Jesus and the World’s Last Gasp

Luke 12:32-40 – The 12th Sunday after Pentecost – for Sunday, August 7, 2016

“You also must be ready, because the Human One is coming at a time when you don’t expect him.” (Luke 12:40)

John.TeddyWhat is the best idea born and bred on American soil?

I’ll usually first say the national park system. I’m proud that Yosemite, in my geographic back yard, was where Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir schemed to radically protect wilderness.

What about Thomas Jefferson and his co-conspirators scribing the Declaration of Independence?

Jazz? Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, and Miles Davis . . . cool!

Mormons? Joseph Smith’s divine revelations and discoveries were in western New York, and led to The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. Continue reading →

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Why Not Ask Him?

Luke 12:13-21 – The 11th Sunday after Pentecost – for Sunday, July 31, 2016

“Someone from the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’” (Luke 12:13)

Ask.2The guy elbowed through the crowd to the front. He had to ask his question; it had been burning in his gut for days.

At the first opportunity, he shouted the question. He didn’t need to shout, since Jesus stood a few steps away. And it hardly sounded like him, with his voice hoarse and shaky. Blame it on adrenaline. Blame it on the crowd’s noise. Blame it on his fear that this might be his only shot for an answer.

“Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

The guy, fist closed, the thumb angled right like a flag blowing in a strong breeze, gestured toward the person next to him . . .

His brother. Continue reading →

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What Will I Learn Today?

Luke 10:38-42 – The 9th Sunday after Pentecost – for Sunday, July 17, 2016

“One thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part. It won’t be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42)

Long before Lycra . . .
Long before Lycra . . .

“Good morning!” the helmeted babe said as she sped by me.

Her blonde hair spilled from the underside of the slick, plastic headgear. With legs pumping the pedals, and her shoulders bent over the handlebars, she settled in ahead of me. I kept pace. We were moving north on a flat Fresno street, our bikes in the middle of a generously wide designated bike path.

I admired the view. Here’s the truth. I’m a happily married guy. But I have base, primal, male, heterosexual instincts. And so, for long seconds, I stared at the young lady in front of me, admiring the way high-tech Lycra helps bike shorts snugly fit her body. Spandex forever, I say!

Then, something deeper than Lycra-spawned-lust scratched at an itch in my primitive brain. How dare that cornstalk slender, proclaimer of cheery greetings, youngish female pass me! How dare she casually relegate me to second place! I dug deeper and increased my speed, committing myself to providing Ms. Good Morning with a view of my XXL-sized, Lycra-stretching lumpy derriere.

Competition trumped lust. I huffed and puffed and put a good city block between our two bikes. Take that you uppity blonde biker! Gray-haired old guys rule! Continue reading →

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