Author Archives: patrickvaughn

What Does Jesus Mean to You?

Very few of us are comfortable talking with strangers. When it comes to faith, we are even less inclined to to share what we believe.

But what does Jesus mean to you? Can you answer that question in about thirty seconds?

This is intended to be a fun exercise! As unlikely as it sounds we might just discover something new about our faith!

Please share your answers in the comments. I look forward to reading your responses!


Halloween and Sardines?

This is a wonderful time of year. Maples and soaring oaks dappled orange, red and gold. A new season of “The Amazing Race.” Football galore. Crisp autumn evenings.

And, of course, Halloween.

I love Halloween. For nearly a decade, we placed a witch in our front yard, a witch that didn’t quite see a tree in her path. Splat! This year we added a nine-foot tall Frankenstein monster.

A glowing Jack O’ Lantern sits in our windowsill, and small bags of assorted candy rest on our dining room table. We are almost ready for the big night.

I’m not really sure why I enjoy this holiday so much. There are those, after all, who despise this annual ritual.

Citing pagan origins, they turn off their porch lights on Oct. 31 or forbid their children from going trick-or-treating. They genuinely fear that this is a celebration of the occult, an opportunity for the powers of darkness to entice and lure the world to take another step toward evil.

Continue reading

Who Is Really At Risk?

Many of us are familiar with the story of Abraham and Isaac. It is a difficult story to hear. How could God ask Abraham to take the life of his son? How would you have responded?

As disturbing as it is, however, it might have been even more disturbing for God. How? Well, that’s rather unlikely!

Take care,



Our Pet’s Gift to Us

The action adventure star, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, announced last week that his dog had died after eating toxic mushrooms. He called it a reminder that we have “to live and love as greatly as we can because tomorrow is never guaranteed.”

It’s amazing what our pets can teach us.

His announcement carried me back to a movie I saw several years ago. I didn’t expect to cry. The others in the theater probably didn’t either. But there we were blowing our noses and choking back sobs.

Continue reading

Good Preaching?

Dear Unlikely Friends,

Can a three year old teach us anything about good preaching?


But there is another question that this story raises, and it has to do with those who are Done.

If you are done with the church, how do you find nurture, encouragement, and new insights?

I look forward to hearing from you!

Take care,


Francis, Let’s Put Women in Their Place

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” he replied. I smiled, but his face turned almost as white as his Catholic clerical collar.

Father Ambrose and I were planning a joint worship service for our congregations, and he wondered about the evening’s focus.

I said, “Women! Let’s talk about the ordination of women!”

Though it was the first time we had ever met, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to pull his leg and have some fun.

We never discussed it again, but I suspect he would have joyfully embraced the full leadership of women in the church.

Do you?

What about Pope Francis? Will he ever bless the ordination of women, or will he continue to keep women in their place?

Continue reading