Naughty or Nice?

At a “breakfast with Santa” this morning, we overheard someone jokingly ask their child what they were going to say when Santa asked if they’ve been good this year. Moments later, Joleen and I discovered that we both were thinking about that exchange. The lyrics of the song, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, warn … Read more

Keep Alert

Toward the end of a long day of travel on Friday, I reflected on something I’ve heard before, that most auto accidents occur in the last few miles of a trip (i.e. near home). After driving about 8 hours, and nearing our destination, it struck me that one reason that may be the case is … Read more

God-Followers Helping the Poor

Today is Blog Action Day. Thousands of bloggers are focusing on the issue of poverty from many different angles perspectives. In this post, I want to highlight a few words from the Scriptures that indicate that helping the poor was a core value in the first century church (the decades following the death and resurrection … Read more

Come to Jesus

A second thing struck me while listening to Mark on the road yesterday (read about the first thing in my last post). Also in Mark 10, there’s a story about Jesus healing a blind man, Bartimaeus (Mark 10.46-52). The phrase that especially caught my attention was Jesus’ statement upon hearing the blind man begging for … Read more

Entering God’s Kingdom is Very Hard

Joleen and I are splitting shifts this week between caring for, and spending time with, Ethan and working on our dissertations (defenses are just over three weeks away). I took yesterday afternoon and went to use the Wi-Fi Internet access at Wegmans. On the road to and from State College I listened to the last … Read more


The topic of my devotional reading yesterday was about remembering God’s grace in my life and being humbled in the midst of that thought. Sometimes I revolt at such words, thinking they are close to self-debasement, but this devotional does not read like that to me today. I know I owe everything to God. I … Read more

Mountaintop Experiences

Life in places other than the mountaintop. The FOCs (Followers of Christ), the youth group of the Manor Hill United Methodist Church that I serve, joined other area youth for a hike at Trough Creek State Park. We ended up in three groups: those who did the mountain at a good pace, those who did … Read more


Sometime last year I talked how small we humans are in the universe. That was driven home to me last October on vacation in Nova Scotia, Canada. One of the most incredible sites on our trip was the 24 hours we spent in the tiny fishing village of Peggy’s Cove. Even though it was a … Read more

Holy Humor

The writings of early church theologians (like Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, and John Chrysostom) pointed to the fact that God played a practical joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the dead. Three days Jesus lay in the tomb. Three days the devil celebrated. But on the morning of the third day, God had … Read more

Jesus’ Ministry :: A Lenten Meditation

I recently wrote this piece for the Manor Hill Charge newsletter for Lent … Jesus’ Ministry Jesus ministered to the crowds and then he drew the Twelve aside to teach them more. He taught them who he was. He taught them about the kingdom. He took them deeper than he did the crowd. The Twelve … Read more