More Grist for the Mill

The Title Says it All...

Don’t We All Hide the Truth?

I hope the subject line caught your attention, and, maybe, offended you a little. Recently, Kate Fagan of ESPNw published an absolutely heart-wrenching account of Madison Holleran, a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, who took her own life at the age of 19. While I read many articles from many different sources on a […]

Jimmy Fallon, U2, NYC Subway, & the Gospel

Recently, Jimmy Fallon had a segment (link at the end of this article) on his show that involved him taking U2 into the 42nd Street subway platform directly beneath Grand Central Station. Rather than publicizing it in advance, or even just having them show up unannounced, Fallon and the guys in U2 disguised themselves, appearing […]

Baltimore may be Closer than We want to Admit

Like so many in our society, my heart has been breaking the past few days as the news from Baltimore has dominated so much of our media. Seeing the destruction of so many properties and so many lives leaves me on the verge of tears. I would like to sit here and tell you that […]

Often Overlooked and Under-Appreciated… ‘The Methodist Way’

Over the past few weeks, as we are in the midst of what is known as ‘appointment time’ and time where we are working through a pastoral transition, I have often heard a phrase that, while understandable, often is overlooked and under appreciated – “That is the Methodist Way.” Well, before we dive into that, let […]

(On Many Levels) It’s Opening Day! – Hope Springs Eternal

WOW! What a GREAT day we experienced yesterday – while Good Friday may be the best day of the year because it is the day Christ reconciled all to the Creator through his sacrifice on the cross, there’s no more day full of joy than the day we journey to the empty tomb! And yet…and yet…there’s always a […]

#80, Lent, and Life in the Church

While sitting in the historic sanctuary at First UMC in Alexandria Tuesday near the end of a two-day seminar with all clergy under appointment in our conference, my phone started blowing up with the news of Jimmy Graham being traded to the Seattle Seahawks. Based on the reaction that I heard from the boys on WWL […]

Thanks, Dale Brown, for Capturing Grace

Many of you may be aware of my great love for football, but I must confess that my first athletic love is basketball, and has been since I was a kid. My love for basketball was such that it was how my family and I learned I needed glasses; one night I pulled the chair […]

Momma Mia!, Swedish Tax Laws, and the Church

I had no idea last week, when Erin and I had the chance to take in Broadway Across America’s presentation of Momma Mia!, a musical featuring the music of ABBA, that I would wind up looking at our lives together in the body of Christ through the lens of the tax laws of Sweden when […]

24,000,000,000 Reasons…Just Because We Can…

The number I hadn’t heard, but the enormity of it I think all of us are aware of in one way or another – according to, the self-storage industry in our country generates $24,000,000,000 of revenue per year. $24,000,000,000! That’s 48,500 ‘mini-warehouse facilities’ containing 2,300,000,000 square feet of space, or, if you prefer, 7.3 […]

A Phone Call I Can’t Return

On Tuesday of this week, while sitting at my desk visiting with Jeff and Kathy, I grabbed the office phone when it rang. The caller said, simply, “Reverend Oliver.” Of course, I knew IMMEDIATELY who it was – it was my dear friend Luke, who I got to know when I was in college. Luke […]