Dane Lewis

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So far Dane Lewis has created 342 blog entries.

Jesus and the Sheep

The innocent always suffer. It was 1943; and Great Britain was in the midst of a terrible war, a war they feared they could lose.  But war had not yet reached a tiny remote, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland, until it did in a big way. On this day, a group of soldiers brought 80 sheep to the island. But they weren’t actually soldiers, they were scientists. And they had come to this island on a secret, deadly mission. They wanted to see if their anthrax bombs were as lethal as they believed. If they were, the next step was to drop anthrax on German cities. The scientists were wearing cloth overalls, rubber gloves, and gas masks; but that hardly seemed like enough protection. They launched the anthrax by mortar and watched the effects. At first, the sheep showed no signs of infection; but when they did,

Jesus and Justice

Okay, I lied. I gave Columbus the benefit of the doubt in my last post saying it was more likely that Columbus was simply bad at math and not a swindler. Having now read more of the Columbus story, I need to retract that statement. Plain and simple, it is far more likely that Columbus was a crook. If that is too strong, then let me just say, he was a horrible human being.  Consider the evidence. He was a terrible sea captain (half of his voyages ended in dismal failure). He was notoriously cruel (natives who did not bring in a sufficient amount of gold would have their hands cut off). He trafficked in slaves. He and his crew spread disease which almost eradicated the entire Taino population (how do you spell “genocide”?). As governor, he was both utterly corrupt and tyrannical (as a result of his thieving and

The Fire Is on Fire

This sermon concludes our series and is based on Jeremiah 26:1-15. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Why a series on Jeremiah? Why not a series on Isaiah? Or Obadiah? Or Zephaniah or Zechariah or any of the “iah’s”? They are all good! And that doesn’t even include the non-prophets, people like Josiah, Jeconiah, Nehemiah, Uriah and last, but not least, Zedekiah. All great “iah” names.  But although they have “iah” in common, Jeremiah stands head and shoulders above them all because (work with me here) there was a fire in Jeremiah! Join us for a summer series that will make you say, “iah”! Or maybe, “Hey, look it’s a… Jeremiah!” Or even “YIAH, Jeremiah!” Whatever your response, from Ohio to the Bayou (“Jambalaya, me-ah-my-a, Jeremiah?”), you’re going to find this series something that will inspire because there’s a Fire in

Dreaming During the Day

Honestly, the only thing I admire about Christopher Columbus is that he was bad at math. Of all the deficiencies in one’s education, being bad at math is the only one that doesn’t count. For example, Paul Harvey may not have been a great mathematician, but he still was extremely wise. It was Harvey who gave us this truism and tell me you don’t agree with it: "If there is a 50-50 chance that something can go wrong, then 9 times out of 10, it will." Amen and amen. Back to my point: in the 1400’s, navigation depended upon a lot of guesswork. This was primarily because no one knew the circumference of the earth or how to measure latitude. But there were theories. The first theory came from the Greeks. It utilized the Roman mile (roughly 1.47 kilometers). The second theory came from Arabic scholars. Unsurprisingly, it also utilized

The Fire Gets Hot

This sermon is based on Jeremiah 5:14-19, 25-31. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Why a series on Jeremiah? Why not a series on Isaiah? Or Obadiah? Or Zephaniah or Zechariah or any of the “iah’s”? They are all good! And that doesn’t even include the non-prophets, people like Josiah, Jeconiah, Nehemiah, Uriah and last, but not least, Zedekiah. All great “iah” names.  But although they have “iah” in common, Jeremiah stands head and shoulders above them all because (work with me here) there was a fire in Jeremiah! Join us for a summer series that will make you say, “iah”! Or maybe, “Hey, look it’s a… Jeremiah!” Or even “YIAH, Jeremiah!” Whatever your response, from Ohio to the Bayou (“Jambalaya, me-ah-my-a, Jeremiah?”), you’re going to find this series something that will inspire because there’s a Fire in Jeremiah.

Defining “Holy Guacamole”

I’m not sure where I first heard this story, but it was love at first sight (hearing? reading? whatever!). In 1962, Congresswoman Clare Booth Luce walked into the oval office.  She had been thinking for a long time of what she wanted to communicate to then President John F. Kennedy, and she finally had it.  She walked into his office and said: “A great man is one sentence.” And then, she dropped the bomb: “So, what is your sentence?” Luce feared that Kennedy was trying to do too much, that he had too many priorities and too little focus.  He didn’t have a sentence.  He had a cluttered paragraph. Abraham Lincoln, on the other hand, had a sentence.  It was: “He preserved the union and freed the slaves.” Franklin Roosevelt’s sentence was, “He lifted us out of a great depression and helped us win a world war.”  Luce’s question was

The Fire Is Ripped

This sermon is based on Jeremiah 36:1-6, 8, 16-24. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Why a series on Jeremiah? Why not a series on Isaiah? Or Obadiah? Or Zephaniah or Zechariah or any of the “iah’s”? They are all good! And that doesn’t even include the non-prophets, people like Josiah, Jeconiah, Nehemiah, Uriah and last, but not least, Zedekiah. All great “iah” names.  But although they have “iah” in common, Jeremiah stands head and shoulders above them all because (work with me here) there was a fire in Jeremiah! Join us for a summer series that will make you say, “iah”! Or maybe, “Hey, look it’s a… Jeremiah!” Or even “YIAH, Jeremiah!” Whatever your response, from Ohio to the Bayou (“Jambalaya, me-ah-my-a, Jeremiah?”), you’re going to find this series something that will inspire because there’s a Fire in Jeremiah.

Following Hints (more or less)

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “It means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”  I love it. Someday, I am going to read the whole Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland book. I missed it the first 50 plus years of my life, but one of these days I am going to get to it. And, why, you may ask? Because I am “curiouser and curiouser” about who gets to define words. Now, I’m not worried about who gets to define the word, “Christian.” I think Jesus ought to be the master of that one. Hence, when he says, “a Christian is someone who follows him,” that settles it for me. However, the word

The Fire Buys a Field

This sermon is based on Jeremiah 32:1-15, 36-41. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Why a series on Jeremiah? Why not a series on Isaiah? Or Obadiah? Or Zephaniah or Zechariah or any of the “iah’s”? They are all good! And that doesn’t even include the non-prophets, people like Josiah, Jeconiah, Nehemiah, Uriah and last, but not least, Zedekiah. All great “iah” names.  But although they have “iah” in common, Jeremiah stands head and shoulders above them all because (work with me here) there was a fire in Jeremiah! Join us for a summer series that will make you say, “iah”! Or maybe, “Hey, look it’s a… Jeremiah!” Or even “YIAH, Jeremiah!” Whatever your response, from Ohio to the Bayou (“Jambalaya, me-ah-my-a, Jeremiah?”), you’re going to find this series something that will inspire because there’s a Fire in Jeremiah.

To Plagiarize or Not to Plagiarize

Let’s start off today with some thoughts (and these are thoughts that I personally have thought and no one else has ever thought before). And because I know these thoughts will be a big hit once they get out in the public, I’ve even put my thoughts in a form for easy quoting. Behold my thoughts. . . . A plagiarist should be made to copy the author a hundred times. Immature artists imitate. Mature artists steal. The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. Anticipatory plagiarism occurs when someone steals your original idea and publishes it a hundred years before you were born. All work and no plagiarism make for dull sermons! Okay, so maybe these weren’t quite my own thoughts. As Jonathan Swift once wrote: “Fine words! I wonder where you stole them.”  So, time to come clean. I stole them. The first quote is

The Fire in a Footrace

This sermon is based on Jeremiah 12:1-8, 10-11. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Why a series on Jeremiah? Why not a series on Isaiah? Or Obadiah? Or Zephaniah or Zechariah or any of the “iah’s”? They are all good! And that doesn’t even include the non-prophets, people like Josiah, Jeconiah, Nehemiah, Uriah and last, but not least, Zedekiah. All great “iah” names.  But although they have “iah” in common, Jeremiah stands head and shoulders above them all because (work with me here) there was a fire in Jeremiah! Join us for a summer series that will make you say, “iah”! Or maybe, “Hey, look it’s a… Jeremiah!” Or even “YIAH, Jeremiah!” Whatever your response, from Ohio to the Bayou (“Jambalaya, me-ah-my-a, Jeremiah?”), you’re going to find this series something that will inspire because there’s a Fire in Jeremiah.

Thinking about Definitions

Jean-Jacques Rousseau said: “Definitions would be good things if we did not use words to make them.” I couldn’t agree more. But this whole series is about coming up with a definition; and if we can’t use words, it is going to be a very short series. But maybe it would be helpful to think about the whole art of defining words because I would like to contend it is not as easy as we often think. To this end, I offer this script. Some of you may have seen this before (some of you may have even been readers before!). As an apology for making you read a script, instead of reading a narrative, I offer this insight: Shakespeare wrote in scripts. So, friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your eyes, for what light through yonder window breaks? It is a script!  Now, to read or not to read, that

The Fire in the Pit

This sermon is based on Jeremiah 20:7-18. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Why a series on Jeremiah? Why not a series on Isaiah? Or Obadiah? Or Zephaniah or Zechariah or any of the “iah’s”? They are all good! And that doesn’t even include the non-prophets, people like Josiah, Jeconiah, Nehemiah, Uriah and last, but not least, Zedekiah. All great “iah” names.  But although they have “iah” in common, Jeremiah stands head and shoulders above them all because (work with me here) there was a fire in Jeremiah! Join us for a summer series that will make you say, “iah”! Or maybe, “Hey, look it’s a… Jeremiah!” Or even “YIAH, Jeremiah!” Whatever your response, from Ohio to the Bayou (“Jambalaya, me-ah-my-a, Jeremiah?”), you’re going to find this series something that will inspire because there’s a Fire in Jeremiah.

Knowing God’s Will for You

Ask any military expert: knowing when to attack is of vital importance. The ancient Romans knew this; and that is why, before any battle, they inquired of the chickens. You read that right. To discern whether or not they should execute their battle plan, the Romans asked . . . some chickens. But not just some ordinary chickens. They asked the sacred chickens. According to Roman religious practices, the will of the gods regarding an upcoming battle could be discerned by simply offering grain to a handful of sacred chickens. If the chickens ate the grain, it was a sign from the gods that conditions were favorable and that victory was nearly assured. However, if the chickens refused to eat, it was a warning that they should postpone fighting to another day. On the morning of the Battle of Drepana (that’s right, the one in 249 BC), the Roman naval

The Fire Goes to Court

This sermon is based on Jeremiah 2:1-13. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Why a series on Jeremiah? Why not a series on Isaiah? Or Obadiah? Or Zephaniah or Zechariah or any of the “iah’s”? They are all good! And that doesn’t even include the non-prophets, people like Josiah, Jeconiah, Nehemiah, Uriah and last, but not least, Zedekiah. All great “iah” names.  But although they have “iah” in common, Jeremiah stands head and shoulders above them all because (work with me here) there was a fire in Jeremiah! Join us for a summer series that will make you say, “iah”! Or maybe, “Hey, look it’s a… Jeremiah!” Or even “YIAH, Jeremiah!” Whatever your response, from Ohio to the Bayou (“Jambalaya, me-ah-my-a, Jeremiah?”), you’re going to find this series something that will inspire because there’s a Fire in Jeremiah.

I Wouldn’t Want That Job

Stacker.com has a list of the 50 worst jobs in America. To prove that their list is scientifically accurate and not just a list of jobs they personally would hate to have, they developed the “Misery Score.” The Misery Score combines four factors: job meaning, median income, job satisfaction and projected job growth. For some unknown reason, they believe that a job with no existential meaning, low pay, no satisfaction and low hope of advancement equals misery. As a result, they rank the worst five jobs as the following: #5 – Lathe and turning machine tool setters (I’m not sure this is accurate. I’ve known many immigrants from Ireland who love this job and are perfectly content in it. After all, have you ever met an unhappy Irish Setter?) #4 – Dry Cleaning (I’m not sure what would cause this job to be so high on the misery scale unless it

The Spark

This sermon is based on Jeremiah 1:1-12, 17-19. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Why a series on Jeremiah? Why not a series on Isaiah? Or Obadiah? Or Zephaniah or Zechariah or any of the “iah’s”? They are all good! And that doesn’t even include the non-prophets, people like Josiah, Jeconiah, Nehemiah, Uriah and last, but not least, Zedekiah. All great “iah” names.  But although they have “iah” in common, Jeremiah stands head and shoulders above them all because (work with me here) there was a fire in Jeremiah! Join us for a summer series that will make you say, “iah”! Or maybe, “Hey, look it’s a… Jeremiah!” Or even “YIAH, Jeremiah!” Whatever your response, from Ohio to the Bayou (“Jambalaya, me-ah-my-a, Jeremiah?”), you’re going to find this series something that will inspire because there’s a Fire in Jeremiah.

The Price of Secrecy

On April 28, 1944, an armada of US warships were approaching Slapton Sands (Slapton Sands is a beautiful beach area off the southwest coast of England). These ships were part of a dress rehearsal for the upcoming D-Day invasion of Normandy. And it was a serious rehearsal. 300 ships were involved and over 30,000 men. Previous mock invasions on these very shores had been utter failures, and so it was crucial for this training exercise to go off without a hitch. But that was not going to happen. Shortly after 2 am, while the ships were awaiting the signal to “invade,” a German torpedo-boat squadron stumbled upon the flotilla and opened fire. Three of our ships were hit and sunk almost immediately. Oil and gas spilled out into the water and erupted in flames. Survivors jumped into the icy water and were forced to swim around or under the oil

Painting a Portrait of Authenticity

A man has to do what a man has to do; and when a man finds an Alfred Hitchcock marathon on TCM, a man has to watch every single movie. If you don’t understand that, I can’t help you. It’s a man thing. You’ll need to check your copy of Wild at Heart to see exactly how, but it is. And so, because it was my manly duty to invest myself in these movies, I did. I watched Rear Window, Strangers on a Train, Psycho, Dial M for Murder, Rope and many others. You ask me how I watched so many movies, and I will tell you. Hitchcock is a genius. Why do I say that? Because Hitchcock believed, “The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.” See, all things are possible to them who relieve. (OK, truth is, I actually DVR’ed

A Fiery Fourth

This sermon introduces our new series and is based on Jeremiah 7:1-15. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Why a series on Jeremiah? Why not a series on Isaiah? Or Obadiah? Or Zephaniah or Zechariah or any of the “iah’s”? They are all good! And that doesn’t even include the non-prophets, people like Josiah, Jeconiah, Nehemiah, Uriah and last, but not least, Zedekiah. All great “iah” names.  But although they have “iah” in common, Jeremiah stands head and shoulders above them all because (work with me here) there was a fire in Jeremiah! Join us for a summer series that will make you say, “iah”! Or maybe, “Hey, look it’s a… Jeremiah!” Or even “YIAH, Jeremiah!” Whatever your response, from Ohio to the Bayou (“Jambalaya, me-ah-my-a, Jeremiah?”), you’re going to find this series something that will inspire because there’s a Fire

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