Category Archives: From The Archives

Columns pulled from The View From The Pew archives.

Independence Day

When the founding fathers met in those back rooms to lay out the government for a new nation so many years ago, I wonder if they had any idea what their new country would become?

I wonder if they knew that their framing of the right to privacy would someday be interpreted to include the killing of unborn children?

I wonder if they could comprehend that the freedom of speech would include pictures of men and women being degraded and abased in pornography? Continue reading Independence Day

Praying By The Fishsticks

Have you ever prayed by the fish sticks? I have. Well, I should have.

While youth pastoring at my grandfather’s church in Beaumont, CA, I went shopping at the local Alpha Beta. As I turned down the frozen food aisle, I noticed a woman of about fifty looking into the frozen fish sticks and weeping. Continue reading Praying By The Fishsticks

Shaving It All Off

Don’t get me wrong, I like Walter Mathau. He was a fine actor. I just didn’t want to look like him. So imagine my shock when I looked in the mirror, and instead of my face, Walter Mathau stared back at me.

Maybe I need to explain myself. It all started with my grandpa…

“Why don’t you shave off your beard, Jerry? You look like a criminal.” Hardly the kind of support you look for from your grandfather, but his true thoughts nonetheless. His simple statement sent my head spinning. “What would I look like without my beard?” I wondered. So a few years ago I just shaved it off. After twenty years with a mustache, over twelve years with a beard of some sort, I shaved it all off. Continue reading Shaving It All Off

The Polygraph Test

There I was, trapped in a small room. There were no pictures on the wall, and my “host” was behind me, out of sight. The technician wound cables around my chest area and attached sensors to the tips of my fingers. As he strapped on the last of his sinister torture devices, I thought I heard a maniacal laugh escape from his throat.

“The test will now begin,” he said in a low voice. Over the next few hours (okay minutes), I struggled to answer his questions. My mind raced, my heart pumped faster, my palms and armpits began to sweat. Finally it was over. Continue reading The Polygraph Test

A Gringo in Nicaragua

I don’t know how to break this to my wife, but I fell in love with somebody else while I was in Nicaragua. She has green eyes and a smile that will light up a room. Her name is Naomi, and she is ten years old.

I met Naomi at Cancha Cristo Rosario, a barrio in Managua. A missionary was going to show the film, “The Cross and the Switchblade,” and my friends and I were going around door to door, inviting the residents. Naomi was one of the first kids to run up to meet the gringos from Southern California, and we became fast friends. Continue reading A Gringo in Nicaragua

I Don’t Dance

I don’t dance. I don’t polka, don’t waltz, don’t do the bump or the frug. I don’t do the electric slide or the moonwalk, either. I’ve seen people country line dance and I have no interest in it. To me, line dancing looks like some bizarre adaptive PE class or something. The bottom line is:

I don’t dance. Continue reading I Don’t Dance

Billy Bob’s Church

Billy Bob is at it again. He was fishin’ last Sunday morning, almost feeling guilty for missing Sunday morning’s service, when it came to him. He would invent his own church! A church that had services when he wanted them, a church that preached the way he wanted to hear it!

He went down to his laboratory (aka his basement), and started to work. He started reading all kinds of church manuals. He decided which things about church he didn’t like and which parts he did. It wasn’t too long before he came up with his own church. Here is its press release… Continue reading Billy Bob’s Church

Wow, God Must Be Ticked!

Wow, God must be really ticked off. Think of all these disasters: the earthquake in Japan, Aids, Hurricane Katrina, earthquakes in China, Haiti, Mexicali and Seeley, and then, most devastating of all, I stepped in some gum the other day and my shoe stuck to Wal Mart’s floor for a whole hour! Gum on my shoe! How does a loving God fit into that?

If you read blogs or listen to certain television hosts it seems that God is really pouring out his wrath lately. Literally, every time there is a natural disaster or plague you can count on Pat Robertson or Pastor Billy Bob Bumpkin of the “Conservative Fundamental Holier Than You Church” in Resume Speed, Oklahoma telling whoever will listen that God is pouring out his wrath for this reason or that reason. And the media listens! You can count on Keith Olbermann naming Pastor Bumpkin the “Worst Person In The World.” You know that the newspapers and cable news shows will cover every inane statement these guys make so they can have something controversial to talk about. Continue reading Wow, God Must Be Ticked!

Snakes In A Cistern

My co-pastor gets snakes in his water system.

Let me say that again: Snakes in his water system.

He usually doesn’t know the snakes have messed everything up until it is too late. Once he is aware of the snakes, they are already there and have done their damage. Sometimes when you recognize you have a problem you find that the damage is already done. Continue reading Snakes In A Cistern

Football And Self

If you know me at all, you know I love football. I have played, coached and I even announce high school games on the radio. I really enjoy watching pro football. I have three favorite pro teams: The Bears, the Chargers and whoever is playing the Patriots.

This past Sunday was a good day of playoffs for me. The Bears had won their game earlier in the morning, and the Jets were ahead of the Patriots. I was still worried, though. Tom Brady and the Patriots are harder to keep down than a haggis, head cheese and limburger sandwich! So when Shonn Greene of the Jets scored what appeared to be the game-sealing touchdown, I was excited. Then Greene did something really dumb. Using the football like a pillow, he acted like he was taking a nap in the end zone. This is a clear violation of the NFL’s excessive celebration rule, and the Jets were penalized fifteen yards, to be enforced on the following kickoff. What a moron! Continue reading Football And Self