Help for a Polarized Nation

This was my column in the Kenosha News in February, but is still very relevant. We have a very energetic president who currently lives alone, doesn’t require much sleep, works weekends, and tweets before most people are awake. So, there is no telling what may have happened in the intervening… Continue reading

How Can You Reject So Many People in the Name of Diversity?

How did this happen? How did Donald Trump get elected? Certainly, we were presented with two historically unpopular candidates in the general election. It appeared that a good many of the votes cast for these candidates were really expressions of opposition toward the other candidate. I have lost track of how… Continue reading

Christians in the Age of Trump

How does a follower of Christ respond to a President Donald Trump? What is the role of church in the age of Trump? The evangelical leaders who endorsed Trump looked oblivious and uncaring because he so obviously violated Christian values and even common decency back when he was candidate Trump.… Continue reading

An Unassuming Man: Norval Spalding

He was a little short guy who always sported a mischievous grin and always carried a few hundred dollar bills in his wallet. While generally a quiet person, he was not afraid to speak his mind when he decided it was necessary to do so. A repository of homespun wisdom, he would often preface… Continue reading

A Tribute to Teachers

Off hand I can’t recall much I learned in high school. I suppose if someone quizzed me I might be surprised what all I did remember. But forty-five years later, I certainly remember two teachers. Mr. Blakely was a very intellectual and savvy sort of guy. He taught International Relations… Continue reading

Loving Life

Dan Stika lives a full life doing the things he loves and giving back to the community. He has lived in Kenosha for all of his seventy-six years. After he retired, Dan decided to obtain his undergrad degree. He enjoyed the experience so much that he went on to get… Continue reading

Half and Half Nation

The inauguration ceremony just wrapped up, but many Americans feel the nightmare is just beginning. About the same number of citizens, think they have finally been heard. How in the world can this nation find a way forward when one half disdains, belittles, and shuts out the other half, and… Continue reading

Was 2016 A Really Bad Year?

There seemed to be a collective sigh of relief as 2016 wound down last Saturday. Good riddance weird and surprisingly awful chunk of time. Thirty-three percent of Americans felt the nation got worse over the course of the year. The Top Ten news stories of 2016 were: U.S. election Brexit… Continue reading

More Important than the Election

Tomorrow is the big day when Americans will vote for a terrible person so the other more terrible person does not win. The political parties, the media, and the special interests got what they wanted. They have propagandized people so their supporters think those who differ with them are idiots.… Continue reading


I am openly proclaiming my total and complete lack of support for Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. Clinton has proven herself to be untrustworthy and Trump and proven himself to be reprehensible. Though every election is touted to be historic, this one certainly is. It is historic in relationship to… Continue reading

Have We Lost Our Ability to Have a Conversation?

It’s a good idea to keep our eyes, ears, and minds open because beauty, truth, and insight will pop up in strange places. On of those strange places was the May 26th episode of comedian Craig Ferguson’s History Channel show, Join or Die. Craig hosts a panel of colorful characters… Continue reading

Becoming the Monster so the Monster Will Not Break You

  There was no verbal response. I simple shook my head back-and-forth in shock and sorrow as the details were unfolding about the shooting at the Orlando nightclub. It is the same response I had upon hearing of the Sandy Hook shooting deaths of the twenty 6 and 7-year-old children.… Continue reading

A Dark Day in America

“It’s a great day in America.” That’s how, Craig Fergusson, former host of the Late Late Show, usually began his ad-libbed comedy monologue. After all, the Scottish immigrant became an American citizen by choice. But it’s not; i.e., a great day in America. It’s a dark day in the U.S.A. I… Continue reading

You Can’t Force Values on People

I don’t like being told what to think. Who does? It’s a domineering for someone to be so convinced they are right, that they believe that you and everyone else must get in lockstep with their way of thinking. If you don’t; you’re inferior. That attitude is arrogant, disrespectful, and… Continue reading

That’s the Best We Can Do?

My world is already split in two. Most of my Internet friends lean liberal, and most of my real life friends are conservatives. I vacillate between perspectives, and sometimes, opt out, in frustration of a broken system.  Please, pull back from the fray for a moment. Let’s get an aerial… Continue reading

Why Did the Royals Win the World Series, and Why Does It Matter?

The Royals are atypical champions. They have no pitching ace, no huge power hitter, and no superstar. Two years ago, they were bottom dwellers. How did they become world champions? They built on the right foundation. (Character) Everybody has values and those values determine what you do, and how you… Continue reading

Pro (All of) Life

This post is part of the July 2015 synchroblog that invited bloggers to write about “What It Means To Be Pro-Life.” My fifty-seven year-old friend has been fighting for her life for over a month and half, after having emergency surgery to repair complications from a previous surgery. She is… Continue reading

Love Wins

This post is part of the July 2015 synchroblog that invited bloggers to write about “Gay Marriage.” Honestly, I have been able to avoid this topic. So, what you read here is me “writing out loud,” trying to “process” my way through it. Is it right or wrong? Many Christians,… Continue reading

Inner Dissonance (Bill Cosby, Tullian Tchividjian, and Me)

We make messes. We all do. We fail. We disappoint others, and even ourselves. We wreck havoc in our own lives, and in the lives of the people who look up to us. All of us do, to varying degrees. Some failures are subtle incidents of inappropriateness. Others are blaring… Continue reading

The Age of Goodbyes

Here is a copy of my column from Monday’s Kenosha News. I never thought about Leonard Nimoy dying, even after he was recently admitted to the hospital suffering from COPD at eighty-three years of age. He was Mr. Spock for Pete sake! As Mr. Spock, he just got cooler as… Continue reading

Implicit Prejudice

I first heard the term this morning on a radio show. It is a subconscious prejudice that is inadvertently expressed. The topic captures my attention for several reasons. I grew up being influenced by the accepted racism of my parents’ generation. As a pastor, I finally had my eyes opened… Continue reading

If I Were King

I would abolish political parties. The founding fathers warned against them. They polarize the nation and corrupt politicians who have tow the party line to get the funding necessary to win an election. I would allow legislators to organize around coalitions, permitting them to work together on a couple of… Continue reading

The Death of Truth

Truth is dead. Apparently, we don’t need it anymore. Instead, we contort what little we know about an incident to support our preconceived viewpoint. Our minds are made up before we even become fully aware of the facts. We speak up with great indignation, believing we are calling attention to… Continue reading

Why Are Bars More Accepting than Churches?

John Donne was right, no man is an island. Even a casual reading of scripture reveals God’s heart for connection with us, and how he hardwired us for linking with other human beings. Relationships are probably the source of our greatest joys, and our greatest heartaches. But, if we isolate… Continue reading

Can We Even Talk About Racial Issues?

As I thought about this month’s topic which is focused on race, violence, and the need to talk about it, four really big issues came to mind. Working on them has to be part of a way forward that moves us away from violence and obliviousness toward understanding and action.… Continue reading

It’s Not Your Fault

Featured Video Play Icon

This post is part of the “Crash” synchroblog: Robin Williams Performances We Remember and Why. Twenty year-old Will Hunting (Damon) is an undiscovered mathematical genius who grew up being regularly beaten by his father. He too developed anger management issues and he had a way of torpedoing any serious relationship.… Continue reading

Make Your Own Cheese

Here is my column from Monday’s Kenosha News. Being Wisconsin, I could have entitled this column “Make Your Own Beer,” but there is a fair chance you are already doing that. Or, I might have used the title “Make Your Own Sausage,” but nobody really wants to see sausage being made. So,… Continue reading