Bless Us to Be Brave

A sermon at New Dublin Presbyterian Church on June 21st, 2015 Scripture: Job 38:1-11; Mark 4:35-41 ***** This Father’s Day, the image easily comes to mind of a small child wailing in the middle of the night, crying for help. The dad rises groggily, yanked harshly from his sleep, and stumbles in a fog into […]

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Do you have a penguin?

Brian Doyle wonders why the definitions of love are so often also the definitions of pain. If you want to weep and never have, have a child. So wrote David Foster Wallace. And I can’t find the exact quote, but I’m positive that somewhere Anne Lamott once said something like parenthood is never taking a […]

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A joint and fragile keeping

In a few weeks, I am officiating a wedding. About 10 years ago, the bride found this poem printed in a newspaper, and she has kept it all these years, moving from places and jobs and relationships. Recently, we discovered that the author is a Presbyterian minister. When she sent me the poem, she added, […]

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Day 1 Dad

In mid-April, my father and I drove to Atlanta where, in addition to spending a rollicking good time together watching Little League baseball and listening to live jazz and sampling great food to the tune of good scotch, I recorded a sermon for Day 1. Formerly known as the Protestant Hour, the radio program is […]

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Wonderful, wonderful

Isaac Watts wrote this hymn, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” in 1707 during a time in the Protestant Church when the Psalms were exclusively sung in worship. That’s right, only scripture—no hymns! None, that is, until Watts wrote over seven hundred of them, many of which remain favorites in churches all across denominations. “When […]

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Thank you, Fred

Fred Craddock died recently and it’s no stretch to eulogize him as a preaching genius. Just before his death, the Christian Century had a beautiful tribute to his ministry in Cherry Long, Georgia. The author mentions how Craddock changed his life, which is true for many preachers, including my father and me. While reminiscing over the phone, […]

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Honest Abe and Jesus Want You

If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom is unable to stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will be unable to stand. Mark 3:24-25 On June 16th, 1858 more than a thousand delegates met in the Springfield, Illinois for the Republican State Convention. They chose a young lawyer nicknamed Honest […]

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Ogres

The following was preached at the Dublin Community Lenten service on February 25th “Ogres” Mark 3:1–6 ***** If I say the word, anger, what image comes to mind? A red-faced two-year-old, stamping his foot in the grocery store because his father will not allow the coveted chocolate bar before supper? Such frustration at not receiving […]

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The Greatest of These

The following was offered as part of the funeral service for Dan Currie Bell. I’ve included it here because I believe the message is widely applicable. ***** There have been many stories told today; but, if you’ll permit one more, I have a perspective to share as pastor of this congregation. In addition to all […]

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Holy Hunger

I’ve written a piece for the Roanoke Times which you can find here:

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