United State

I heard someone express shame in their Christian faith this week saying that he didn't want to be identified with "those" kinds of Christians.  I know what this person meant by "those:" those evangelical, conservative, Bible-thumpin', gun-totin', ignorant Christians. 

Christians pitted against other Christians?  Lord, have mercy. 


‘Once in a lifetime’ carries a sense of urgency.  It’s a phrase that stirs ‘I don’t want to miss it’ feelings deep inside thoughtful people. Having not been very thoughtful about it, and therefore not giving it much value, we almost missed it. But Ross sat in the back seat and read aloud the results from his Google search. Once in a lifetime. The cab of my truck began stirring. ‘We can’t miss this.’

This appeared in the most recent issues of First Words

Biltmore Starbucks Is this the perfect day?

What I can see of the sky from this porch is perfect. But who says beautiful blue and not a single cloud is the standard? The guy standing knee-deep in the surf trying to catch a fish would look to his left at 6:27 AM and whisper to no one in particular, “perfect sky.” Because the sun knows how to paint clouds and how to escort perfection into a new memory that can never be duplicated.

Summer vacation is generally understood to mean two consecutive weeks at the beach. It also means no watch, no email, no phone, and most importantly, no shoes. Chan makes me wear shoes to the restaurant and to church, but not without resistance on my part. As soon as the days begin to warm, my shoes begin to feel lonely. I love bare feet in the spring garden or in vacation sand, and I take pride that by summer’s end they’re tough enough to run through the gravel. For me, there’s something oddly sacred about it.

Published in Our State magazine, MY PRAYER FOR NORTH CAROLINA, December 2013

“O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come…..” The great Isaac Watts’ hymn  reminds us that God has been with us in the past, and that God will be with us in our future.

Last Sunday at the 8:40 service I was taken by surprise. (Interesting, since the sermon I preached at 8:30 and 11:00 was about the surprises of God!) The service revolved around the Bibletimes Marketplace, and was, in fact, part of its conclusion.


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