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One of the marks of good writing is avoiding the use of the passive voice.  For example, if I say, “I am holding a pen.”  “I” am the subject of the verb – I am doing the action.  The “pen” is the object of the verb.  To state that in the passive voice we would say, “The pen is being held by me.”  That’s not good English.  “I heard it through the grapevine” is in the active voice.  “It was heard by me through the grapevine” is passive . . . and awkward. . . .and not a catchy song title anymore.  So the active voice is almost always better. Continue Reading »

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I don’t think I could do it.  Could you?

Give up all your material possessions and give them to the poor?

Keep all the commandments perfectly?  No way.

The impossible demands reflected in today’s Gospel made one young man turn away from Jesus when he realized he couldn’t do it either.

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You’ll have been downtown and seen the people standing at the corner needing money — most likely holding up a sign:  “Will work for food” or something similar.  Some roadside beggars have gotten a bit more creative with their signs.  Here are some actual signs seen on street corners in America:
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In honor of school starting this week, we are going to begin with a little study in anthropology this morning. Anybody take Anthropology 101?  Anthropology is the study of humanity.  So here are some pictures of humanity for us to study this morning.

faces of humanity

What do you see when you study these human faces?

What is the first thing that comes to your mind?

What kind of assumptions do you make about each person based on their externals?

What experiences and beliefs shape the way you view each one?

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John, the disciple of Jesus and the writer of the 4th Gospel, has a unique style of writing.  In his Gospel, John arranges the words of Jesus and the stories of Jesus’ life in such as way as to highlight the significance of who Jesus is and what he came to do.   His story of Jesus’ life is not necessarily in chronological order, but he places events and words next to each other to give them significance. Continue Reading »

Ephesians 1:3-14

I watched Mister Rogers as a kid like I’m sure many of you did.  This past week I saw the documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” about the children’s television ministry of Fred Rogers.  Watching the film was a spiritual experience for me and I was deeply moved by several of the scenes . . . including the one I am about to show you. Continue Reading »

Life isn’t fair.

 

This is something fathers often have the unpleasant task of announcing to their kids.  Yeah, things don’t always go our way.  That’s life . . . as we know it. Continue Reading »

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