Sidearm memories

Though now he has no time for us, he stays with us in time – a good in us learned from the good in him. ~Wendell Berry Early Sunday mornings, I follow our dog, who ambles through the cemetery and seeks the source of smells, zigging and zagging every which way. My mind often wanders through […]

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Color Correctness

“There is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.” ~John Calvin “Pink crayon,” I inform the almost two-year-old. Blue car. Red stop sign. Didn’t I, too, once delight in the yellow of a banana and the pink of a pig? What I know from issuing these instructions is that […]

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The power of how it is preached

“The gospel is preached in the ears of all men; it only comes with power to some.” Charles Spurgeon was arguably England’s best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century. As evidenced by this quote, his style was direct and clear; indeed, the form of the sentence follows its function. Perusing […]

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Song of the Woods

Diverse experiences share common roots, diverse people share common needs. As a small boy, I raced up massive oaks trying to touch fiery sunsets; as a college student, I sneaked behind thin pines smoking to get high; as a youth minister, I preached under gentle maples striving to fan the flame of faith. But now […]

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Enjambment

Way way before dawn at some ungodly hour I awoke heart-thumping thoughts-running fast-hot like water in the shower as I splashed about in the foggy plans of days ahead then   toweled half-dry half-sane racing around the house collecting this and that wolfing down something of god-only-knows-what losing my watch in my own pocket pouring coffee […]

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Byrnen Love And You

A few months ago, I had the privilege of addressing a small group of parents at my friend’s church (Jason Stanley, Peakland United Methodist in Lynchburg). Just recently, one of the participants wrote an insightful blog about part of our conversation – the surprisingly profound concept of “and.” Whether you are a parent or not, […]

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Mastication

While heaping catfish and coleslaw on a white plastic plate, in the green church yard, the voice of a mentor named Ed, who’s long dead, pops in my head. This is what he said:   “God is so, so big!”   Deep fried as it is, I’ll share with my son, for what’s mine is […]

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Not so terrible

My son is approaching that time period so often referred to as “terrible.” I’ve noticed that he can be quite adamant about expressing his desire, which includes the occasional red-faced, foot-stomping, arms-flailing outburst complete with crocodile tears streaming down his cheeks. He employs other tactics too. Most evenings when faced with the prospect of brushing […]

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Prayer Stones

One year ago, worshipers were invited to write petitions on stones and leave these prayers in a basket. Someone else picked up a stone and kept these requests and desires close to their hearts. Last Sunday, we brought the stones back to the sanctuary and offered the prayer below. Now, the prayer stones form a […]

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