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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Convicted About Identity: A personal reflection from a middle-class “WASP”

January 2, 2019

I think it was the day we walked through the purple St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in St. Francis, SD (pictured).  Was it in a museum there or the nearby Beuchel Memorial Lakota Museum?  Perhaps it is indicative of the national self-medicating historical amnesia that neither do I remember exactly where I was.             One…

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Four Levels of Anti-Racism

November 21, 2018

If you’re coming into this post without having read the previous post, stop right there, buster.  Read “four level of racism” first, then read this, lest you try to put new wine into old wineskins.  Don’t rush to the solution without first listening to the problem, or you could fail to hear at all.  Deconstruct…

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Four Levels of Racism

October 25, 2018

The longer I work in multi-ethnic ministry settings, the more I wish I would have taught sooner and more insistently about this:             Racism is a sin with tentacles far longer than individual prejudice, exhibiting itself at the level of groups, institutions, and society-wide systems.  That’s not news, but even if we acknowledge that truth,…

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An Uncountable Multitude, Counting by Ones

September 29, 2018

The elderly woman sat across the squared tables from me, eating her rice and dried seaweed.  She was the oldest person among the dozen in the room, by far.  Bob and Sue, the American retirees from Florida, were the next oldest, and everyone else seemed to be younger than 40.             My wife and I…

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Revelation 7’s “every nation” as window dressing or meaningful detail?

August 21, 2018

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is the worship scene in Revelation 7:9-17.  It’s a big party and everyone is there.  Lots of humans.  God’s chosen from the Hebrews, Jews, and everybody else.  Representative leaders from the great God episodes of all time (the 24 elders, possibly to be taken as representing the…

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A Thunderous Fourth of July

July 5, 2018

One of the funny things I’ve noticed about our suburb, Lansing, IL, is the noise.  It’s not just the rumble-thrum of I-80 one mile north of my house, nor even the monthly summer “cruise nights” that bring classic cars with classic mufflers to line Ridge Road, it’s that people in my burb like to make…

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A Reflective Recreation ~or~ A Deep Look at Knowing God

June 13, 2018

“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12, NIV)               In this most famous of Biblical chapters, often confusingly used in celebrations of romantic love…

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Purpose in God’s Time

May 17, 2018

Luke 5:15-16 “Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.  But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”               This past week, I went away to the California coast to be quiet for a while.  I’ve…

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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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