Dane Lewis

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So far Dane Lewis has created 224 blog entries.

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

Never Forgetting Real Church*

I read this story the other day** about a man and his grown son who were out looking at possible houses for the son to buy. When the owner came to the door, she immediately recognized the father as an old friend. “Larry?” she asked? The father responded with a blank look on his face. “Larry, it’s me, Elaine. We went to school together!” The father still did not recognize her. “How could you not recognize me?” she said jokingly. She invited them in; and while the son was looking around the house, she went to grab her old high school yearbook. She showed the father her senior picture, but still he had no recollection of who she was. “Let’s look at your picture,” she said and quickly flipped the pages until she came to his picture.  Under his photo, he had written, “Elaine, I will never forget you.” Real

What We Need Now Is Faith

 This sermon is based on Daniel 3:13-28. 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

Moving Biblically

Back in the good old days of the Black Death (aka, the Plague, the Magna Mortalitas, and the Pestilencia), cities faced an excruciating decision, sever all ties with the world or die. They chose, not unsurprisingly, to sever all connections to the rest of the world and to cut themselves off from all other cities, tourists and wayfaring strangers. But then came the town of Ragusa (now Dubrovnik, Croatia). In 1377, Ragusa was a very popular and busy sea port on the Adriatic. For them to cut themselves off from the world meant certain death. But to open their doors and let everyone in also meant certain death. Their solution: they legislated a trentino! Instead of sending merchant ships loaded with food and products away, they detained the whole ship and crew on a small island off the coast for 30 days. If they didn’t show any signs of the

What We Need Now Is Good Fathers

 This sermon is based on 1 Samuel 7:15-17; 8:1-5. 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,

Of Rights and Men (and Women)

Right off the bat, let me say, I am all for rights.  I was there in spirit on April 19, 1775, when embattled farmers stood against British tyranny and fought for their rights. I was also there on April 19, 1975, where we used our rights to gather lawfully to celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of that important event, to gawk at President Ford in person, and to protest the war in Vietnam. Three rights in one day!  (My best memory of that day was watching a protestor who may not have been in his right mind, step right up, break through the security line, and get gang-tackled by three secret service agents who had him dead to rights before he’d gone ten feet). And I could go on to substantiate my claim that I am all in favor of rights, and it would serve you right to have to read

What We Need Now Is Justice

 This sermon is based on Amos 5:4-15. 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: 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 a Miracle

 This introductory sermon for this series is based on Mark 5:21-43. 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

The Silence of Our Friends

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” --Martin Luther King, Jr. Years ago, when we were church planting in Canada, we worked with a lot of new immigrants, mainly Chinese, but from other countries, as well. One of these new immigrant families many of you from River’s Edge will know, Chris and Debbie. Most of us can only imagine how difficult it is to immigrate to another new country as an adult. Everything is different. What you know to be true is often no longer true. I can still remember getting a call one day from Chris that someone had broken into their apartment and stolen several things. It was a traumatic experience. As we were talking, I asked if they had called the police. Chris

Then We Can Pray (Part 2)

This concludes our series, "If God Is with Us," with Part 2 of last week's sermon, based on Luke 11:1-13. 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: Let me just say it: of all the times for the angel of the Lord to introduce the name, Immanuel (meaning God with us), to use it to announce to Joseph that Mary’s pregnancy was by the Holy Spirit was the worst. Why? Because from that point on, we have thought that Immanuel was a Christmas name and only properly used during Advent. Now, to be fair, Joseph was in a very difficult time and Israel was mourning in lonely exile there and that whole Caesar Augustus tax decree was extremely bitter (tax time always is), and those are all perfect occasions to remind us

What to Expect While You Are Expecting (to Reopen)

I bet you have the same four categories. There have been movies I could not wait to see; and when I saw them, I was not disappointed.  I can still remember when I was a teen going to see The Three Musketeers and sitting there before the movie saying, “This is going to be great.” And it was. It had a great story. It had great swashbuckling action; and it had great actors with Michael York, Oliver Reed and Raquel Welch. At least, IMDB says York and Reed were in it. I only remember Raquel. The same was true about the first Lord of the Rings movie. We could not wait to see it; and from scene one, we loved it. But the opposite experience has also been true. There have been plenty of movies that I wasn’t expecting to be any good whatsoever, that turned out to be spectacular.

Then We Can Pray

This sermon is based on Luke 11:1-13. 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: Let me just say it: of all the times for the angel of the Lord to introduce the name, Immanuel (meaning God with us), to use it to announce to Joseph that Mary’s pregnancy was by the Holy Spirit was the worst. Why? Because from that point on, we have thought that Immanuel was a Christmas name and only properly used during Advent. Now, to be fair, Joseph was in a very difficult time and Israel was mourning in lonely exile there and that whole Caesar Augustus tax decree was extremely bitter (tax time always is), and those are all perfect occasions to remind us that God is with us. But somehow, we have lost the connection between

The Subway Voice

The Subway Voice Every time we go to New York City, I am struck by the subway voice. Now, it’s a little more down-home, country-sounding than I would have expected for a major East Coast urban center, but it still works. Basically, the voice has four jobs. It announces the doors are closing. It broadcasts the next stop. It alerts everyone that the train is arriving. And, most importantly, it warns people getting off the train to mind the gap.  See, the NY Transit Authority hates it when its passengers, upon exiting the train, misstep, stumble over the lip of the platform and then face-plant on the tile floor. It’s bad for tourism (although it’s great for dentists).  And so, every time the door opens, the voice calls out for us, please, to remember to “mind the gap.” There’s an awful verse in Philippians 3. After Paul argues that all

Then We Don’t Need to Fear

This sermon is based on Isaiah 43:1-7. 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: Let me just say it: of all the times for the angel of the Lord to introduce the name, Immanuel (meaning God with us), to use it to announce to Joseph that Mary’s pregnancy was by the Holy Spirit was the worst. Why? Because from that point on, we have thought that Immanuel was a Christmas name and only properly used during Advent. Now, to be fair, Joseph was in a very difficult time and Israel was mourning in lonely exile there and that whole Caesar Augustus tax decree was extremely bitter (tax time always is), and those are all perfect occasions to remind us that God is with us. But somehow, we have lost the connection between

Impossible Questions, Part 7–So, What Is God Saying?

So, What Is God Saying? A year and a half ago, when we were looking for a puppy to fill the hole in our hearts left by Moose’s departure, we felt blocked at every turn. First, we thought no one would allow us to even adopt a puppy (we feared they would think badly of us because of Moose). Then, every dog we were interested in got adopted by some jerk before we could even get to see the dog.  Once we called in the morning and arranged a visit for that evening, but when we called back to say we were coming, we were told the puppy we wanted had been swooped up by someone else that afternoon (probably a Nazi). This happened several times, and we were beginning to wonder if God was with us or against us (Jo said, “with”; I said, “against”). Then we found the

Then How Should We Parent?

This sermon is based on Romans 15:13. 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: Let me just say it: of all the times for the angel of the Lord to introduce the name, Immanuel (meaning God with us), to use it to announce to Joseph that Mary’s pregnancy was by the Holy Spirit was the worst. Why? Because from that point on, we have thought that Immanuel was a Christmas name and only properly used during Advent. Now, to be fair, Joseph was in a very difficult time and Israel was mourning in lonely exile there and that whole Caesar Augustus tax decree was extremely bitter (tax time always is), and those are all perfect occasions to remind us that God is with us. But somehow, we have lost the connection between

Impossible Questions, Part 6–Is God Out to Get us?

Is God Out to Get Us? Let’s take an inventory of all that’s been happening in my life for the last two months. First, came the pandemic. Then came the leaking garbage disposal that spewed water in our cabinet. That was followed by the broken refrigerator that spewed water on our floor and through our floor. That led to replacing half of the ceiling tiles downstairs. Then the camera that we use to record Sunday mornings (my guess is that you would think that might be an important element of life these days) decided to flip the image on the viewfinder, so everything was upside down (annoying, but not devastating). Then the camera decided to turn off randomly during recording (very annoying and a little devastating). Then, for the last two weeks, the camera has chosen not to turn on until it wants to, sometimes not for hours (both very

Then What Is God’s Story?

This sermon is based on 1 John 4:7-12. 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: Let me just say it: of all the times for the angel of the Lord to introduce the name, Immanuel (meaning God with us), to use it to announce to Joseph that Mary’s pregnancy was by the Holy Spirit was the worst. Why? Because from that point on, we have thought that Immanuel was a Christmas name and only properly used during Advent. Now, to be fair, Joseph was in a very difficult time and Israel was mourning in lonely exile there and that whole Caesar Augustus tax decree was extremely bitter (tax time always is), and those are all perfect occasions to remind us that God is with us. But somehow, we have lost the connection

Impossible Questions, Part 5–How Could I Forget?

How Could I Forget? The only good thing to come out of having no live hockey to watch is that the Bruins have been showing reruns of the games from their epic Stanley Cup championship in 2011. Trust me, these games were spectacular. Boston beat Vancouver in a final winner-take-all game seven and became one of the most loved teams in Bruins history. How loved? One woman tweeted that her husband had stated that the night the B’s won was the happiest day of his life. She immediately prodded him with, “Not our wedding?”  Now, the B’s winning it all wasn’t the happiest day of my life, but it was way up there! And you would think, as a result, that I would have almost perfect recollection of those games. But while I was watching the games again, it dawned on me, there are things I had definitely forgotten. For

Who Is This God That Is with Us?

This sermon is based on Colossians 1:15-20. 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: Let me just say it: of all the times for the angel of the Lord to introduce the name, Immanuel (meaning God with us), to use it to announce to Joseph that Mary’s pregnancy was by the Holy Spirit was the worst. Why? Because from that point on, we have thought that Immanuel was a Christmas name and only properly used during Advent. Now, to be fair, Joseph was in a very difficult time and Israel was mourning in lonely exile there and that whole Caesar Augustus tax decree was extremely bitter (tax time always is), and those are all perfect occasions to remind us that God is with us. But somehow, we have lost the connection between

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