Parsonage Parables

Signs of the Season – Bells

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It seems that bells aren’t used as much anymore. I remember the long rope to the bell tower and the deep “tong” would toll, announcing the church service was beginning. Not sure if its real purpose was a shaming technique – hey sleepy heads, you missed church again. Town squares used to have chimes that […]

Parsonage Parables

Be Grateful Today

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This past week, as we have gotten closer to Thanksgiving, there have been conversations about eating and favorites. Turkey, green-bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and pie are always high on my “looking forward to eating” list. When I think back to my childhood, our regular meals were pretty modest. Growing up as a preacher’s kid, I […]

Parsonage Parables

Control Our Words

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James 3: 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. First of all, if you want to read a challenging book in the Bible, pick James. It’s a letter written by the half-brother of Jesus, who didn’t believe his […]

Parsonage Parables

Utah Juniper

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We were able to travel to southeast Utah and visited a couple national parks with unique and beautiful rock formations. The topography of the area is so unusual and breath-taking. As we were walking trails and observing various rock structures, we came upon many gnarly pine trees. Later I found out these were Utah juniper […]

Parsonage Parables

Planning

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I was an elementary school principal in a lower income school. When winter time rolled around, we were always aware and concerned about kids that came under-dressed. Many students came without gloves and hats, but an amazing number of kids came without winter coats or coats heavy enough to keep the cold away. One particularly […]

Parsonage Parables

Anointed

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Over the summer, I have been on a preaching and book tour. It’s been fun to be in a number of churches, to talk about my book Simply Grace and, because I donate all the funds from preaching and the book, to be able to financially help our ministry in Haiti. This past Sunday, I […]

Parsonage Parables

Sugar Cookie Solutions

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I’ve always loved sugar cookies. Simple sugar cookies. I like black coffee. Don’t need sugar or mocha or words that include frappe or chino. My clothes aren’t flashy. Just ask my daughters-in-law and kids. Prefer my windows down instead of air conditioning. Don’t believe in car starters. I can watch waves roll in or enjoy […]

Parsonage Parables

Footprint

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Fifty years ago, we were at a camp somewhere in Wisconsin. Probably thirty people were glued to a 12 inch, black and white TV. Seriously, twelve inches. Smaller than most people’s computer screens. Seriously thirty people. At least. Seriously, black and white TV. Google it. We were watching Neil Armstrong bounce down a ladder to […]

Parsonage Parables

Little Plastic Cross

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My granddaughter discovered Fused Bead kits. They are little, colored, plastic cylinders that you place on peg boards. After your design is finished, you fuse them together with a hot iron. She knows I like baseball so created a baseball design for me that I use as a coaster. Other common patterns are hearts and […]

Parsonage Parables

Sacrificial Gifts

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I have been in fundraising for almost twenty years. During this time, I have witnessed incredible generosity. The ones that have impressed me the most have not been the large gifts, but the sacrificial gifts. Now fundraising success depends on large, transformative gifts. But the individuals that make those gifts often have the financial backing […]