What's Tony Thinking

What Sharon Knew

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February 3, 2021 — During the summers we worship at the Methodist Church in Joseph, Oregon — or at least we did back when people actually went to church. Worship begins there with a hymn sing. And every week, Sharon, a quite elderly woman who died this year, would called out her selection: “On Eagle’s Wings.” That song is... Read More

Impeachment: What’s At Stake?

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February 1, 2021 — Last week Virginia Senator Tim Kaine floated the idea of bagging Trump’s second impeachment trial, set to begin on February 9, in favor of a resolution of censure. I get it. Kaine and others want to get on with the initiatives of the new Biden administration and the many issues before the country. Besides, a... Read More

This Will Take Time

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January 30, 2021 — I had a dream the other night in which I was a youngish minister (dream on!) pastoring a couple about my current age, i.e. early 70’s. Their adult son had died. Was it COVID or a car accident? Unclear. I was at a “party” held at their home after the service. Lot’s of their son’s... Read More

On Being a Grandfather

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January 28, 2021 — A friend called the other day to talk about being a grandfather. He’s new-ish to the role. When he looked for a book on the topic, he didn’t find much. “Most of the books that exist are directed to grandmothers.” So he’s writing one for grandfathers. I am fortunate to have grandchildren, six of them.... Read More

Why Has “Safety” Become Such a Big Deal?

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January 27, 2021 — Let’s start with a disclaimer. This is not about the pandemic. I am not suggesting that any of us should blow off pandemic pre-cautions like wearing masks, hand-washing and social distancing. Keep it up! That said, am I the only one who has noticed that “safe” and “safety” are (quite apart from the pandemic) invoked... Read More

Quick Update on C42

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January 27, 2021 — I’m thrilled that as of noon today (PST) 22 of you had already signed up for “Conversation 42!” For now, I’m going to cap us at 30. So 8 more and we’re on hold for a while. I will keep a “waiting list” in the event that we have cancellations. We will begin at noon... Read More

An Invitation to Conversation 42

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January 26, 2021 — I’ve been mulling an idea for several weeks and want to put it out there for you to mull . . . and respond. I usually get four to six thoughtful responses to each of my blog posts. Which I like a lot. I’m not talking about FB “likes” (which are also nice). I’m talking... Read More

Dining Out at 29 Degrees

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January 25, 2021 — You really haven’t lived until you’ve gone out to dinner — outside seating — at 29 degrees! More about that shortly. We’re back from ten days in our beloved Wallowa Mountains. Spending a winter in the Wallowas, the land from which my people come, has been on my “bucket list.” In that far corner of... Read More

A “Jonah Moment” Within Trump/ Never Trump Worlds

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January 25, 2021 — Last Sunday’s Old Testament text was from the Book of Jonah. You know that story, right? Well, most of us know about “belly of the whale” part. But the real nub of it is how hard Jonah finds it to practice forgiveness. Jonah was royally and stubbornly pissed at the Almighty because God extended grace... Read More

I Need You

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January 23, 2021 — Christian Century┬ámagazine publisher, Peter Marty, always writes an opening column in the Century.┬áThe one for the current issue is titled, “Where Faith Begins.” Marty had heard from a woman named, Jean, concerned about a 49-year-old son, critically ill with COVID. Jean says something I too have heard from people my age and older, “Pastor, I... Read More