Woe to Me if I Do Not Preach

It’s just who I am. I remember my time at an Evangelical Protestant school for my undergraduate degree, and the 2 years of homiletical (how to give a sermon). It was a bit grueling and my professor was particularly tough on me. One day, I was walking with another seminarian and he overheard our conversation. He stopped me and said, “Brother Powell, you are a preaching machine!” I chose to take that…

At His Feet

There is a story about a great man. He had searched the world over for wisdom. He had gone to gurus, and sought out great religious leaders and learned philosophers. But still, his heart ached for more. Sure, he learned great and awesome ideas and heard wonderful words, but still, he felt empty from the searching. Discouraged, he cried out to God “Lord, where is true wisdom? Where is true knowledge of…

What Makes You Unclean?

My dear bride has a hard and fast rule for my two girls: “Wash your hands!” You see, my wife is a trained elementary school educator and part of that training has to do with hygiene. Teaching children to wash their hands before they eat, after they play, and after their potty breaks is all part of having healthy children. It’s a good thing. And once again we see the parallel between the physical wisdom of…

A Deeper Knowing

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to “eat crow” over some idea I had or position I held that turned out to be, oh not necessarily “wrong” but “too small” or “too narrow” for the subject at hand. It’s made me a bit gunshy at times to make a definitive statement before I’ve had the time to really contemplate my own thoughts. After all, as the scripture says, “The…

Making Masters Servants!

I know it is a bit “old-fashioned” and it may be hard for those of this generation to understand, but the timeless message of the Faith is that we are called to battle and tame the passions SO THAT they are our servants and never our masters! So what are the passions? Some may say “I thought being a passionate person was a good thing.” Well, as usual, it depends on definitions.…

Easily Offended

“I’m offended!” It seems that is a common complaint in our day. When did we become such a generation of “fragile little snowflakes” that the slightest challenge sends us into fits of offense and demands for regress? So, what do you think is behind this age of easy offense? I certainly have my own thoughts, but the most important reason seems to be we have forgotten our true purpose as adults. You see, we…

Sell Everything and Buy the Field

He looked at me right in the face and said the words I will never forget: “When you’re ready to ‘sell all you have’ to have this faith, then, and only then will you be ready!” Whoa, wait a minute, let’s talk about this! Everything? Yep, everything. It was a turning point in my own spiritual journey and I was having to confront my own desire to “play it safe” or not…

An Offer You Shouldn’t Refuse

I looked out at the congregation and said: “If Kmart had a Blue Light special like this, they’d sell out in a minute.” Of course, you don’t know what a “blue light special is. You may not even remember KMart! Suffice it to say it was a marketing trick that a store use to use to draw attention to special deals they had in their store. And my reference was to the…

You Tell The Best Stories, Pawpaw!

My grandfather was an amazing storyteller. He was always a larger than life figure in my eyes as a boy and still is even as a grown man. He had this ability to mesmerize us grandkids with his stories of being a police officer in Atlanta, and the stories of his adventures with his friends. To this day, I have no idea if any of these stories he told actually happened! He…

Weeds in the Garden

It’s just not my strength. Gardening, for me, usually ends in disaster! But not for my grandmother. When I was a boy I remember me and my brothers and cousins being conscripted to help Mawmaw “put up” the vegetables from her garden. Corn and okra and green beans, and other produce was grown, harvested, canned, and stored so we’d have fresh vegetables to eat all year long. It amazed me she could…