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.
August 8th, 2021
I look at the issue of New Testament authorship. There are those who say that because Paul might not have written 6 of the 13 letters attributed to him, or that other books were not written by the people to whom we have traditionally attributed them, the Bible is in some sense partly "fake". But what should be the true standard for including a book in the Bible?
August 1st, 2021
When I was in second grade, I got on the wrong city bus on the way home from school - and found myself very far from home. I use this story to motivate two important teachings of Scripture: 1. be kind to others and 2. don't look for acknowledgement or reward.
July 25th, 2021
As a chaplain, I often encounter homeless people who have been cast aside by society and come to the hospital for medical help - but only when they are extremely sick. I talk about a homeless man who was very grateful that I was willing to touch him. I use this to motivate the lesson learned in the story of the woman who was healed simply by touching the fringe of Jesus' garment. I discuss an easy way to learn to connect with God many times a day, very briefly - by touching the fringe of God's garment.
July 18th, 2021
Often difficult events in life can turn into uplifting, even funny moments. I look at the Book of James and the author's command to use "troubles" as a reason to find "great joy." I use a situation where a graduate student from France accused me of hating French people as a stepping stone toward examining this passage from James.