people and places

The Jussie Smollett Story: We All Lose Here

  As the Jussie Smollet story unfolds, there are no winners, only losers. God, in His grace, tried to prevent all of the losses with one short, but monumental instruction: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” Don’t lie. But the particular lie God forbids is a public lie: courtroom perjury, a public …

King Herod Understood the True Meaning of Christmas

The Bible’s Christmas narrative has a villain. An antagonist.  A bad guy. And I’m not talking about the innkeeper.  The bad guy is King Herod.  The good guys are those wise men who traveled weeks to find Jesus. The good guys and the bad guy meet in Matthew, chapter 2:   After Jesus was born …

A Letter to My 17-Year Old Self About Racial Prejudice and Ignorance

Hi Roger. Please don’t freak out, but I am your 57-year old self, and I’d like to share some things I (we?) have learned about you and the black people around you that you barely notice.  The good news here is that you’ll make it to your 57th birthday. The bad news is that you …

Song for a Son

  Skin of our skin, Bone of our bones, Now, skin and bones.   Mysterious sick, Food that won’t stick; Must find some trick   Doctors that pace, Fresh charts retrace, First world grace.   New test might show, Heads that shake no, Still we don’t know.   Waiting with tears, Pressing down fears, Months …

Did God Put President Trump Into Office?

  On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, Donald Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States. The surprise winner was voted into office by 62,984,825 voters. (Wikipedia) Post election, people have been asking: Who were those voters who put him into office?  Pollsters, pundits and pastors have suggested several answers:  Evangelical Christians, disenfranchised …

Nomad

(A Poem Dedicated to a Friend)   The sidewalk slaps ‘neath fraying sneaks As spindle legs press on; She’s on the way to somewhere else, A futile search for home.   And windblown hair that begs for soap Wraps odd her tired face Whose weary eyes scan anxiously For freedom more than place.   She …

Can We Ever Love Our Country Too Much?

  Our current national debate about Colin Kaepernick and how to honor the American flag and country raises a vital question: Is it possible to love our country too much?   Jesus said some outlandish things.  Here is one of them.   “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy …

Until All the Bad Guys are Gone

  Thomas Jefferson. Robert E. Lee.  Thomas Yawkey.   They have all been in the news this last week.  Jefferson, the slave owner. Yawkey, the Red Sox baseball owner who adamantly resisted integration.  Lee, a general in the Confederate army.  Racists. Bad guys.   The proposed removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee was …

WWJD: Who Would Jesus Deport?

  I was never a big fan of the WWJD phenomenon.  You know, the one that had people sporting bracelets and bumper stickers and socks and hats with WWJD emblazoned on them.  What Would Jesus Do? WWJD?  Now I love Jesus, trust him completely, and seek to follow his way and wisdom.  It was the …

Philando Castile and the Things We White People Say

  A police revolver rings out.  Several times.  Another black man in America bleeds out.  Most all agree that these killings are a terrible tragedy.  And we–my white brothers and sisters and I–wanting to be helpful, offer our counsel.  These deaths could be prevented.  The story can end up differently. If only the black man …