Author Archives: Morning Reflections

Parental Approval

      Comments Off on Parental Approval

To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here More than anything, the young Winston Churchill yearned for the affection and approval of his father. But Sir Randolph Churchill, a rising star in Britain’s Conservative Party at the turn of the last century, appears to have been ill-equipped to be a supportive dad. He rarely even spoke to his gifted but sensitive… Read more »

Ain’t You Tired?

      Comments Off on Ain’t You Tired?

To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here The 2012 film The Help depicts life in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962 – particularly the intersecting worlds of the black women (“the help”) who work as maids, cooks, and child caregivers and the white women whose households they serve. Hilly Holbrook, one of the housewives, is an angry, self-absorbed, manipulative racist. … Read more »

Coming Attractions

      Comments Off on Coming Attractions

To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here It’s coming.  And there’s nothing you can do about it.  Just when you thought 2024 couldn’t get any crazier – what with a total solar eclipse, crowds flocking to see a movie depicting a future civil war, and a November election that for some reason keeps popping up in the news… Read more »

Cracked Pots

      Comments Off on Cracked Pots

To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here In the ancient world the most durable containers were carved out of stone. That’s where royalty would safeguard their treasures.  A rich family might keep an especially prized possession in an alabaster box. Ordinary families, however, had to resort to clay jars.  And clay jars were a dime a dozen. In… Read more »

Privileges and Responsibilities

      Comments Off on Privileges and Responsibilities

To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here Membership has its privileges.  That’s the marketing slogan American Express copyrighted in 1980, the beginning of what became a “what’s-in-it-for-me” American decade. As one would-be church member asked me while I was planting a Presbyterian congregation during that time, “What do I get if I join?” The first time I replied… Read more »

The Missionary Effect

      Comments Off on The Missionary Effect

To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here Mark Twain cherished no love for Christian missionaries.  In 1872, the famous author and satirist declared, “Hawaiians enjoyed an idyllic life before the missionaries braved a thousand privations to come and make them permanently miserable by telling them how beautiful and blissful a place heaven is, and how nearly impossible it… Read more »

A Taste of Grace

      Comments Off on A Taste of Grace

To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here Denmark has never been considered a center for global cinema. Only a handful of Danish movies, in fact, have ever received an Academy Award.  But the first one to accomplish that – Babette’s Feast, winner of the 1987 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film (based on a story by Danish writer… Read more »

Three Minutes of Wonder

      Comments Off on Three Minutes of Wonder

To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here This very day, millions of Americans will have the chance to see something they may never see again. Purdue University is playing in the March Madness championship game. OK, there’s that.  But an event of vastly greater significance than what’s happening to my alma mater will be happening in the skies… Read more »

Wild at Heart

      Comments Off on Wild at Heart

To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  At least, that’s how your local Canada goose wants you to feel. First things first: that beast with the long black neck and white “chinstrap” – the bird that may be trying to scare you out of a neighborhood parking lot – is a Canada goose, not… Read more »

The Power of Focused Friendships

      Comments Off on The Power of Focused Friendships

To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here A number of years ago, author and pastor Eugene Peterson was called to launch a new Presbyterian congregation in suburban Baltimore.   One of his obligations during the church’s first three years was to write a monthly report to denominational headquarters. The initial part of the report was statistical: attendance, new members, financial… Read more »