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For 21 years, I’ve pastored a church within three blocks of our state Capitol. I’ve seen Republicans and Democrats come and go. I’ve prayed with and argued with governors and legislators from both parties. Have I handled every situation correctly? Not a chance.

strawsLet’s see a show of hands. How many of us grew up hearing testimonies and sermons at Vacation Bible School, church camps and revivals, implying that God’s will is an ironclad, one-option only maze?

One wrong turn, and you’re toast.

Doyle SagerEarlier this summer, I was asked to prepare a paper for a workshop at the Baptist World Alliance in Zürich, Switzerland. The topic was children and justice: how biblical perspectives on children can inform our larger work of justice for all humans. My study and preparation took me on an amazing journey.

Terrell CarterDo you and your family have any rituals or traditions that you practice on a regular basis? Maybe every time a person enters your home, they must take off their shoes to keep the living room carpets clean and the hardwood floors unmarked. How many of these rituals did you start on your own and how many were handed down to you by family or friends?

stonehenge 3186462 1280What are the ways you or your family recognize significant accomplishments that occur in life? If you are like my grandmother, there is a mantle in your home where athletic trophies and academic ribbons and plaques stand.

Christopher DixonThe politics of Jesus can be messy. We may wish there were no politics involved in Kingdom work. And, yet, there most always has been and likely always will be.

Wade ParisIn the July 15, 2018, Kansas City Star, Darryl Levings tells the story of William Thomas, who built a sail wagon in 1853. It was 25 feet long with wheels 12 feet in diameter. It sported a large sail, complete with a “handler” high above. He proposed to use this vehicle to transport goods over the Santa Fe Trail and to find Spanish silver.

webRNS Claiborne Oped2 080618(RNS) — Author Shane Claiborne notes that, with America’s next two executions scheduled for this month, there couldn’t have been a better time for Pope Francis to wholeheartedly denounce the death penalty — and for Christians worldwide to double down on their commitment to end it.

Terrell CarterIt’s safe to assume that everyone reading this column has faced some type of obstacle this week. It’s almost a given that life is going to throw things into our path that seek to deter us from getting accomplished what we need to get done. We are not the first people to experience this.

Doyle SagerReturning home after a memorial service for former Midwestern Seminary President Dr. Milton Ferguson, I started thinking. What do I remember from my seminary days? Does my theological education continue to impact me? In short, does a seminary education stick? After more than 45 years of pastoring, I can answer with a resounding yes.