What's Tony Thinking

Catch the World Doing the Right Thing

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August 16, 2022 — It’s a phrase my educator wife has often used, “Catch a kid doing the right thing,” and lift that up. Amplifying the positive, catching kids in the act of doing good or great things, is a not-so-easy but terribly important alternative to “giving all the attention to the screw-ups” and dwelling on the negative. And... Read More

Jesus, Disturber of the Peace

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August 15, 2022 — Here’s a written version of my sermon of yesterday. Jesus, Disturber of the Peace Jeremiah 23: 23 – 29, Luke 12: 49 – 56 Enterprise Community Church August 14, 2022 It’s good to back with you at Enterprise Community Congregational Church. Last summer I was invited to preach here two Sundays; this year it’s three,... Read More

At Week’s End: Reading and Readers, Summer Storms and Sermons

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August 13, 2022 — The Underground Network for Goodness. Friends gave me George Saunders’s newest book, A Swim In a Pond In The Rain. It is the book version of a course Saunders’s teaches on the short stories of four Russian writers: Chekov, Turgenev, Tolstory and Gogol. But here’s the note/ excerpt I want to share at this point, Saunders tribute to... Read More

Great Times We’re Living

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August 9, 2022 — Sometimes when you read about great ideas it seems that is all they are . . . ideas, abstractions, vague concepts, high-minded ideals. We’re fortunate to be living in a time when great ideas matter and fundamental values are on the line. Great ideas and the core values of liberal democracy are the subject of Francis... Read More

Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism

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August 8, 2022 — In this evening’s session of “Help My UnBelief,” panelist Josh M. reminded us about MTD, “Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism.” It is a term that scholars Christian Smith and Melina Lundquist Denton came up with in their 2005 study to describe the pre-dominant faith of American teenagers, including those who are part of a church. Here are... Read More

An Especially Happy Birthday

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August 6, 2022 — As some of you know, Friday August 5 was my 74th birthday. Thanks for the greetings and good wishes from many of you. As it turned out, it was an especially memorable and truly happy birthday. (That said, I confess to finding birthdays arbitrary and my age a real surprise; “I’m 74 — Egads! Can... Read More

Help My UnBelief

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August 2, 2022 — First off, I want to apologize for the fact that the broadcast of this webinar on Zoom has been bumpy in recent weeks. We’ve been hit by summer travel, tech problems and COVID among the triumvirate of Jason, Josh and Tony. We got back in the groove this Monday (August 1) and should be continuing... Read More

Spawning

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August 1, 2022 — We are still a month or so from the time that the Kokanee Salmon begin spawning from Wallowa Lake heading up the Wallowa River. They spice the green-blue waters of the river the with a bright orange. Their spawning journey is a relatively short one. They come from the Lake to the river, where there... Read More

Starry Nights

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July 30, 2022 — “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” Psalm 8: 5  – 6 I am just back from a three-day, two-night backpacking trip in the Eagle Cap Wilderness,... Read More

How To Think About Those Experiencing Drug Addiction

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July 27, 2022 — I am working my way through Beth Macy’s newest book, Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice and the Future of America’s Overdose Crisis. Macy is the author of the earlier, Dopesick, which was turned into a television series by Hulu. I was asked to review Raising Lazarus for a magazine I write for every now and then. I accepted the request for two... Read More