Three steps to changes, inspired by Dr. King

Throughout the United States we will honor the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a holiday next week. Some of us will attend parades or prayer services to feed our souls with the words of good speakers and the sound of great music. Many will participate in the National Day of Service.Continue reading “Three steps to changes, inspired by Dr. King”

‘A bad guy was killing people’: A parent’s response to the nightmare of gun violence

It’s 3 a.m. and the moon is glowing softly through the wide bedroom window. Why am I awake? I look to the side and see that our six-month-old is sleeping soundly. A repetition of the sound that woke me, “Mama!!”, comes from the room across the hall. It’s our three-year-old who, despite a strong, independentContinue reading “‘A bad guy was killing people’: A parent’s response to the nightmare of gun violence”

King’s mountaintop is an Easter invitation for everyone

Happy Easter! And, blessed day of the martyrdom of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  to you all! Rev. King was shot on this day, April 4th, 1968 — 50 years ago. He was only 39 years old. The night before he was killed he gave his final speech, a prophetic message of ringing withContinue reading “King’s mountaintop is an Easter invitation for everyone”

The words of Oscar Romero for our Lenten conversion

Around here, deep in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, the signs of spring are starting to emerge — quite appropriately, since Lent means spring. The deep snow piles are gradually starting to shrink and reveal a little green life around their edges. Tiny buds are forming on tree branches. Buckets are lining paths, making more visible theContinue reading “The words of Oscar Romero for our Lenten conversion”

MLK Day and choosing white discomfort

I don’t believe that remembering Martin Luther King Jr. and the movement that he represented is supposed to be comfortable for us white folks. And I wonder what we might learn if, on this national holiday created in his honor, we were to sit with his speeches that most challenge — not affirm — ourContinue reading “MLK Day and choosing white discomfort”

A troubled conscience

On June 20, Pope Francis visited the gravesites of two Italian priests who were well-known for the ministry among the poor and their opposition to war. These men were prophets. When I think of someone like them, closer to home, it’s Joshua Casteel. Joshua grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, enlisted in the United StatesContinue reading “A troubled conscience”

God make us poor and nonviolent like St. Francis

Happy St. Francis Day! In light of all that is making humanity hurt far and near—the evils of greed, economic inequalities, environmental destruction, endless war and gun-violence—on this ordinary and holy day, I find that my heart desires to emulate two particular aspects of St. Francis’ prophetic life from 800 years ago. I am prayingContinue reading “God make us poor and nonviolent like St. Francis”

Loving our enemies in an age of fear

Recently, I have heard a lot of people say “If that person becomes our president, I am seriously terrified about what might happen to our world.” Each time I’ve heard this, I have noticed I am quick to empathize with them, to nod in agreement, to let my own fears be voiced and magnify the concern inContinue reading “Loving our enemies in an age of fear”

Loving lives on the line

Things are occurring around this country this week that are begging for us to unite and enter into some messy Jesus business—to put our lives on the line for others. Let us make a choice to love our neighbors, even if it’s costly. Here are three situations where others have put their lives on the line,Continue reading “Loving lives on the line”

Beyond bombing: Better options for transformation

The president’s speech made me feel awful last night. Of course, all the news about the terror that ISIS is causing in Iraq and surrounding areas is making me feel very awful too. Still, my gut told me the solutions proposed were not right. Similarly, no justification for the U.S. military’s current air strikes have madeContinue reading “Beyond bombing: Better options for transformation”