My Top Ten Posts of 2022

Marsh sunsetOnce again, as the old year passes and the new year beckons, it has been my custom to look back at my most popular posts of the year. I started this blog back in 2009, and to my surprise, 2022 was its best year yet.  It had 81,415 views and 62,614 visitors.

I began it as a theology blog, but soon started posting recipes of dishes I made. In recent years I’ve posted the sermons from my occasional guest preaching, and recipes from my cooking. That dichotomy is represented in the top posts of the year; six of them are recipes, two are sermons I preached this year, one is a remembrance of a dear colleague, and one is a paper I gave for the 375th anniversary of the Westminster Confession. You might say I’m into feeding both body and soul.

 Here are the ten most popular posts from 2022:

“Building Bigger Barns” A Sermon on Luke 12:13-2

Rick’s Greek Moussaka

Rick’s Favorite Black Bean Salad

“Our Down to Earth God” A Sermon on John 1:1-18

Remembering Luther C. Pierce (1924-2021)

Reflections on the Legacy of the Westminster Confession of Faith

Rick’s Vietnamese Pork Chops

Rick’s Summer Spaghetti with Uncooked Tomato Basil Sauce

Rick’s Cataplana Shellfish Stew

Rick’s Pork Tenderloin with Garlic Honey Sauce

And here are the ten all-time most popular posts, all but one of which are sermons:

Why did Jesus refer to Herod as “That fox” in Luke 13:32”?

“Distracted by Many Things” A Sermon on Luke 10:38-42

“Breaking chains, Opening Doors” A Sermon on Acts 16:16-34

“Pity the Nation” A Poem for our Time by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

“The God Who Still Speaks” A Sermon on John 16:12-15

“Displaced Persons” A Sermon on Jeremiah 29: 1-14

“Of Fig Trees and Second Chances” A Sermon on Luke 13:6-9

“Rich Toward God” A Stewardship Sermon on Luke 12:13-21

“God Gives the Growth:” A Retirement Sermon

“Ask, Search, Knock” A Sermon on Luke 11:1-13

Just a reminder that this is an open-source free site, and you are free to share content with attribution. But remember “Thou shalt not steal!” I appreciate your support. Thanks for coming by and come again in 2023.

(Photo: R.L Floyd, 2022. The photo is of the marsh behind our house.)

“He Came to Earth that Winter Night” A Christmas Hymn


Christmas hymn

(I wrote this hymn in 2009. You are free to use it in public worship with attribution. To see other hymn of mine go here. The picture is from a concert I sang in with Berkshire Lyric Chorus on Friday, December 9, 2022 at St Mark’s Roman Catholic Church in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. I’m second from right in the top row.)

 “He came to dwell among us” A Sermon for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

St Joseph

Isaiah 7:10-16; Matthew 1:18-25:

When I retired from active ministry in 2004, I recall thinking, “I’ll never preach an Easter or a Christmas sermon ever again.” And I wondered about Advent, which is my favorite season of the church year. Would I ever preach another Advent sermon? Turns out this year I’m preaching two. The first Sunday of Advent was really early. We’d hardly digested our Thanksgiving turkey when the first Sunday of Advent came along. Some of you know my daughter is a pastor in Rhode Island. We were going to be around anyway, so she said “Hey dad, could you preach for me and give me a Sunday off? So, I preached on the first Sunday of Advent, and here I am on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, because Brent (our pastor) asked me to preach. So I bookended this holy season, which makes me glad, because I love Advent.

Continue reading

Rick’s Cataplana Shellfish Stew

Cat 1

Years ago, friends of ours brought us back a cataplana from their trip to Portugal. A cataplana is both the name of the cooking vessel and the dish that is made in it. The vessel is a clam-shaped copper pot with a hinge.  If you don’t have a cataplana, you can use a sturdy pot or Dutch oven with a lid. The dish is a shellfish and pork stew. There are many versions. Here’s mine. Since my cataplana isn’t very big, this recipe is for two, or maybe four with enough good crusty bread and a salad. Continue reading

“In the Dark” A Sermon for the First Sunday of Advent, Year A

Advent 1

When I retired from active ministry in 2004, I recall thinking, “I’ll never preach an Easter or a Christmas sermon ever again.” And I wondered about Advent, which is my favorite season of the church year. Would I ever preach another Advent sermon? Turns out this year I’m preaching two. One today, and my pastor in Stockbridge has asked me to fill in for him on the Fourth Sunday of Advent. So, I’ll will bookend this lovely season with my preaching, which makes me glad. Continue reading

Rick’s Split Pea Soup with Smoked Ham Hock


I like to make this when the weather gets cold. It’s cheap eats, but good! The ham hocks come in packages of three or four (also sold as “smoked pork hocks.”) The trick is to put them in individual freezer bags and freeze them, so you always have them on hand. You can defrost them in the microwave. This is an easy and delicious soup. Continue reading

Reflections on the Legacy of the Westminster Confession of Faith

(I delivered this paper on October 20, 2022 for a Webinar: Westminster Confession at 375: Historical Reflections and Contemporary Relevance. In commemoration of this important anniversary, the Congregational Library & Archives, Boston, and Dr Williams’s Library, London, brought scholars and theologians together to talk about the significance of the Westminster Confession: past, present, and future.) Continue reading

 “Building Bigger Barns” A Sermon on Luke 12:13-21


“Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.” —Luke 12:13-21 NRSV Continue reading