Dane Lewis

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So far Dane Lewis has created 244 blog entries.

Hearing Our Differences

Sylvia Wright loved to listen to her mother read poetry to her when she was a young child. In particular, she loved hearing her mom read from a book of poems and ballads from 1765, entitled Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (I’m sure we read this same book to our kids when we weren’t reading Batman or the latest issue of The Hockey News). In any case, Wright particularly love the sad ballad of the Earl and Lady Mondegreen which begins with these lines: Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands, Oh, where hae ye been? They hae slain the Earl Amurray And Lady Mondegreen. Makes you feel sad all over, doesn’t it? I mean, it was bad enough they killed the Earl, but to do in Lady Mondegreen, also—well, that is inexcusable! Shockingly, many years later, Wright found out that there was no Lady Mondegreen! She had misheard the line. Instead,

Some Truly Good News about Christianity

 This sermon starts our new series and is based on Acts 17:16-31. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel during the weeks we cannot meet due to Covid-19 restrictions: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: During the early days of the pandemic, John Krasinski produced a web series that brought good news to people when good news was in short supply. It was great, but it was a long time ago. There is a lot of bad news out there—pandemics, wildfires, hurricanes, racism, injustice, poverty, huge chunks of Greenland falling into the ocean, things like that. And unfortunately, there are many more things like that. And many of these things are causing people to question God’s goodness and to doubt that God exists. And that can’t be good. What we need today is some good news to counteract all this bad news so that our faith will be

To Quote Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

Okay, I lied. I am sorry. But I have an excuse. I am an addict, and we all know that addicts cannot be trusted when it comes to their addiction. I said in our last blog featuring Martin Luther, that we had now completed our series. I even said it strong and bold: “Read my lips, no more quotes.” But here we are again, being assailed with more quotes. But it is more than I am just a quote addict, although I do feel rather powerless when it comes to the question as to whether to quote or not (much like Kierkegaard said, “I feel as if I were a piece in a game of chess, when my opponent says of it: That piece cannot be moved.”). It is more than that. I really wanted to be done, but the deepest recesses of my soul kept crying out, “How can

Falling Up: Mark

 This sermon is based on Mark 14:43-52. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel during the weeks we cannot meet due to Covid-19 restrictions: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: The Bible starts off great. God creates this beautiful garden so that he may bless his people and dwell with them. He even calls their relationship very good. But three chapters into the story, the wheels come off; and from then on, the Bible mostly becomes a story of one failure after another. Sure, there are great success stories: Abraham (if we ignore the Hagar thing), Joseph (if we ignore his lying to his brothers), Moses (if we ignore the murder and the striking of the rock episode), Joshua (what a good guy!), the prophets, Mary and Joseph, and Jesus (I’m sure there are more, but not many more). Let’s face it, the Bible is chock full of

Say Hello to My Little Quote!

Marcus Aurelius left us this piece of great advice: “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” Amen to that! And think what a privilege it is to breathe in a great quote, to think about a great quote, to enjoy a well-timed quote and to love a fine quote! Indeed, it is a rich blessing! In fact, as we conclude this series on quotes today, let me remind you that to be given a great quote is to be thrice blessed (blessed upon its reception, blessed upon its pondering and blessed upon its sharing). Never forget that. Quotes are verbal blessings that can enrich your life. I know that is true, because it happened to me. I didn’t have a lot of friends growing up, not because I was weird or anything (let’s

Falling Up: Peter

 This sermon is based on Matthew 26:31-35; 69-75. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel during the weeks we cannot meet due to Covid-19 restrictions: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: The Bible starts off great. God creates this beautiful garden so that he may bless his people and dwell with them. He even calls their relationship very good. But three chapters into the story, the wheels come off; and from then on, the Bible mostly becomes a story of one failure after another. Sure, there are great success stories: Abraham (if we ignore the Hagar thing), Joseph (if we ignore his lying to his brothers), Moses (if we ignore the murder and the striking of the rock episode), Joshua (what a good guy!), the prophets, Mary and Joseph, and Jesus (I’m sure there are more, but not many more). Let’s face it, the Bible is chock full

Falling Up: Ananias and Sapphira

 This sermon is based on Acts 4:32-37; 5:1-11. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel during the weeks we cannot meet due to Covid-19 restrictions: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: The Bible starts off great. God creates this beautiful garden so that he may bless his people and dwell with them. He even calls their relationship very good. But three chapters into the story, the wheels come off; and from then on, the Bible mostly becomes a story of one failure after another. Sure, there are great success stories: Abraham (if we ignore the Hagar thing), Joseph (if we ignore his lying to his brothers), Moses (if we ignore the murder and the striking of the rock episode), Joshua (what a good guy!), the prophets, Mary and Joseph, and Jesus (I’m sure there are more, but not many more). Let’s face it, the Bible is chock full

Falling Up: Saul

 This sermon is based on 1 Samuel 13:5-15. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel during the weeks we cannot meet due to Covid-19 restrictions: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: The Bible starts off great. God creates this beautiful garden so that he may bless his people and dwell with them. He even calls their relationship very good. But three chapters into the story, the wheels come off; and from then on, the Bible mostly becomes a story of one failure after another. Sure, there are great success stories: Abraham (if we ignore the Hagar thing), Joseph (if we ignore his lying to his brothers), Moses (if we ignore the murder and the striking of the rock episode), Joshua (what a good guy!), the prophets, Mary and Joseph, and Jesus (I’m sure there are more, but not many more). Let’s face it, the Bible is chock full

I Quote; Therefore, I Am

Stephen Wright once said something I wish I had said (okay, I wish I had said several things he has said; but for our purposes, I am thinking of one thing in particular).  He said: “I wish the first word I ever said was the word, ‘quote,’ so right before I die I could say, ‘unquote.’" Now that is brilliant!  See, I am a firm believer that you are what you quote (if you already forgot that Joseph Epstein quote from last time, shame on you—for punishment, reread last week’s blog). In other words, quotes enhance all aspects of our lives (at least, good ones do—they may even put a smile on your face). And while the word-picture is a little disturbing, William DeVault is right: “A quote is just a tattoo on the tongue,” which means we should always have a good quote ready to go at a moment’s

Falling Up: Naaman

 This sermon is based on 2 Kings 5:1-16. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel during the weeks we cannot meet due to Covid-19 restrictions: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: The Bible starts off great. God creates this beautiful garden so that he may bless his people and dwell with them. He even calls their relationship very good. But three chapters into the story, the wheels come off; and from then on, the Bible mostly becomes a story of one failure after another. Sure, there are great success stories: Abraham (if we ignore the Hagar thing), Joseph (if we ignore his lying to his brothers), Moses (if we ignore the murder and the striking of the rock episode), Joshua (what a good guy!), the prophets, Mary and Joseph, and Jesus (I’m sure there are more, but not many more). Let’s face it, the Bible is chock full

You Are What You Quote

The title of our blog post today comes from a great quote from Joseph Epstein (the essayist, short-story writer and editor, not the bagel brother) who said: “I believe it was Gayelord Hauser, the nutritionist, who said that ‘you are what you eat’; but if you happen to be an intellectual, you are what you quote.” Amen to that, brother, and pass the bagel! As you all know, I love a good quote. And for three very good reasons. First as David H. Comins said: “People will accept your idea more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first.” Second, I also believe that Winston Churchill was right. I wish I was an original thinker and had numerous Ph.D.’s that would enable me to produce incredible insights and tremendous thoughts week after week, but that is definitely not me (as Popeye said, “I am what I am, and

Falling Up: David

 This sermon starts our new series and is based on 2 Samuel 11:1-17, 26-27. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel during the weeks we cannot meet due to Covid-19 restrictions: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: The Bible starts off great. God creates this beautiful garden so that he may bless his people and dwell with them. He even calls their relationship very good. But three chapters into the story, the wheels come off; and from then on, the Bible mostly becomes a story of one failure after another. Sure, there are great success stories: Abraham (if we ignore the Hagar thing), Joseph (if we ignore his lying to his brothers), Moses (if we ignore the murder and the striking of the rock episode), Joshua (what a good guy!), the prophets, Mary and Joseph, and Jesus (I’m sure there are more, but not many more). Let’s face

The Right Quiz for Right-Thinking People

We start off with a quiz today. There are four questions. Which of the following (and you can check all that apply) were used to manage the Black Death when it was ravaging Europe? Medicines Quarantines Passports (individuals were given passports to identify themselves and tell where he/she had been) Spy networks (spies were sent out to monitor other cities to see if they had been exposed to the plague and would then warn the people back home) Running away Prayers Processions Which was the response of health officers to people who were not wearing masks during the Spanish Flu in San Francisco? Fine them $10 Throw them in jail Shoot them Remove them bodily from the city Where did the first recorded case of the Spanish Flu occur? Mexico Kansas Madrid Texas Which city handled the Spanish Flu epidemic better? New York Philadelphia Here is the question we have

What We Need Now Is Grace

 This sermon is based on Matthew 18:21-35. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel during the weeks we cannot meet due to Covid-19 restrictions: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Hard times. They come; they go, and then they come back. It’s hardly fair, but that’s life in a fallen world. Let’s face it: if hard times were dollars, we would all be rich. There are all sorts of stories in the Bible about people in difficult situations, even impossible situations. The people are enslaved in Egypt. They are oppressed and beaten down by foreign tyrants. They are carried off into exile. They find themselves starving and exhausted, wandering in desert wastelands. And then there are the lepers, the possessed, the blind, the deaf and the lame, each agonizing in their own private anguish. And don’t forget the dying, the brokenhearted and the despondent. In every case, there is

What We Need Now Is Wisdom

 This sermon is based on James 3:13-18. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel during the weeks we cannot meet due to Covid-19 restrictions: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Hard times. They come; they go, and then they come back. It’s hardly fair, but that’s life in a fallen world. Let’s face it: if hard times were dollars, we would all be rich. There are all sorts of stories in the Bible about people in difficult situations, even impossible situations. The people are enslaved in Egypt. They are oppressed and beaten down by foreign tyrants. They are carried off into exile. They find themselves starving and exhausted, wandering in desert wastelands. And then there are the lepers, the possessed, the blind, the deaf and the lame, each agonizing in their own private anguish. And don’t forget the dying, the brokenhearted and the despondent. In every case, there is

Insights on Rights and Eating Delights (Part Two)

After last week’s shocking revelation that “Ring Around the Rosies” was NOT about the Black Plague, I decided to look into other nursery rhymes to see what they were not about. For instance, “Jack and Jill,” as is commonly reported, is not about the execution of Louis XVI of France (“broke his crown”) and of Marie Antoinette some months later (“came tumbling after”). I know this because the rhyme was published 30 years before Louis got guillotined. Plus, the original rhyme was not about Jack and Jill, but about Jack and Gill, two boys! “Rub-A-Dub-Dub” sounds innocent enough until you start to think about it. But its real meaning is even creepier. Apparently, this wonderful rhyme that we all recited while giving our kids a bath is actually a song about upper-class tradespeople (the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker) at a town fair getting caught peeking into the

What We Need Now Is Compassion

 This sermon is based on Colossians 3:12-14. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel during the weeks we cannot meet due to Covid-19 restrictions: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Hard times. They come; they go, and then they come back. It’s hardly fair, but that’s life in a fallen world. Let’s face it: if hard times were dollars, we would all be rich. There are all sorts of stories in the Bible about people in difficult situations, even impossible situations. The people are enslaved in Egypt. They are oppressed and beaten down by foreign tyrants. They are carried off into exile. They find themselves starving and exhausted, wandering in desert wastelands. And then there are the lepers, the possessed, the blind, the deaf and the lame, each agonizing in their own private anguish. And don’t forget the dying, the brokenhearted and the despondent. In every case, there is

Insights on Rights and Eating Delights (Part One)

I am not one to stir up controversy, and yet I feel compelled to do exactly that. I grew up knowing that the lines from a beloved nursery rhyme were actually sardonic words mocking the horror of the Black Death. From this knowledge, gained at such an impressionable age, I felt called to devote my life to sarcasm and mockery. As I grew older (and wiser), this belief in the “secret” meaning behind this rhyme was substantiated. The “Ring around the rosies” could only refer to the red rash that developed on the victims’ skin, a rash which would soon turn into painful black boils.  “A pocket full of posies” was clearly talking about the ancient practice of trying to ward off an airborne plague through pleasant odors (it is common knowledge that airborne viruses smell foul and can be fought off by a “mask” of pleasant aroma, hence, the

What We Need Now Is Peace

 This sermon is based on John 14:25-27 and 1 Peter 3:8-12. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel during the weeks we cannot meet due to Covid-19 restrictions: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Hard times. They come; they go, and then they come back. It’s hardly fair, but that’s life in a fallen world. Let’s face it: if hard times were dollars, we would all be rich. There are all sorts of stories in the Bible about people in difficult situations, even impossible situations. The people are enslaved in Egypt. They are oppressed and beaten down by foreign tyrants. They are carried off into exile. They find themselves starving and exhausted, wandering in desert wastelands. And then there are the lepers, the possessed, the blind, the deaf and the lame, each agonizing in their own private anguish. And don’t forget the dying, the brokenhearted and the despondent. In

Might as Well Face It, We’re Addicted to Rights

Great things apparently, have happened while people were stuck in quarantine. For instance, Shakespeare likely wrote "King Lear" in quarantine. Isaac Newton, during the Great Plague of London in 1665, isolated himself and got to work developing calculus, analyzing light and color, studying gravity and, in his spare time, started developing his laws of motion (all in the same year!). Victor Hugo chose to escape Napoléon’s grasp by exiling himself in Jersey and, while he was there, wrote Les Misérables. During a cholera epidemic, Mary Shelley and her husband escaped to the countryside where they passed their time telling scary stories until Shelley figured out that the scariest story had yet to be written (she fixed that). And it was in seclusion that Edward Munch painted, “The Scream” (fact: while you may think “The Scream” is a painting of a man screaming, it is actually a man hearing a ghastly

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