Soldier, Athlete, Farmer

It almost sounds like the beginning of a joke: “A Soldier, an Athlete, and a Farmer…” But what it really is is a prescription for living a wise life. All too often we fall into the trap of reducing life to being “right” or “wrong.” We want to be correct. We want to be strong. We want to be right. And we want others to recognize our “rightness,” our “correctness,” and our…

All Flesh!

The Holy Spirit is a subject that I thought I knew a lot about in my early days as a Pentecostal preacher. I would preach sermons on the Holy Spirit and the power He was to give believers to be “holy” or to “do His work” or to “heal” sicknesses.” And all of this was suppose to motivate others to “get the Spirit” active in their lives. But it was only in…

Salty Speech

“Salt makes people thirsty. People are thirsting for more of God’s word. We are the salt, the salt of the earth!” I remember hearing that song as a teenager and thinking “so THAT’S what that means!” Jesus did call we Christians the “salt of the earth” and in His days on earth, salt wasn’t just something that added flavor; it was a valuable commodity that was used to preserve food, provide for…

ALL MINE!

“MINE!” The toddler was adamant that that toy belonged ONLY to her! She had no intentions of allowing anyone else to play with her toy! Now that’s a familiar situation of any parent of small children or any teacher in kindergarten! But that’s also sometimes the unspoken attitude of too many of us when it comes to the spiritual treasures of our Faith. “THAT belongs to US!” Really? Look at our Lesson…

WORK Out Your Own Salvation!

My little brother and I were typical brothers growing up. We would engage in “sibling rivalry” now and again! But we were being raised by a single mother who worked fulltime and cared for us full time as well. One such event when we were a bit older elicited a phrase from my mom to us both that really stuck with me. I don’t even remember what we were fighting about but…

YOU Feed Them!

It was actually, physically, painful to hear her say those words. I was at the point of both tears and disbelief. You see, we had the opportunity to help some homeless people in our community by participating, as a parish, in a wonderful ministry to homeless families in our county. We are blessed to live in one of the fastest growing and wealthiest counties in Georgia and even the nation. And yet,…

To Live IS Christ!

St. Paul tells us today that “to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” I confess, every time I read this passage and contemplate this phrase, it always drives me to reconsider my own life. Can I really say this along with Paul? Of course, the answer is “no,” but before I let myself off the hook here, I want to confront the all too easy cop out I sometimes allow…

Can You Keep Your Faith?

The headlines read like a series of horror stories to many. Mass shootings and infectious diseases break out and we wonder about our own health and safety. War rages in the Middle East and radical Islamic groups are ethnically cleansing the Christians and other minority groups, even killing children because “they may grow up and seek revenge against us.” Religious citizens in America are confronted with the reality that they are growing…

Excellent

Every time I hear the word “excellent” I think of Mr. Burns from The Simpsons and it makes me smile. Or, I can go back down memory lane in my mind to “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” Either way, that word has a way of triggering several nostalgic images in my head. But the word also conveys all my training in marketing and business as well. It seems we are always striving…

Moved To Compassion

“Daddy, when will the leaves change colors?” With that, I knew I was entering into the time when my 8 year old was beginning to understand the changing of the seasons. “Do they call it ‘Fall’ because the leaves fall on the ground?” Wonderful! I confess a deep love for Fall, mainly because of my childhood growing up in the rural American South. I also confess an ontological connection with the soil…