Spirit in the Sky

On the way back from speaking at Wheatland Congregational Church in Wheatland, Michigan, the 1969 Norman Greenbaum song, “Spirit in the Sky,” kept popping into my head. As it happens, my friend Fred Slagle (who is the pastor of Wheatland) and I have similar personalities and share some common experiences. We are both part of the cry-baby boomer generation; we were not believers until we were married adults with children; and we both loved  … Continue reading

To Be or Not to Be – That is the Question

“Honest questions deserve honest answers, but dishonest questions don’t deserve any answers” is a bit of advice passed on to us by our friend and co-founder of Jews for Jesus, the late Jahn Moskowitz. It came at the end of a story he was relaying about a conversation he had with a Jewish atheist who raised an objection to Christianity. Would God reject the man’s “good” mother when she died if she didn’t receive the … Continue reading

Paradise – Lost

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, popularly known as Jehovah’s Witnesses, teach there is a two-class system of the faithful. There is the elite “anointed class,” 144,000 people who are going to heaven to rule and reign with Jesus when they die. The lower class “other sheep” never make it to heaven but are left behind on Earth. They will be busy cleaning up the mess of Armageddon – and it promises to be a … Continue reading

I Can Only Imagine

On Saturday evening at the old homestead, we had movie night and watched the newly released for streaming, I Can Only Imagine. Faith films these days sometimes seem a little hokey, lacking depth: It’s almost like they work so hard to be “Christian” that they forget the power of a story well told. This film’s writers, Alex Cramer and Jon Erwin, and its directors, brothers Andrew and Jon Erwin, did a great job of just … Continue reading

Final Act

Spoiler Warning: This post contains the most minor of spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War and one whopper of a spoiler for the Empire Strikes Back. Some of you are old enough to remember seeing Empire Strikes Back at the theatre. That movie is of course the best of the entire Star Wars series and I will have words with anyone who disagrees. 🙂 Just words though. I may be skinny but I’m weak. What made … Continue reading

For the Furtherance of the Gospel

(Originally printed in the Fall 2004 Issue of the MCOI Journal beginning on page 16) Many Church leaders today are engaged in a cultural struggle over the direction of the Church. How can loving, following, and serving Jesus Christ become so divisive? The question at the heart of the controversy is: “Does man or God control the future and direction of the Church?” The proverbial camel is now settled inside the tent; it must be … Continue reading