Fifty Days

Everybody likes a good party. I know I do. I don’t go to nearly enough. Let’s face it. People just love to celebrate. Just about every culture I know has some kind of harvest festival, a way to celebrate the gathering of food. And that carries over even…

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Rising

Today, according to the church calendar in the United States, is The Feast of the Ascension. This day we celebrate Jesus rising up to heaven. According to the story, Jesus, witnessed by his disciples, and about 3,000 others (Peter tells us in The Book of Acts), rose up into…

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Who Loves You?

A few years ago, I found myself driving to Bakersfield to see my mother. She was in a convalescent center. She had fallen the Sunday before and broken her pelvis. Now she was in a bed in a nursing center in Bakersfield, flat on her back. Now my mother could…

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I Am The Vine

Johannes Brahms was once invited to dinner by a noted wine connoisseur. In the composer's honor, the man opened one of his finest bottles. "This," he announced to his assorted guests, "is the Brahms of my cellar." Brahms nodded, carefully examining the wine - inhaling its bouquet, swirling it in…

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Sheep

I went to a quinceaniera once for a former student. In the Méxican tradition, when a girl turns fifteen, parents hold a quinceaniera, from the Spanish word for fifteen, quince. The tradition actually goes back to the Aztec culture, in which it was considered that young men and women became…

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Doubts

It's pretty easy to attack religious faith. After all, the stories you read in holy books are pretty far fetched. Those books are full of miracles and wonders and basically shit you don't see on a day to day basis. When was the last time you saw somebody walking on…

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Easter

Today, there will be no place to park at church. It will be standing room only. I will have a seat because I lead the choir, but Becky will end up smushed in a pew next to a well-dressed young uncomfortable woman, looking uncomfortable, only there with her young family…

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Reading Palms

Today is Palm Sunday. It is the beginning of what Roman Catholics and most other Christians as well, refer to as "Holy Week". Each day of this week has some significance. It begins with Palm Sunday. Then follows Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, culminating with Easter Sunday. This…

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Coming Out

I’ve had my share of hard times. I guess we all have. And we get through them. But it sure is hard. I remember back to a time when I was a retail store manager. I like to say that because it sounds more impressive than what I really…

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Again

Every sporting event you see on TV, somebody is always up there in the stands waving a sign that says “John 3-16” I always used to wonder what that meant, but was always too lazy to actually look up the verse in the bible. But one day, I did. And…

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Press 4 for God

For Heaven, Press Four You know what I hate? I hate trying to phone some company and having to wade through seven or eight layers of computer prompts in order to do what I want to do. A few months ago, I received my daily New York Times soaking wet.…

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Down From The Mountain

I used to live in the mountains. I didn't live there for very long, but I did live there for awhile. Back around 1961 or 1962, when I was just a wee lad, my parents bought a mountain cabin up in the little mountain town of Wrightwood, California. They had…

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In Times Like These

I’ll tell you a story about a man I knew. He grew up in a poor neighborhood, a rough neighborhood. His parents were immigrants. They were poor, yet they worked hard and sent him to the best schools they could afford, often making great sacrifices for his education. This…

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I Know Who You Are

Back in 2009, a man from our old neighborhood, feeling despondent over the loss of his job and the tremendous debt he was carrying, chose to take the lives of his wife, his five children, and then killed himself. How terrible it is to lose hope. And when you look…

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