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I was smitten

Lindi and I were good friends when we were really young, but we lost contact and hadn’t seen each other in years. Then we connected again, and began hanging out. At the time, I was working two jobs: A day job (9-5) and playing in a band at night (9-1AM). While we had resumed our friendship, Lindi had some well-deserved concerns about me. I was spending my nights in bars, and was pretty rough...

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Face to Face

What joy it is to watch and join in Sunday worship, along with Kathy, from our living room. What a

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From Here On Up

FROM HERE ON UP Walking the long, slow slog of life. Climbing step by arduous step, each one infinitely more painful than the one that came before.  Struggling, tottering, limping on scarred and blistered feet,  twisted ankles, hobbled knees, tripping, staggering, stumbling the hard scrabble mountain path.  From here on up, it’s downhill all the way…

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A Tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg-Someone I knew little about

One of 9 people presiding in the top echelon’s of the judicial systems of our country died today. I have no idea how she reacted or thought of being referred to not by her name rather a nomenclature of three letters. I don’t think I would like it, because is seams to disassociate me from being a real person, or my identity as myself. The truth is I know very little about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I wou...

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Devil’s Snare

I was fourteen, wiry, strong, with skin browned by a fiery sun.  Its rays beat down on my head in those humid summer fields where I slowly ‘walked the beans’.  Walking the beans meant pulling up the sticky, thorny Jimson weeds that grew wild among uncle Paul’s  perfectly furrowed rows of soy beans.  It was also known as Devil’s Snare and richly earned its evil name.  The work was backbreaking, hot...

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Ironic Consequences

I have been reading a book by Jon Tyson lately called Beautiful Resistance. The first chapter, titled Worship Must Resist Idolatry, includes the following: “Novelist David Foster Wallace said, ‘Pretty much anything… you worship will eat you alive.’ He went on to say that if you worship money and things, you will never have enough. If you worship beauty and sexual allure, you will feel ugly. If you...

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Breakfast with Saoirse

A FaceTime conversation with Saoirse over breakfast this morning was sheer joy. We chatted about her plans for the day that includes what sounds like a fun play date with friends. We talked about having Spam and eggs for breakfast. She ate Spam in Hawaii but didn’t like it much. She had some hidden blueberries in her cereal, but no bananas because Momma has to go to the store and get some more. Th...

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Eric and Mark

I love Eric and Mark. I love the way they love each of you and the way they love the Village. I love the way they submit their lives to God and serve him with their whole heart. I love their wives and children who, along with them, are dedicated to the work of mission and ministry. Even little Saoirse, though only three, lights up my life with the love of Jesus when Mark and I Zoom chat on Thursda...

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Wednesday Worship and Teaching

Tonight (Wednesday, July 15th) at 8:30 I’m going to join Eric, Sue, and Michael for a time of worship at the church. You can find a link on the front page of the website. I grew up around midweek services. We had a Friday service when I was in elementary and middle school. I would play with my friends outside while my parents were in the service. When I was pastoring in Texas, our church had 3 mid...

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Ecclesiastes Follow Up

Preaching on a whole book of the Bible in one sermon is so hard. Inevitably there are threads that come up during study that can’t be explored. My basic outline for my sermon on Ecclesiastes was, smoke/vapor, wealth, work, party, wisdom, root into God. The reality is that each of those pieces could have been their own sermon, but that’s not the point of this series. So, here’s a few other passages...

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Halcyon Days

Halcyon Days  Fresh peach ice cream slow frozen in Uncle Rich’s hand cranked churn.  Lightning bugs dancing around hollyhocks on a gentle summer eve.  The sweet aroma of fresh mown alfalfa wafting in from Mr. Vander Linden’s field.  Barn owls hooting softly as tiny field mice scamper off in every direction.  A million mile moon drifts across the sky between dim clouds and sparkling stars.  Dad whi...

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Blessing and Privilege

Last Wednesday, Eric gave a sermon on “Grief, Trauma, and Our Response to Systemic Racism”. If you haven’t listened to it or watched it, I highly recommend doing that before reading the rest of what I have to say. Listen here OR watch here. Among the things he said, Eric challenged us to examine our privilege. He said, “Where is privilege having an impact in our church? All of us within our ...

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Songs From Quarantine

At the beginning of quarantine, social distancing, and stay-at-home orders I set out on project to fight against the anxiety, depression, and weariness that comes with having to stay home all the time. I began to write lyrics out of our new community rhythms, Wednesday morning zoom prayer, Rod’s Monday prayer time, and livestreaming church. I’m still working on new songs, but three songs come out ...

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Slavery

1900 years ago a young immigrant worker in the Asia province of Rome was struggling to feed his family. His children were hungry, and his wife had died of a painful disease. He worked long hours as a laborer, and his living conditions were squalid. Then, as he walked home from work, he was accosted by bandits, and beaten, with his earnings for the week stolen. He could not go to work the next day,...

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