Pastor's Blog

Welcome to my Blog!

This blog doesn’t have a theme, but includes spiritual and Biblical reflections about people, Bible passages, and often topics of race and culture and the Kingdom of God, since I am called to such work.

The blog does have a dedicatory first entry. This blog is dedicated to Kianna, once a young girl I met while serving as a pastor in Michigan, and now wherever God, she herself, and life may have taken her.

If you'd like to communicate with questions or comments, please do so through the regular church contact information on this website.  I'd be happy to talk with you.

Paz, Pastor Dan

For Kianna

September 24, 2017

Kianna was in third grade.  She, her younger brother Cam, and I were spending the summer running around the church parking lot in Jesus’ name (a “blacktop” neighborhood ministry).   On some thickly hot days, we found refuge in my air-conditioned church office, which was also a refreshing place to talk about God. “What is baptism? …

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The Blessing That Happened

March 3, 2021

That thing that happens at the end of worship services I conduct is strange.  We’ve sung the songs, heard, or in my case preached, the sermon, prayed, received word of the offering and announcements, and then, there’s the closing blessing.             I raise my hands high and wide in a way I never do in…

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In the Summer Canyon Above the River

January 6, 2021

The lower falls on the Yellowstone River tumbled perfectly in the just-right summer heat.  A coniferous tang brushed over the family in waves and the breeze swayed the thousands of perfect pines together.  Beautiful.             My eyes followed the canyon rim, down the ledge from the scenic overlook, to the base of a nearby hoodoo,…

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The Wages of Worship

December 7, 2020

“Your name, Lord, endures forever, your renown, Lord, through all generations. For the Lord will vindicate His people and relent concerning His servants. The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths, but cannot speak; eyes, but cannot see. They have ears, but cannot hear; nor is there…

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It’s Not a Roof With a Fiddler On It

November 17, 2020

As my beloved frost dampens the ragweed pollen and the days sigh up and down with light warmth, my paleo-wardrobe makes its annual appearance.  That hoodie with the logo no one remembers anymore.  That long-sleeve from the high school production of “Fiddler on the Roof” in 1998.  At least the remaining threads of atoms that…

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A Parable for Discussion Over Dinner

October 9, 2020

In America, we have trouble even talking about systemic racism.  When we do, we don’t agree what the “real” issue is, nor what the priority issue is, let alone the degree to which systemic racism even exists.  It’s easy to talk past each other.  The conversation can become so strained that continuing to talk seems…

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Lessons in Epistemology: evidential linguistics, Gnosticism, and intimidating blog titles

August 26, 2020

            Christians believe a lot of strange things.  For example, there is a virgin birth, and that of a being who was simultaneously God and human, then a specific resurrection of that being who apparently could in some sense be killed, and the main point of those events is that they are the moral hinge…

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Who has the privilege of deciding what this means?

June 11, 2020

The phone says we should stay home. A neighbor says we shouldn’t worry because he has loaded weapons. The parents say, “No, muchachas, you can’t bike anymore outside today.  Come in and we’ll try to explain about the robbers.” The news says it was smash-and-grab, and then mostly just smash, at the mall and moving…

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A Lockdown Quartet

April 27, 2020

Note: This is not a “call for help,” but a hope that honesty gives us permission to admit again that this is hard. “Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep. …

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Behind the Basement Wall (A Lenten Devotion)

February 26, 2020

Our house squeaked cleanliness.  Order was in sufficient supply to step on legos on only one of three forays into the play room.  The new microwave heated actual food into being actually warm.  From the outside, and on a cursory tour of the main living areas, all appeared well. The basement was another story, however. …

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A Critical Lament for the Invisible Victims of a Half-time Show – Or – Supra-hypocrisy

February 4, 2020

At the recent major American sporting event, our society and the NFL busied themselves embracing contradictions.  It wasn’t merely hypocrisy, but sustained dissonance chosen and celebrated.  Supra-hypocrisy.             Amidst the parodies and jokes and unintelligible commercials, there were some nice human-interest ads, like the one about Katie Sowers.  The NFL wished to celebrate how she…

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