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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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The Laughing Jesus

I’ve been reading The Gospel of Judas. It’s one of the different narratives about Jesus that the early church disliked and discarded. Irenaeus, who lived in the 2’nd century, mentions the book in his long diatribe against false teachings, but it had never been found until showing up in the hands of an Egyptian antiquities […]

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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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The Voice That Isn’t Yours

One of the best Christmas gifts I received as a kid was a crystal radio kit.  In 1958, when I was seven, this was an exciting piece of high technology.  A rectangle of hardboard held three small screws connected by wires.  After wrapping a small coil, making a few couplings with bent paper clips, and […]

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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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A God Of Love

The Aztecs probably hold the record for most human sacrifices performed in a calendar year.  They believed in a God who fed on human blood, and their priests tore beating hearts out of chests to offer up as food.  Going to war was a form of farming, harvesting captives, then herding the divine victuals home […]

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Finding God- 2

There are all kinds of ways to hide.  Some people stay out of sight; others hide in plain sight.  Some people conceal themselves behind anger and bravado, others behind helplessness.   Some people hide by lying to others and other people hide by lying to themselves.  Some use the truth to lie.  In their hands, truthfulness […]

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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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The Man With A Radio In His Big Toe

When I was in seminary, I interned as a chaplain in a VA mental hospital.  I worked in a locked ward for Vietnam vets.  Many were schizophrenics with psychotic features, meaning they heard voices and saw things the rest of us don’t.  I’d arrive in the morning as the unit lined up for orange juice […]

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