The War Is Over

And so as of midnight last night, the 20-year-war is officially over. Today is the first day since 9/11 that new service members are no longer automatically authorized wear of the National Defense Service Medal. This was how the Navy announced it: “Effective 31 December 2022, the authorization to award the NDSM to members of…

Goodbye, Twitter

Well, it was nice while it lasted. About ten years for me. I cannot fathom the arrogance of the rich who are willing to take something that people love, and spend vast sums of money on it, only to destroy it. Imagine if the rich actually did something useful with their money that benefitted people.…

The Prince of Peace

Isaiah 9:6-7 The Christmas season is a season of peace. We await the one who is called “Prince of Peace.” We recall the angelic greeting to the shepherds, “Peace on earth, and good will toward all.” We sing carols which echo their message: O come, Desire of nations, bindAll peoples in one heart and mind;Bid…

Do Not Be Afraid

Isaiah 7:10-16Matt 1:18-25 Those texts from Isaiah and Matthew are familiar ones at Christmas time. Maybe too familiar. We tend to blur them together–because of that promise of Immanuel. There are some common themes of course, but also some differences. The Isaiah text tells about King Ahaz of Judah. It’s around the year 732 BC.…

CPE

I was in college when I first heard of Clinical Pastoral Education. I was attending Congress 83 of the Evangelistic Association of New England, and went to a workshop by Eleftheria Sidiropoulou of Tremont Temple Baptist Church where she talked about it. I heard more from my pastoral counseling professor at Atlantic Union College, Tim…

Back to the Future

I have been doing less here and more on Twitter in the last few years, but with Elon Musk welcoming back Nazis and Trumpists, while suspending journalists, it may be time to return to the blog.

Before you join the military

These articles and videos cover important questions to consider before joining the military. Before You Enlist Reality Advice to Those Considering Military Enlistment Ten Points to Consider Before You Sign a Military Enlistment Agreement

COVID and the Community

Comments for a panel discussion at ASRS2021. Though I work for the North American Division and travel frequently promoting chaplaincy and caring for chaplains, I remain deeply rooted in my own community. A little place about three hours east of here called Houston. We moved to Houston in 1998. My kids attended public schools in…

We Have This Hope

I’m a Seventh-day Adventist because of hope. As Wayne Hooper put it, “We have this hope that burns within our hearts—hope in the coming of the Lord. We have this faith that Christ alone imparts, faith in the promise of His Word.” We have this hope. 1. We have this hope because we believe Jesus…

“Without an Intercessor”

Seventh-day Adventists have a unique approach to Biblical eschatology.  Like most evangelicals, they are premillennial (Jesus comes before the thousand years), yet, unlike most, are post-tribulation (meaning that Christians will go through the tribulation and will be the target of the final persecution). This final period of persecution is called the “Time of Trouble.”  The…

The Four Chaplains

[Updated 2021] Thirty-five years ago I raised my hand, took the oath of office, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, Chaplain Candidate, in the US Army Reserve. That summer, as a student in the Chaplain Officer Basic Course at Fort Monmouth, NJ, I first heard the story of the Four Chaplains: George Fox, Alexander Goode,…

Contextualized Preaching

One of my biggest frustrations listening to lots of Zoom sermons is that too many preachers today have no sense of place or time. Their sermons could be preached anywhere at anytime. They never listened to Barth’s exhortation to preach “with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other.” They never learned…

Social Determinants of Military Health

[DRAFT] “Social determinants of health” is a public health construct of “conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play that affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes.” They include health access and quality, education access and quality, social and community context, economic stability, and neighborhood and built environment (CDC). Most…

Bending Toward Justice

One of our Seventh-day Adventist Chaplains, Barry Black, has been in the news much recently. He had his work cut out for him on January 6, a dark day that witnessed the unthinkable, an insurrection that culminated in what he referred to as “the desecration of the United States Capitol Building,” where he has served…

A Theology of Place

[Remarks given October 2019 to campus ministry leaders] My theme today is a theology of place. I hear some clues to where you all are from in your stories and in your accents, and I see some clues in the things you are wearing—New England. California. Walla Walla. A Maryland flag. I have lived in…

Advent Hope

[Advent 2009] We are Seventh-day Adventists. Seventh-day tells the world that we observe the Biblical Sabbath. Adventist says our lives our oriented by our hope in Christ’s advent, a word that means “coming.” We await his second coming in the clouds of glory at the end of time. And we believe that day to be…

Advent: Fruits of Repentence

[Advent 2009] This morning, I’d like to look at the preaching of John the Baptist. I think he was probably an uncomfortable person to be around, dressed in strange clothes and eating strange foods. And he had an uncomfortable message. But he didn’t care—he had only one thing to do—prepare the way of the Lord…

A Light in the Darkness

[Jan. 2, 2010] Today’s the 9h day of Christmas.  Like in the song …. “On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: nine ladies dancing, eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a…

The Paradox of Christmas

[Christmas 2011] In the year 1223, a year before he died, Francis of Assisi visited the town of Greccio, Italy. According to his first biographer, Thomas of Celano, “The humility of the incarnation and the love of the passion so occupied his memory that he scarcely wished to think of anything else.” It was Christmas,…

After Nineteen Years

Devotion for North American Division staff, September 16, 2020 This past Friday was the 19th anniversary of an event that is for most of us what the Kennedy assassination was for our parents—one of those days where you know exactly where you were and what you were doing. I was in campus ministry then. I…