Seventh Sunday after Epiphany: Which Book Are You Living By

In the John Wayne classic The Quiet Man, Wayne's character must battle his love interest's brother, Red Danaher. Danaher is an Irish landowner with few friends and a long list of enemies. In fact, one of Danaher's cronies is tasked with maintaining the list. When offended, Danaher will cry out, "Take out your book." His crony brandishes the book and Danaher dictates the offender's name. Recording the name is not sufficient retribution. After the name is written down, Danaher proclaims, "Now strike a line through it!"

Fifth Sunday after Epiphany: Salt of the Earth

Dining in my collegiate cafeteria was always an adventure. Some nights were a hit (steak night), others a miss (King Ranch Casserole). Fortunately, tucked in the corner of the cafeteria was a waffle iron. When the unidentifiable objects outnumbered the identifiable substance of the casseroles, I retreated to the waffle iron.

Fourth Sunday After Epiphany: How Much?

Walking out of the grocery store, you hear the all-too familiar sound of metal scraping metal. Angling toward your car, you see a teenager staring at your fender. The damage is minimal but costly. When you identify yourself to the teenager, he apologizes immediately and begins to explain this incident can't go on his driving record. He has been driving only for a couple of months, and he is on probation with the insurance company. "How much will it take to make this go away?" he asks and reaches for a checkbook. Based on the sports car idling nearby, you assume he's good for the cash. Would you take the check?

Excuses, Excuses!

We beg to be a part of God's plan; we pledge our participation; we offer our assistance; but when God provides an opportunity we reply indignantly, "I tant do dat!"

Tragic Triumph

Confetti flutters in the background. Sweat-stained players embrace Gatorade-drenched coaches. The reporter shoves the microphone into the face of the exuberant athlete. "How will you celebrate this victory?" With a large smile, the player replies, "I'm going to Disneyland!" We've come to expect the victor to celebrate at the Happiest Place on Earth. Spiritual victories rarely land us on Main Street at Disney. Instead, spiritual victories often leave us emotionally spent and spiritually vulnerable. Elijah felt the sting of a tragic triumph.

The Uninvited Guest

Jesus once felt like an uninvited guest. Ironically, He was invited. A Pharisee, Simon, invited Jesus to his home. Simon was curious about Jesus but far from committed. Hence, he failed to extend basic hospitality to the Galilean Rabbi. He didn't wash His feet, extend a kiss of welcome or anoint Jesus' head with oil. One slight could be attributed to carelessness, but three slights made it clear Simon was not hospitable to Jesus