October 18, 2017

For Memorial Day: Another Look — Music of Peace in the Midst of Chaos

With Prayers for Peace on Memorial Day 2013 Back in the early 1990’s a simple counter-intuitive act of heroism caught the imagination of those who learned about it. On May 27, 1992, Vedran Smailovic, principal cellist for the city opera, was practicing his cello in an upstairs apartment in Sarajevo, in the former Yugoslavia. It […]

The Power of Stories

Stories are better than doctrine, at least in the way we have come to state doctrines. Over the course of my ministry, I have constantly fallen into the trap of thinking that being able to state a doctrine means that one has mastered its meaning. It’s great to be able to rattle off what we […]

iMonk Classic: A Note to Weed-Eaters

Our school has a student work program, and one of the most popular jobs is working on the yard crew. Our boys love to work with the tractors, mowers and weed-eaters. Especially weed-eaters. It’s a certain sign of spring when I hear the yard crew outside the window of my house, and I can hear […]

Joe and Marge

Marge died today. A petite, pretty octogenarian, she had been wandering in the world of Alzheimer dementia for many years. I’ve known her for a few of those years, at least I’ve known the lady who rarely sat still, who moved continually from one place to another, looking out the windows, fluffing and straightening the […]

Another Look: Making Music in the Midst of Chaos

Note from CM: I just realized it has been twenty years since the events in this account took place. To me, what you are about to read is one of the most remarkable stories of my lifetime. As I re-tell this tale of imaginative grace today, may it fill you with wonder as you read […]

Getting the Point

Shaking hands at the door of the sanctuary after the service, the pastor noticed frowns on several of his parishioners’ faces. “I don’t know, pastor,” one man said, pointing an accusing finger at him. “If I were you I’d take a look at Romans 2:1.” When all had gone home for Sunday dinner and he […]

A Lost Parable: The Sugar of the Earth

And Jesus spoke to them and said, “You are the powdered sugar of the earth. As sugar is sprinkled on cakes and cookies to make them attractive and exceedingly sweet, so you shall make my church the most delightful confection the world has known. For the children of this world have an insatiable sweet tooth, […]

Broadway Danny Rose and the Church of Acceptance, Forgiveness, and Love

One of my favorite movie scenes of all time, from Woody Allen’s film “Broadway Danny Rose,” reminds me of church, starting with the crazy characters who come together at Danny’s house each Thanksgiving for frozen turkeys — the stuttering ventriloquist, the blind xylophonist, the balloon folder, the lady who plays the water glasses, and the […]

The Coffee Cups

The night was long, his sleep restless. Two or three times he reached across the bed to feel her warmth. He reached and reached. Once, her absence bothered him so much he got up, put on his robe and walked downstairs. He sat in his chair and listened to himself breathe. An occasional car drove […]

The Violin Guild, by N.T. Wright

To begin the new year, a story from Tom Wright to get us all thinking…   See John 10:22-42. Video created by five staff members from Calvary Church, Santa Ana, CA.