It’s Not Just a Car

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The year was 1970.  My dad and mom went car shopping and came home with an Oldsmobile Delta 88.  It was a big boat of a car.  Eventually that car was gifted to me as a college sophomore and was the car that Jackie and I took on our honeymoon drive after we were married on June 11, 1982.  One memory we have is that the timing chain of the car broke down on our “honeymoon” … [Read more...]

Commencement Reflections to the Class of 2013

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On Saturday, May 18, 2013, we celebrated the graduation of 77 students from Calvin Seminary. Ten countries were represented on that day: Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Liberia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, South Korea, and the United States. Today I want to share with you a portion of my commencement address. “In your seminary education, you have been challenged as … [Read more...]

Gleanings from Readings – You are a Theologian!

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Did you know that you are a theologian?  Whenever you think or hear or read or say anything about God, you are doing theology. When I started Calvin Seminary as a student, I was asked to read a short book by Helmut Thielicke entitled A Little Exercise for Young Theologians.  This classic was written in 1959 and was translated into English in 1962.  This little book was … [Read more...]

Gleanings from Readings – The Value of Theology

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A few months ago, I read four books in five days.  I relished this seasonal opportunity (over Christmas) to do a lot of reading and reflecting.  As I promised in my initial Medenblog, I will share some of the gleanings from these readings. Spiritual Theology:  The Theology of Yesterday for Spiritual Help Today by Diogenes Allen. Dr. Allen died just a few months ago, … [Read more...]

Church at Work

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Many articles and books make the judgment that the church is “not working” or is “out of touch”. I have the privilege of visiting a number of churches and I want to share a story about seeing a church (actually two churches) at work. Maranatha CRC is located in Cambridge, Ontario. This church was organized in 1958 and experienced growth initially due to migration and … [Read more...]

Boomerang Wisdom

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I write this Medenblog as the United States sits on a fiscal cliff.  (On January 1, the United States avoided this particular cliff, but there will probably be another one in the near future.)  There is enough “blame” to go around at the fiscal cliff, but is there enough “wisdom” to see beyond and beneath the cliff? Michael Lewis is the best-selling author of Moneyball, … [Read more...]

Broken

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Broken.  Newtown, Connecticut is broken.  Families are broken.  Sandy Hook Elementary School is broken.  We are broken. In this Advent Season, the plans of many for a simple celebration of Christmas have been drastically altered.  This past Sunday, I sat in a church where songs were sung and prayers were prayed and words were spoken in an attempt to frame tragedy and … [Read more...]

The Value of “Compromise”

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Compromise.  What is your immediate reaction to this word?  Does your heart rejoice or sink at the thought of needing to compromise?  Compromise seems similar to being “luke-warm” and we wonder if it would be better to be hot or cold. At the Edge of the Precipice:  Henry Clay and the Compromise that Saved the Union by Robert V. Remini is a book that challenges our … [Read more...]

Covenantal Continuing Education

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Lawyers do it. Doctors do it. Accountants do it. Auto-mechanics do it. All of them participate in mandated continuing education or additional certification. We can list other fields of learning where it is expected that those in the field know they will need to continue to learn to “keep up” and to be effective. Why not pastors? A few years ago, Calvin Theological … [Read more...]

A Liturgy for Deleting Numbers

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As many of you know, I was an attorney for Southern Bell, one of the “Baby Bells” from the break-up of AT&T.  I used my background to help cajole busy service personnel to get memorable telephone numbers for New Life Church (462.0202), fax line (462.0505) and even for our home (485.1333).  With our family having an increased reliance on cell phones, we gave up our land … [Read more...]