October 17th, 2021
I came across a man who was suffering from the long term neurological effects of a rattlesnake bite. But this man actually viewed this incident as a very positive event in his life. I use this story, plus the story from Acts where Paul is bit by a deadly viper, to discuss our ability as Christians to use bad situations to grow our faith in God - and our faith in people.
October 11th, 2021
Many adults have grim memories of being raised by alcoholics who were not present emotionally for their children. A common theme among adult children of alcoholics is that they have a very difficult time showing love and concern for their alcoholic parents as they age and become infirm. I use the example of one such woman who was struggling with her relationship with her mother to discuss the freedom we can obtain when we have full trust in God.
October 3rd, 2021
When I was a in my early twenties, I had a job as a programmer. We worked in a subbasement. One of the other programmers, Tommy, another young guy, had to have full length casts on his legs for eight weeks. We used to have "Tommy races", where we saw which team of two could carry Tommy up and down the stairs the fastest. I use this story to discuss the joy that we can feel when we serve other people.
September 26th, 2021
Moses delivered the Ten Commandments, but there was more that the Israelites needed to be taught, and this added material that Moses preached to the People of God is called the Book of the Covenant. I use the example of a drug user who died during surgery to motivate a statement made in this part of Exodus, which says that a righteous person should never be put to death.
September 20th, 2021
We look at Revelation, at the promise of a New Jerusalem, where there is no evil and everything is refreshed, to consider this: at any time we want, we can enter the new Jerusalem. This is because God always forgives. God always lets us wipe the slate blank and start totally over. I learned this lesson myself in my life.
September 12th, 2021
A schizophrenic man once told me how to find the entrance to a wormhole. I use this story as a vehicle for talking about the Lord's command to go forth into the world while depending only on God to provide for us.
September 5th, 2021
I talk about two men who were both caring for chronically ill wives, both sick with diseases that would ultimately take their lives. Both men saw themselves as having purposes in life that would be impacted by their obligations. But the two men had very different attitudes about their responsibilities. I discuss the fact that God has a purpose for all of us - but it's God who decides that purpose, not us.
August 29th, 2021
Once, at the hospital where I work, I had a woman who was an atheist become irate when I introduced myself as a chaplain. I use this story to talk about being a "citizen chaplain", someone who is prepared to help anyone they come across who needs help - even if that person has beliefs very contrary to their own.
August 22nd, 2021
When I was a young guy I bought my first car with a steering column lock on it. That lock suddenly engaged while I was going around a curve on a freeway at 75 miles per hour - sending me flying off the freeway. I use this story as a vehicle to talk about how we should all handle those moments of panic, and how it's important that we are prepared in advance for dealing with them.
August 15th, 2021
I had a friend who was terminally ill with cancer and who had to make a decision about whether to continue with agonizing chemo treatments. I use this story as a vehicle for talking about the need for each of us to develop a personal theology that guides us through every decision we must make in life.