‘I thirst’

Please give me a drink. – John 4:7
We worship a God who became a vulnerable human being. Superman had his kryptonite. Samson lost his hair. Jack Frost relinquished his wintry powers to become the town tailor. Jesus got thirsty. It’s a story that is played out not only in history, but in fantasy, legend and mythology — someone with supernatural powers gives up those powers to become human, and it is always done for one reason: love. Continue reading

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Click here; meet Him there

th-1Marti says I do my best work when I’m the most honest. That that is something I can supply for everyone — a way of connecting faith to the realities of life that rarely gets embraced by Christians. Christians, especially Christian leaders, are always putting their best foot forward. Well what if you don’t have a best foot? What if you wake up with two left feet?

That’s me this morning. Continue reading

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Conflicted relationships

As far as major league baseball in Los Angeles is concerned, the Dodgers will always be the storied team going back to its beginnings in 1884 in Brooklyn with 6 World Championships and 22 Pennants to boast about over 130 years. And then there are those Angels over there in Anaheim — a baseball afterthought since 1961 with an identity problem (are they from L.A. or are they from Anaheim?).

Mario & Maribel

Mario & Maribel

So when they play each other, which has only been since inter-league play was adopted in 1999, it’s always been an opportunity for the Angels to prove something, and the Dodgers to send the young upstarts back to wherever they came from.

Of course now, with 9 American League West titles, 1 World Championship, and the reigning MVP on its roster in Mike Trout, the Angels have shown they deserve to be on the same field with the Dodgers, and in the stands, a rivalry has formed, so that lots of red and blue dot the stadium whenever these two teams take the field. It’s a rivalry, for sure, although to date, a very friendly one. Continue reading

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John and Eve

... and he did eat.

… and he did eat.

If I have a pretty good feeling about a particular Catch I’ve just written, I will read it to Marti. If I’m not sure, I’ll have her read it herself, and then break the news to me. If it’s already out, she doesn’t want to have anything to do with it. My style of writing Catches is pretty scary that way. You don’t have much time to live with it, and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

But yesterday I knew I had a good one, so I read it to her, and she was moved, especially by the last sentence. But she did have one problem. As you might guess, it had something to do with the Adam and Eve part. I made a point that we all had a crime committed against us because we were born into this mess. “Blame Adam. It’s all his fault. Or better yet, blame Eve; she’s the one who started it.” Up went the red flag. You can guess what was coming. Continue reading

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God offenders

th-1If I don’t forgive you, who will forgive me?

I don’t remember now who said it, but someone wrote me in the last few days since we introduced the delicate and dangerous subject of sex offenders, “Maybe we should just admit we are all God offenders.”

I think she is onto something. Continue reading

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Registered hypocrite

FullSizeRenderI am a registered hypocrite. I feed on the spiritually weak who need someone to look up to. I try very hard to be that person — to at least appear to be one who is spiritually strong. Because of that, you have to be careful around me, because I act like I know what I am saying when sometimes I do not.

I am a registered hypocrite. When I am around sinners I sometimes want to be like them — to be in their club — but I never can be, because I have spent my whole life trying to be holy, different, pure, set apart. I really don’t know what it’s like to be one of them because — well, I’m just not. I am blind to my own sin. As a registered hypocrite, I can’t just be a sinner; that would make me like everyone else, and would ruin my reason for being. Continue reading

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Registered sinners

th-8What would you say if I told you there was a church in Oregon specifically for registered sex offenders, so much so that they have a special service on Sunday afternoon so they can legally come to a church where no one under 18 is admitted? (Sex offenders may not legally attend church because of the presence of children.) The 3 p.m. service is also attended by former prisoners, a few gay and lesbian couples and the homeless. Actually, most registered sex offenders find this service by way of homelessness because who is going to rent you an apartment or give you a job after you have served time as a registered sex offender? And who will welcome you into church? Most churches can’t if they wanted to, except for Light My Way, part of the ministry of Sonrise Church in Hillsboro, Oregon. Continue reading

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Heralds of spring

th-6Arise, my love, my fair one,
    and come away;
for lo, the winter is past,
    the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
    the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
    is heard in our land.
Song of Solomon 2:10-12

Well, spring has sprung. March Madness is in full swing; major league spring training is almost over; Easter baskets have shown up in the supermarkets; and hopefully you folks in the Northeast who got so much snow are starting to see the ground again. Are the crocuses up yet? That was one of my favorite things about living in New England — the coming of the crocuses. We had a cluster of purple ones next to our walkway right by the front door. I don’t remember them lasting very long. It was as if their only job was to be the first up — to announce what was coming. They were the heralds of spring. Continue reading

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