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A Time to Be Silent

I haven’t been able to write an essay for a while. I could call it an extended case of writer’s block, except that doesn’t explain very much. Who knows what blocks a writer? I could say I ran out of things to say, except that isn’t true. Just ask the classes I teach; they endure […]

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Prayer

For several years, I have said the opening and closing prayers at our college’s commencement ceremonies, a privilege I was granted soon after being hired. I probably appeared a natural choice, being a former pastor and the religion instructor. Or, perhaps more likely, nobody else wanted to do them. Most people don’t like standing in […]

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What Is Truth?

On the day after his arrest, Jesus was interrogated by Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Palestine.  Jesus had been accused of declaring himself a king, and Pilate was amused.  Here stood a poor Jewish man from a rural district in an outback of the Empire, someone without an education, wealth, or even a following, […]

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The Parable Of The Unscrupulous Judge

Faith can seem like the easiest thing.  All we have to do is believe.  There’s no physical exertion required.  Education is often seen as a hindrance.  It’s not something we have to spend much time thinking about.  In fact, the less thought we give to our beliefs the more it seems like faith. Appearances, of […]

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Show Me Your Doubt And I’ll Show You Mine

When I was in seminary, I became friends with a young Coptic priest from Ethiopia.  His name was Marcus, and we both worked as chaplaincy trainees in a large urban hospital.  One day, as we relaxed in the chaplain’s office, he described his personal cave.  On graduation from priesthood training in Egypt, Marcus was given […]

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The Spirit Road- Knowing We’re Known

There aren’t many things I know for certain.  I know I’ll be tired after three days with my grandchildren.  I know I enjoy margaritas.  I know I like to fish with my buddy in Canada.  But knowing all that isn’t really knowing very much.  If you ask me questions on a larger scale, like do […]

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Finding God- 1

When I was in the ministry, I attended a dinner party given by a Jamaican couple who belonged to the church.  They were sophisticated people, with a wide variety of friends, and that night one of the guests had a problem with the idea of God.  I was holding a bacon-wrapped chestnut in one hand […]

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God Is Nothing

The Buddha was a very practical man.  He disliked questions for which there were no answers, calling them a waste of time.  In one of his teachings, the Buddha described a man who had been shot with a poisoned arrow.  His family retrieved a doctor, but the man wouldn’t accept any help until learning the […]

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Surah 13: 25

Those who break the covenant of Allah, after having given their word, and cut apart those things that Allah has commanded to be joined, and work mischief in the land—on them is the Curse, and for them is Hell.  –The Qur’an, Surah 13:25 Four Americans were killed this week by renegade Muslims, ostensibly because of […]

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God Does Play Dice

Rounding a curve on a two-lane country road, a blue car coming towards me suddenly swerved over the double lines.  I could see a young guy slouched behind the wheel startle to life and jerk the car, tires veering back to his side of the road, and we passed uneventfully.  But it was enough to […]

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