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Pastor's Blog

Welcome to my Blog!

I’m new to blogging, so I have much to learn, but I trust God will make good use of it. The blog doesn’t currently have a theme, and may be simply a collection of spiritual reflections. However, many of these reflections will consider 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.

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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Finding Our Ways Back to the Cross

April 17, 2018

Good Friday and Easter have come and gone.  The disciples, their world rocked, found normalcy in just fishing for fish for a night.  Our own high-emotion worship services, pageants, and celebrations with family and family in Christ have passed.  Even if our worlds were rocked, normalcy has its own gravity, and it is constant work…

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In Honor of Fools

March 19, 2018

Easter 2018 is April 1.  April Fools’ Day in the United States. For those of us who delight in practical jokes, we feel the irony of celebrating the event we most need to be deadly serious on a day noted for dubious tricks and traps.  To set the resurrection of Christ alongside impishness seems a…

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Diversity as Air Force multiplier?

February 27, 2018

Last September, Lieutenant General Jay Silveria (pictured), superintendent of the Air Force Academy, gave a timely and crystal-clear speech in response to a racist incident at the school: “If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect – get out.”  You may have the seen viral video, but you might have missed his follow-up editorial…

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Green Socks

February 6, 2018

The Chicagoland snow finally showed up over the past week.  Morning ice, afternoon slush, fresh evening crystals.  So it’s a good time to trade the drafts breezing off our windows for memories of a warmer season.  I take you to Nebraska in July, somewhere near the Winnebago Reformed Church (pictured), during a church youth service…

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After MLK Day – How Individualism Hijacks Constructive Racial Dialogue

January 16, 2018

I fear talking past my white brothers and sisters. I fear that because most of us, especially here in the south suburbs of Chicago, do not know that we are a group.  We insist on individual identity so strongly that there is not room for the collective next to out-sized ego.  Can such trees recognize…

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A local take on the Christmas Story

December 12, 2017

This post comes to you after being offered as a meditation at my municipality’s mayoral Christmas prayer breakfast last week.  Lansing, IL police and fire, village officials, school leadership, and other public servants shared that breakfast with a collection of area Christians.  We met together in one of the associated churches and enjoyed bacon, eggs,…

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Is Racism a topic the Bible directly addresses?

November 30, 2017

For too long I assumed the answer was “yes.”  To my eyes, the Bible was replete with examples of various forms of tribalism, the dynamics of which can easily teach us about God’s desires for modern-day forms, including racism.  There are fights between opposing family lineages (Genesis), Israelites and ancient Egyptians (Exodus), and various tribes…

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After Las Vegas: What if Evil Needs no Motive?

October 4, 2017

A few days have passed Prayers and support are rightly offered. Survivors and families are living in a daze, suspended in shock, trying to grieve, but finding the burden too heavy to process or escape. So also the nation. We’ve also spun off, locked and loaded in our own ways, into gun debates. Some will…

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On the Gauley

September 24, 2017

The sun stretched through the chill morning air, brushed the rushing waters, and landed on the banks of the Gauley River, West Virginia. There, my cousins Jason and Josh, Uncle Tom, and Dad and I were suiting up for whitewater.  Lifejackets clicked and paddles spun as instruction in correct out-of-boat technique mixed with guides’ instructively…

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