Author Archives: Neil

Preparing for Advent 2020 under COVID restrictions

Rotation.org has added a brand new forum all about Preparing for Advent 2020 worship, Christmas programs, teaching, at-home traditions, Live Nativity, and Blue Christmas, favorite Christmas videos, Zoom singing and worship, and an “Advent Haggadah” — all with an eye … Continue reading

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Ideas for Celebrating Advent and Christmas in 2020, the year of COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing

Rotation.org’s Advent Forum has a terrific bunch of Advent and Christmas ideas, lesson plans, video clips, and ideas for celebrating Advent and Christmas in 2020 — the year of the COVID-19 pandemic when so many social-distancing restrictions will affect our … Continue reading

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“…and the spirit of God was dancing over the deep.”

What was God doing at the moment of Creation in Genesis 1:2? Your Bible translation might say God’s spirit was “hovering” (NIV), or it might say the “wind” of God “swept” over the deep (NRSV). But the poetry of Genesis … Continue reading

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The Nose (Wrath) of God

“Wrath” is one of those old-fashioned words that progressives like me tend to turn up our noses at.  “Wrath” is so Old Testament, …not very “God is love.” So when I came across the word “wrath” the other day in … Continue reading

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God is not the slot machine many Christians imagine and Atheists ridicule

“Unanswered” prayer is perhaps the greatest argument for the NON-existence of God.  When religion preaches “ask and you shall receive,” and people routinely and publicly ask their God for things they obviously have not and will not get (relief from … Continue reading

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Worship: What the People Experience vs. What the Pastor Experiences

I first became aware of how pastors and parishioners “experience the worship service differently” when I began regularly crossing over from pulpit to pew in 1996. And spending the last twenty-five years going back and forth between pew and pulpit … Continue reading

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Things about “Former” Pastors

I’ ve always been interested in reading alleged insights about “former” pastors. “Former” meaning they are no longer pastoring a church, but may still be involved in a church ministry (as am I), or totally out of “church work.” Here … Continue reading

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On Miracles

On Miracles I wrote this brief collection of thoughts “about miracles” after creating a Bible study for lessons on the Feeding of the 5000, a.k.a., the Miracles of the Loaves and Fishes, (John 6:1-15 and in all three other Gospels.) I … Continue reading

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Free Sunday School Lessons (should also be creative)

Free Sunday School lessons are a great idea, but only if they are: a. Actually good (and not just a slim retread of something from the 60’s). b. Offer you creative choices (like different types of media, not just a craft). c. And … Continue reading

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The Empty News

The idea of resurrection is not unique to Christianity. It is found across time, cultures, and all sorts of religions. From a psychological point of view, it probably took root in our ancestors’ psyche as a defense against the meaninglessness … Continue reading

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Jesus the April Fool

Easter was on April Fool’s Day in 2018, …an irony that should not be lost on any preacher or Sunday School teacher. In an increasingly secular and atheist-leaning world, the story of a supreme being saving his “son” from the … Continue reading

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My (Brief) Return to Traditional Worship

I had been looking forward to going back to that traditional church. Now, after worshiping with them on Sunday, I feel slightly sad for them, for the Church in general, and for my hopes. Their traditional worship service was sleepy, … Continue reading

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