Bang! Bang! You’re Dead!

Down the Barrel of a Gun

What do you think? Should a believer own a gun? I guess that ultimately depends on what kind of god that person believes in, doesn’t it. “By their fruits you shall know them.”1 For what purpose do people own guns? “For sport,” some would say. Ok. Would that be target practice? Learning to hit a target with precision? Training one’s eye-hand coordination and gaining effective muscle memory? Sure; why not? However, doesn’t that actually beg the question? People don’t practice the piano to train their minds and muscles; they do so to play music. Why, then, do people spend time, Continue Reading →

“God’ll Get You For That!”

God'll Get You for That!

You’d better watch out You’d better not cry You’d better not pout I’m telling you why Santa Claus is coming to town He’s making a list Checking it twice Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice Santa Claus is coming to town He sees you when you’re sleeping He knows when you’re awake He knows if you’ve been bad or good So be good for goodness sake You’d better watch out You’d better not cry You’d better not pout I’m telling you why Santa Claus is coming to town1 Santa has a little list to weed out the naughty from Continue Reading →

My Thoughts Are Not Your Thoughts


How perverse we humans are! In our “sophisticated” age of science and technology we gladly allow ourselves to be made fools of by the ancients who, in so very many ways, understood much more than we do. After all, they lacked all the layers of “sophistication” that we so easily and glibly use to mask and obscure the clarity of what they saw with their “unsophisticated” hearts. We seemingly deliberately “scientize” their writings in a valiant — and effective — effort to obscure their meaning, fulfilling the words of Isaiah: He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on listening, Continue Reading →

A Voice Criying In the Desert Make Straight the Way

As I write this, I’ve been living in the desert now for over 8 months. Yes, we have pretty houses and gardens and swimming pools and everything; but it’s still the desert. After these 8 months (I’ve been through a summer and I now consider myself a “desert rat”) I can honestly say that “I get it.” Right now, I’ve been away from it for a few days and I long to be back to what is now “home.” I miss the parched, dusty earth that you can let pour through your fingers like water. I miss the scraggly creosote Continue Reading →


This morning (June 11: the feast of St. Barnabas), I was thinking about the story of  Barnabas of Antioch, the Christian apostle and companion of Paul of Tarsus, and how the two of them went around preaching and converting people to Christianity just a handful of years after the events of the crucifixion of Jesus. I thought about the concept of “conversion” and the sorts of proselytizing that continues to go on all around us, a couple of millenia  since then. I’m reminded of the line from the movie, Princess Bride, where Inigo Montoya says, “I do not think that means what you Continue Reading →

Prayer: Bicycling Uphill

A personal note to my readers — please forgive my absence of several weeks. My explanation / excuse / rationalization follows. Life happens. It’s unavoidable. Trying to stop the relentless progress of events from hour to hour or day to day is futile, as is any attempts we might make to try to stop the emotions that accompany the torrent of experiences washing over us. There is no real choice in all of this. It is, as they say, what it is. Our part in this drama is but to choose how we shall respond to these experiences and the feelings that Continue Reading →

My People


Sometimes, I find it difficult to write, not because I don’t know what I want to say, but because there’s too much to say. So, let’s talk about relationships. As a species, we’re not especially known for our capacity or willingness to get along. All of us have a survival instinct that no longer serves us very well. We’re skeptical, distrustful, prone to jump to conclusions, easily angered, and aggressive. Do you doubt it? Then just look at how “special” we view people like Gandhi or Martin Luther King or Mother Theresa of Calcutta or the Dalai Lama. We are Continue Reading →

Prophetic Voices


Ever heard of “literary forms”? Sure you have. You probably know at least two different forms: poetry and prose. Of course, these are not the only literary forms in existence. There are plays, fiction and non-fiction, songs (a subset of poetry, perhaps?), history, fables, myths, etc. There are even blogs. There are literary forms that we use today and forms that went out of style centuries ago. When we look at the writings accepted by the Judeo-Christian communities we can see many different literary forms. Don’t forget: we’re considering a library of writings, not just one big one. Different writings Continue Reading →

The Word of the Lord


Ok, faithful readers . . . now we may be getting into it. Ready? Here’s what I’ve gone over with you so far: God, the Unknowable, the Transcendent is unreachable directly by the human mind. Even our language is practically useless talking about God. We use analogies because we cannot experience anything from a God’s-eye view: eternal, changeless, infinite. If God were to want us to know anything about what being God is all about, the communication would have to be in terms that we understand (like a mathematician trying to teach calculus to a chimp). God’s self-revelation has been Continue Reading →

God Is With Us

God with us

If you haven’t had a close call (or two) in your life, then you haven’t lived long enough. Sooner or later, everybody at some time walks away from a situation saying, “Whew! That was a close one!” Of course, sooner or later, we all face a situation that we don’t walk away from . . . but that’s a subject for another post. It’s when we have one of these close encounters with our own mortality that a lot of the superficial stuff that encrusts our lives gets (sometimes painfully) stripped away and we find ourselves staring into the face Continue Reading →