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Generosity

First Lady Barbara Bush’s funeral was an inspiring and, for a brief moment, refreshing display of a kinder, gentler time in U.S. politics. David Priess posted an amazing photo on his Twitter feed of each of the presidents in attendance and their wives. He made this comment, “Each president in this photo did things I […] Read More

A challenging and potentially transformative command to enact an economic Sabbath is found in Deuteronomy 15:1-11. Every seven years, Hebrew creditors were to release the remaining debt of the loans given during the previous six years. Debt was the ultimate source of poverty then as it is now, so this was a year when poverty […] Read More

A number of years ago, I attended a funeral. The man to whom we were saying goodbye had enjoyed a full and rich life. He’d reached the age of 90 and was respected for having been both successful and honest. But he’d always been a strong man, a natural leader, a man who took charge […] Read More

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the role of the church in the public square, particularly with respect to the Johnson Amendment. This legislation prohibits churches (as 501(c)(3) organizations) from publicly endorsing or specifically campaigning against candidates for public office. A recent executive order instructed the IRS to overlook the Johnson Amendment when […] Read More

A recent assignment to lead a church discussion on “Creating a Culture of Generosity” led to some reflection on a familiar topic that yielded (for me, at least) a new way of thinking about it. When children are small, we prompt them to engage in deeds of generosity by sharing and experiencing the awareness of […] Read More

Kids raised in religious homes are less generous and kind than those raised in nonreligious homes, according to a recent study. By religious, the report means that the parents identified with a religion (mainly Christianity or Islam), and they measured frequency of religious attendance and rated the overall spiritual atmosphere of the home. I traced […] Read More

A sermon by Michael Cheuk, Pastor, University Baptist Church, Charlottesville, Va. July 13, 2014. Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 This morning’s Gospel lesson is called the Parable of the Sower.  Since I’m basically a city boy, born in Hong Kong, grew up in Shreveport, lived in Houston and Dallas/Forth Worth area, I don’t know much about farming.  […] Read More

A sermon by Keith Herron, Pastor, Holmeswood Baptist Church, Kansas City, Mo. The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost Luke 12:13-21 August 4, 2013 Hosea 11:1-11; Psalm 107:1-9, 43; Colossians 3:1-11 Giving a sermon on covetous greed is some better than an assignment to remind people to eat their broccoli or beets, but not by much. A […] Read More

The Last Supper

A sermon by Robert Browning, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Frankfort, Ky. June 9, 2013 I Kings 17:8-24 This story does not lack for drama or strong emotions. It seems every character is living on the edge of life, and about the time you think things are going to get better, they get worse. There are […] Read More

Jesus had options. We know that was the case from the very start of his ministry. In the Synoptic Gospels – Matthew, Mark and Luke – he exercises his initial options in the wilderness following his baptism, deciding between: â—      Bread for his belly versus food for his soul â—      The glory that accompanies worldly […] Read More