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Looking Beyond the Literal

In our Protestant religious culture, it’s fascinating to me that such strong emphases are placed on the literal interpretation of the Bible. Why? Jesus rarely spoke literally. He spoke in allegories, imagery, and parables. He painted word pictures. Instead of

Ash Wednesday – A Day to Feel Miserable? Hardly!

Today is Ash Wednesday. This marks the beginning of the holy season Lent, that period of the church year in which many people think we are supposed to feel miserable. After all, just prior to Ash Wednesday is Fat Tuesday

What If I Don’t Agree with the General Conference Decision?

In this segment of Ask Me Anything, where Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Kip Laxson answers questions about life and faith with Asbury parishioners, Janet Hall O’Neil asks about the latest United Methodist Church General Conference decision not to allow gay

A Crucial Part of a Healthy Faith

I once heard about a self-professed, unashamed atheist named Fred who regularly attended worship services. Someone finally got up the nerve to ask him about it one Sunday after worship.  “Fred, we all know that you are not a believer

Do We Really Love God?

Comedian Jay Leno had a long run as the host on the Tonight Show following the iconic Johnny Carson. Leno has always been a fascinating character. But one story out of his past is particularly memorable. When Leno was growing up, there

Sharing Our Faith Without Losing Your Friends

I don’t know about YOUR mother, but my mother gave frequent lectures about sharing when I was growing up. Maybe if my brother and I had been better about doing it, Mom wouldn’t have felt the need to remind us

Forgiveness Is Hard

Joe was dying. The news from his physician was grim. For years he’d been at odds with Bill, formerly one of his best friends. Wanting to straighten things out and reconcile, he sent word for Bill to come and see

When Hardships Come

Is there hope for the broken heart? Will the wounds ever heal? The novelist, Harry Crews, shares insight into this human condition that he learned as a child: “I became fascinated with the Sears Roebuck catalog because all the people

Have Doubts?

Woody Allen once said that he would have no difficulty believing in God, IF God would deposit $1,000,000 in a secret Swiss bank account in Woody’s name! You and I might not go that far, but Woody’s comment does spark

Why Is Faith Important?

Do you know what you believe and why you believe it? Picture this: you are having lunch with some coworkers. The talk around the table is going a bit everywhere, and then somewhere in the conversation you casually mention something