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"No Te Preocupes" by Jeff Sutherland

“Si me dieras el si!”

Loosely translated this means, “If only she would say yes”. This is the only sentence I learned in my four quarters of Spanish other than, “Donde es el bano?” (Where is the bathroom), and “Yo quiero mas cervasas.” (I need more beer). The latter two, I must admit, were closely connected as part of my college days. The former, however, proved to have much greater importance as it was a sentence I learned while attempting to woo my future bride into marrying me.

Fortunately God in His infinite wisdom convinced my bride to say yes because He knew I needed lots of help staying close to Him. He also knew she needed to be challenged by my foolish ideas.

In addition to my wife, I have also learned much from God through, more than 30 years of toiling in the soil, making sure the grounds and greens at the golf course were in good shape. Recently, I have seen evidence of this as He used my new amigos and fellow workers to teach me and them more about Him and His ways.

I did…

Who's Going Out On Halloween

"All Hallow's Even" is upon us or, if you don't speak Olde English, Halloween. October 31 is a day kids love to celebrate, as do many grown-ups. After all, it involves dressing up in a costume and pretending to be someone, or something, else and, then there is candy - lots of candy.

The celebration of Halloween has long been woven into the fabric of our culture. Most Americans can remember selecting, or making, a Halloween costume and going trick-or-treating. Many of us still hold fond memories of bags full of candy being gathered as we ran door to door holding out our container to be filled with those delicious morsels - detesting that one person in the neighborhood who always insisted on giving out "healthy" treats - and at the end of the evening emptying all of it into a big pile to cull out our least favorite brands and then negotiate trades with our fellow trick-or-treaters.

As we got older there were parties to attend, perhaps accompanied by innocent p…

Lost in Lost

Okay, I admit it – I got sucked into Lost. A couple of years ago I watched a few episodes from the first season and got hooked. I went out and bought all the seasons on DVD and immersed myself in the storyline preparing for the new season that year.

It didn’t matter that it didn’t make sense. It was terrific storytelling and we were told the writers had it all mapped out. In fact, it was so well mapped out, we were led to believe, that the season of the writer’s strike, they were upset that some of the plot development from that season would not get in, or would be rushed.

This gave me comfort. So, I could live with my confusion. After all, I knew one day it would all fall into place – the writers had it all plotted out. One day all would be revealed and I would be able to say, “So, that’s why the polar bear was there; that’s where the smoke monster came from.”

So, here I sit after the series finale – my hopes dashed. It turns out it was all a sham. There are no real answers; in fact, it…

Top Ten Shifts in Faith Beliefs

It is not unusual for someone to ask me what I think are the biggest or most important shifts in faith-beliefs that have occurred in recent years. Answering this question usually leads to an interesting discussion about where we are as a society as regards religious, or “spiritual”, issues. Following is my “Top Ten” list for your consideration and discussion.

1. God doesn’t exist/isn’t real/is dead.
2. There are many gods, or perhaps one God who expresses himself, or itself in many different forms.
3. Many/all religions lead to eternal life, or to the same God – they just have different understandings of who, or what, God is.
4. All religions, basically, teach the same truths, perhaps, with a little variation.
5. The Bible is not God’s word but just another book.
6. Jesus was a great teacher or prophet, but he was not God in the flesh.
7. The universe and man came about through evolution.
8. When a person dies they come back again as another person, or thing, through reincarnation.
9. Man can …

To Pray or Not to Pray by Jeff Sutherland

Thursday May 6 marks one of the most controversial days in the history of our country. Doubtful our founding fathers would believe a National Day of Prayer could cause such division among us.

Our first President George Washington pleaded with the colonists to pray for Congress as they established our Constitution. At that writing, Thomas Jefferson was instrumental yet some would say he actually began the argument by writing to a group of Baptists agreeing with them that a separation of civil government from concerns of religious doctrine and practice were important. Jefferson writes: "...I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State."

And the battle has raged ever since 1802. No one who reads the Federalist Papers, our Constitution, and oth…