Brother’s keeper

Turning Countless Days into Days that Count

During the early months of 2009, I deployed as a hospital chaplain to Joint Base Balad, Iraq. The base commander was Major Gen. Brian Bishop — then a brigadier general. The general was a former USAF Thunderbird pilot, an honest-to-god action hero whose likeness Hasbro toys had reproduced in a $29.95 chiseled, blond-haired “Leader Action

Reading that Inspires Forgiveness

As I watched the relatives of those killed at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist church tearfully express forgiveness toward the suspected killer, I was moved by the profound impact of their narrative. The moment inspired me to use this, my annual column of book recommendations, to commend books that portray mercy and compassion. The essentials of


  If you read my last two columns, you’ll know that my wife and I sold our five-bedroom McMansion and moved into a 40-year-old doublewide on the south side of Sacramento. Our neighborhood can get a bit dicey, but we made the drastic, yet temporary, move for three reasons, none of which are exactly altruistic:

Bee-boppin’ with iFaith

Everywhere I look these days, I see someone bee-bopping down the street with earbuds connected to their iPhone or whatever brand of smartphone they carry. These amazing devices are about the size of a cigarette box and are capable of storing an entire music collection, along with a library of books and galleries of pictures.

Marriages and their unforeseen complications

This is the season feared by most ministers – wedding season. In fact, most ministers would rather do a funeral than a wedding. No, it’s not because we’d rather see someone die than get married. It’s because funerals are simpler. The biggest requirement in preaching a good funeral sermon is empathy, something that well suits