Five for Thanksgiving: Five Things for Which I Am Grateful

2017 has been giving 2016 a run for its money when it comes to civil dysfunction. Let’s be honest; things aren’t exactly getting better in our political and civil discourse. As a Jesus follower, my predisposition is towards hope, but that’s not exactly an easy path on some days. As we slow down and prepare to eat tomorrow, here are five things I am grateful for this Thanksgiving,

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People who have tables that are expanding, not shrinking, this Thanksgiving.

In the midst of threats to Dreamers, Haitians, and whoever else the Administration decides to target, there are individuals, religious communities, community organizations, etc. who are growing more committed to being welcoming to refugees, immigrants, and others. The strength of this country has always been room at the table for more people who seek to call this home. There is much good work being done each day to make this a more, not less, welcoming nation.

Kindness and grace in day-to-day interactions

Despite all the rhetoric, people are still generally kind towards one another. Sure, we get frustrated with each other from time to time, but that pales in comparison to the simple acts of kindness and grace we offer daily to others. There is good in each of us. Each interaction with another is an opportunity for kindness and grace.

Artists are making beautiful music, art, and writing

In the midst of muck in so many places, there is an abundance of great music, art, and writing that inspires, challenges, and brings beauty to our lives.

The depth of emerging prophetic voices

I don’t necessarily mean the mainstream ones you know.  I mean the ones you see each week in your local pulpit. The local church pastor has always wrestled with the tension between pastoral and prophetic. There are many great voices in the local church who are claiming their prophetic identity, while doing the work of shaping disciples through preaching. I believe that this important work is still the best way to shape people to bring wholeness to our world.

And finally….

Elections in 2018 and 2020

I can’t believe I am saying this, but these can’t come soon enough.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Between Memory and Hope- Sermon Text from the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

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Between Memory and Hope

On this day of remembrance I offer the text of the sermon I preached at Carmel Christian Church in Carmel, Indiana on September 11, 2011. 

Chances are good that no one will forget where you were on September 11, 2001 around 8:45 AM Eastern Time.

Take a moment, just about 30 seconds or so and turn to someone and tell them where you were, what you were feeling

I was at work, at the CareerBuilder.com office in North Atlanta. I had settled into my cubicle, returned email from the previous day and began to prepare for several appointments that I had scheduled for that day, when all of a sudden, people came running into the sales area of the building, telling us to come to the break room, to see what was happening in New York City. We had this break room in our office that held a foosball table, air hockey table and a big screen television. We had about 50 people crammed into this break room, watching what was going on, smoke billowing out of the towers

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