Joe Paterno

Photo courtesy of Washington Post

The scandal at Penn State has been one of the saddest news stories of the year.  I know some Penn State alumni and even family members of some who have played football there.   Their uniform impression was that the football program at Penn State was a character-building program with high values almost in direct opposition to the media-driven portrayal that followed the accusations.  The picture played out in the press was one that suggested a culture of corruption where even the most heinous of crimes were routinely swept under the rug.  Continue reading


“When Tim Tebow loses, does God, too?”

The football playoffs are in full swing.  Perhaps there has been no football question I have received that is more frequent than, “What do you think of Tim Tebow?”  While that somewhat disappoints me,  (I would hope I could have other opinions about who might be really good and who will win) I guess my role as a pastor invites people to wonder what I think.  Saturday, Tebow’s Denver Broncos lost to the New England Patriots in an AFC playoff game in rather lopsided fashion.  It was a game that set a rating record. Continue reading


In the Old Testament part of my regular Bible reading I have just concluded Job.  I must confess that although Job was a part of one of my seminary classes on ‘Wisdom Literature,’ I still find Job puzzling (sorry Dr. Butler).  I can’t recall how I did on the portions of the exams or papers on Job or if I got by focusing on other parts of the wisdom literature such as Psalms or Proverbs.  That would have been a good strategy—they make more sense to me.   But maybe the Bible making sense to me isn’t the best measure of its value to me.  I remember Ken Boa saying that sometimes we need to chew a long time on a piece of scripture much like we would chew on a piece of gristle.  Job has been like that to me lately—I’m chewing on it.

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Jesus or Santa Claus?

   If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he      who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.   (1 John 1:8-9)

One of the most poignant moments for me during the Christmas holiday was on Christmas Eve.    My daughter sent a text saying my grandson was in bed “sweating bullets” that he had not been good enough for Santa to bring him any presents.  Continue reading