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October 11, 2017

Patriotic Knees

There are many ways to look at the controversy over NFL football players going down on one knee instead of standing during the playing of the national anthem before a football game.

When Vice President Mike Pence apparently on cue from the President made a spectacle of leaving before the game started after some players took a knee in Indiana last week, my first thought was, “don’t they have any more important things to do with their time and effort”? Perhaps minor things like jobs, immig...

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August 17, 2017

Walden Pond and Civil Disobedience

I was in the Boston area last month when the 200th birthday of American author Henry David Thoreau was celebrated. Thoreau, of course, is most famous for his book "On Walden Pond", a journal of his two years living on its banks in the New England woods. He was also a leader in the Transcendentalist movement along with fellow writers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman.
 
Sometimes when I think millennial generation today and hear the phrase "I'm spiritual but not religious" it reminds me a...

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July 7, 2017

Red, White, and Blue

The evening of the fourth I was a couch potato and watched the concerts and fireworks from home. I think that is pretty "American" to start with. I switched the channels from DC to New York to Boston. DC was pretty much as usual. No better backdrop for the day. I did note that the headlining Beach Boys only had one original member, Mike Love. (Bruce Johnson I guess is almost). Still can't get use to a skinny guy about 30 replacing Levi when the Four Tops came out, though it was great to see...

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April 4, 2017

The Crying Christ

The last couple of weeks it seems that the lectionary gospel lessons have been longer than the sermon. (I wrote in my notes - pause here for applause). John writes complex and very involved stories. In this story like last week, He gives a lot of detail and explanations for peoples actions and he also adds (as we’ve said), retrospective theological perspective for those of us who are slower to understand - like moi. 
 

The context of this story is that Jesus if not exactly hiding out, ha...

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March 14, 2017

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Evidently Mark Twain "popularized" (not originated) the old saw: "Lies, damned lies, and statistics", to describe how numbers can indeed be used erroneously, slant, or tell just part of the story. Washington interest groups are famous for having their "own" sets of numbers.

Using all three categories of late, the President has highlighted in my mind which of these I hate the most and is most dangerous for the country. The President is well known for "intentional misstatements" frequently...

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March 11, 2017

Temptation: Stuff We Learn in the Wilderness


We celebrated Ash Wed this past week and thus have begun the church season of approximately 40 days or six weeks before Easter we call Lent. Lent is not the most fun Christian holiday season. It tends to be more solemn and serious. A time of introspection - It is certainly not a bad idea (we get to spend time thinking about ourselves (LOL)..a time when we work our way up to Holy Week; and a time to think about evil in the world and evil in ourselves - which we call sin. A time of humility and co...

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February 20, 2017

Do Not Be Anxious About Your Life

I thought I had heard it all but in an NPR report the other day on electric cars I heard about another reason to worry in our world. Its called "range anxiety" and it comes about because on the dash board of your super fuel efficient electric vehicle it shows you how many miles you have left before you need to recharge and unlike gas vehicles which may have the same monitor, once the electric gage hits 200 miles left and you are on a trip you begin to worry because there are just not that many c...

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February 8, 2017

In Love

As many of you know I returned from San Francisco this past week following vacation leave time, where our family was blessed beyond measure with the birth of a child to my middle daughter, Amanda and her husband Morgan. Their third child and our sixth grandchild. A little boy name Fletcher Robert Ramsey. The Robert comes as a great honor and I guess as the patriarch (a young one) of the family. "Fletcher" - well your guess is a good as mine. It sounds a little "Californian" to me but I of course...

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January 3, 2017

The Glory of God

It is New Year's Day - and darn you guys look very very good this morning! Either you are like me and tucked in bed well before midnight last night or at least dozing on couch with hot tea or a Shirley temple something......Or you have stout constitution and require little sleep and will crash sometime around 4 pm this afternoon and miss the big game. But just as on Christmas Sunday it is good to gather and be together on this New Years holiday as well to begin our new calendar year. I wanted to...

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December 31, 2016

Telling Children About Christmas


 
The Very First Christmas
 
A long time ago, in a small Jewish village in the Middle East there was man named Joseph and a young woman named Mary. Joseph, who was a carpenter, and Mary were engaged to be married. Joseph had a dream that Mary and he would have a special baby, sent and blessed by God, and they should take very good care of the child. Mary also had a vision. She saw and heard a beautiful angel, who told her that she would be the mother of a most wonderful baby; who would be...

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