A Dozen Pre-Christmas Hacks (2019 Edition)

A Dozen Pre-Christmas Hacks We all know Christmas events and family gatherings can be stressful.  I get it.  Drama wrapped in beautiful paper and adorned with a bow is still drama.  But I want to suggest that they don’t have to be terrible.  In fact, they can be pretty good…even wonderful!   Like anything else inContinue reading “A Dozen Pre-Christmas Hacks (2019 Edition)”

Facing Those Who Disappoint (during the holidays)

The holiday season is almost upon us!  Again. Some of you are rejoicing!  Some are not. It is 100% certain that you will be dealing with people who have disappointed you during this holiday season.  When we are around people who have disappointed us in one way or the other, a myriad of emotions canContinue reading “Facing Those Who Disappoint (during the holidays)”

You Don’t Hear Fathers Talk About This Much

You don’t hear father’s talk about this much. This is an excerpt from my latest book: Re-Conversion (The “God is Good” Story) (Sumner, Illinois, circa 1996) Sometime in late 1992, I attended a seminar on how to do ministry with Senior Adults held in Peoria, Illinois. There was this feeble, little man who inched upContinue reading “You Don’t Hear Fathers Talk About This Much”

What Grandkids Teach us about God

Crazy About Them (Fairview Heights, Illinois circa 2013)   Fridays are normally a day with the grandchildren.  Melissa watches all four of them each weekday and since I take Fridays off, we are all in the house together all day.  I used to sleep in every Friday, take the dog on a late walk, takeContinue reading “What Grandkids Teach us about God”

Early Marriage Tactical Error #2

(Louisville, Illinois circa 1985) I had landed a job teaching and coaching at the Jr. High School of North Clay Unit 25 immediately upon my graduation from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.  I taught seventh and eighth grade American history and coached baseball and basketball.  My teaching job paid about $12,000 each and every yearContinue reading “Early Marriage Tactical Error #2”

The Discipline of the Lord (Comes Swiftly and from the Left Side) 

The Discipline of the Lord (Fort Worth, Texas circa 1969) Dad is a southpaw.  There are two files in my memory that verify this fact.  One concerns the fact I could never use his baseball glove.  I could catch with it but I always threw like a girl.  (These days girls throw really well, soContinue reading “The Discipline of the Lord (Comes Swiftly and from the Left Side) “

What Is A “Tween” and Why Should They Matter To Your Church? (by Amanda Cates)

What Is A “Tween” and Why Should They Matter To Your Church? It’s a Sunday morning and I couldn’t wait to get to work! I knew that all my elementary kids were going to love the Large Group set we designed for the month, and that we had finally found worship music that would engageContinue reading “What Is A “Tween” and Why Should They Matter To Your Church? (by Amanda Cates)”

Love on the Wall (and Scissors in the Drawer)

I had a wonderful neighbor and a parishioner in my seminary years. She was a 90 year old widow who lived across the street from the parsonage. She often invited The House of Bishop to her larger family events and we were grateful. For the three years I served that student appointment in Georgia, sheContinue reading “Love on the Wall (and Scissors in the Drawer)”

Pastors are Not Ministry Mutants

In my early days in ministry, I thought of the Apostle Paul as a Ministry Mutant. He was wholly different than regular people and was Holy Ghost hardwired for the rigors of ministry. This was absurd. By making Paul “nothing like me” I conveniently excused myself from being “anything like Paul.” As long as PaulContinue reading “Pastors are Not Ministry Mutants”

Dealing with Those Who Disappoint

A defining characteristic of living in a fallen world is dealing with people who have disappointed you.  When we are around people who have disappointed us in one way or the other, a myriad of emotions are sent into frenzy by our brain.  Particularly if these are people we also happen to love or onceContinue reading “Dealing with Those Who Disappoint”