes

Small potatoes

A few years ago, Carol and I drove through Idaho and Washington, the top two potato-producing states in the USA. I had often heard of Idaho potatoes, but not so much about Washington potatoes. I’m sure that was my own ignorance because those two states produce...
Grandparents and grace

Grandparents and grace

When Layla Solms reminisces about her childhood, one word comes to mind: heartbreaking. She was not abused, used, or mistreated, and her everyday needs were provided for. But at just three years old, her mom left, overwhelmed with having a baby at age 18. Although she...
I love The Wesleyan Church

I love The Wesleyan Church

I love Jesus most, but while participating in a recent General Board Meeting of The Wesleyan Church (my 20th General Board session), I realized how much I love the church of my youth. There are many facets that make up a denomination. I suppose some would rather be a...