Devotions for Thinking Christians
Minuteman Statue in Lexington, Mass.

In the poem entitled "Concord Hymn," Ralph Waldo Emerson called the first shot of the American Revolution the "shot heard 'round the world."  That shot was fired in Lexington, Massachusetts on April 19, 1775 and Emerson's grandfather, a local minister, was the first man to show up, gun in hand, after the alarm was sounded.  Seventy-six other men joined him.  By the time they reached Concord, Mass. they were 400 strong.  By day's end, there were 3800 colonists engaged in the battle for freedom. It is this first battle of the war that is commemorated in Massachusetts on Patriots' Day.


"Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did not do for me."                     --Matthew 25:45

In case you missed it, there was a dining incident in St. Louis that has gone viral.  A St. Louis pastor went to Applebee's as part of a large group that ran up a tab of over $200.  When the bill came, an 18% gratuity had been added to the total--a practice very common in the restaurant industry.  The pastor balked, and wrote a note on the bill saying, "I give God 10%, why do you get 18%?"  She then crossed out the $6.29 gratuity and put a big, fat 0 in its place.


"Then Job replied:

 “I have heard many things like these;
    you are miserable comforters, all of you!
 Will your long-winded speeches never end?
    What ails you that you keep on arguing?
 I also could speak like you,
    if you were in my place;
 I could make fine speeches against you
    and shake my head at you.
 But my mouth would encourage you;
    comfort from my lips would bring you relief.

Job 16:1-5



"God is love"  1 John 4:8b

He came to the church tonight because the sign out front said there was a Taize service.  There wasn't.  It had been moved to last week and no one changed the sign.  The man was angry.  His father died last week, which is why he was in Boston, trying to help his 94-year-old mother cope with losing her partner of 72 years. He needed the solace of the service.  The pastor of the church apologized and invited him to stay for supper and the Bible study I was leading.  It took about 20 minutes of convincing and calming, but the man stayed.

Statue of Liberty

A long-time friend of mine wrote on my Facebook page, "Somewhere in New York it says, 'Give me your tired, your poor.'  Well people are tired and people are poor. What are we to tell them?"

Sacrifice of Jepthah's Daughter

"It is a snare for one to say rashly, 'It is holy,' and begin to reflect only after making a vow." Proverbs 20:25


As businesses, economists, and foreign governments look on with disbelief, the political talk in Washington has somehow become all about vows.  Suddenly there seem to be all these vows that politicians are being asked to sign, from vows about opposing same-sex marriage to vows to avoid tax increases no matter what.


Picture of Caylee Anthony

"The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath."  Mark 2:27

Like millions of others in America this week, I watched the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial being handed down.  Like just a handful of others, however, I was not surprised at her acquittal.  Yes, I think she's guilty of killing her young daughter and I would bet most every juror thinks so, too.  But I have realized for some time now that, with just a few exceptions, we no longer have a justice system.  We have a legal system.

celebration outside of White House on news of bin Laden's death

In case you hadn't heard, Osama bin Laden is, like Old Marley, dead as a doornail.  Probably Donald Trump wants to see his long-form death certificate to believe it, but it's true.  The world's most-wanted terrorist is no more, and the airwaves have been filled with responses.

Dia, me, and my mother

Scripture Reference:  Luke 15:11-32

It's Monday of Holy Week, and over this past weekend I packed up myself and the dog and headed the three hours north to see my mother.  As you can see from the picture, we were not frolicking in the great outdoors or remembering the days of our youth over a cup of coffee.  She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at age 70 and has been in a home with some level of clinical care since 2004.  She will be 79 next month.

Grim Reaper

Milo was a boy of about 11 years old, who lived in a small village by the edge of the sea with his mother.  Milo was a big help to his mother.  Every morning he would take some money and two sacks to go and buy the groceries.  First he went to the butcher and bought some bacon and salted pork.  Then he went to the farmer on the hill who sold him lettuce, beans, and sometimes corn.  Lastly he went to see Miss Gretchen, who sold him the eggs that Milo and his mother would have for breakfast as they listened to the sounds of the sea. 

But one day there was no money on the table and Milo found that his Mother was still in bed.  He went on tiptoe into her room, but saw that she was not sleeping. There were moans coming from her bed, she was shivering under the covers, and her face looked very red and tired. 

 “Mother!” cried Milo.  “What’s wrong?  Are you sick?”

She could barely speak.  “Yes, Milo,” she answered.  “I am very sick.  I don’t think I can even stand up. You must go and bring the doctor from the other side of the farmer’s hill.”