Break the Huddle

The Fall is the most wonderful time of the year. Why? Football season. All three of my young boys play football; between them, that’s three games and a dozen practices every week.

All That Once Was Good

Major League Baseball and the burgeoning church down the street from my house: I have developed a suspicion of both of these for many of the same reasons. Don’t get me wrong. I love baseball, and I love the church. But something is not quite right.

Hard Grace

It was extremely important for the church of my youth to prove that every single miracle in the Bible be proven as an historical and scientific fact. A literal seven day creation, the parting of the Red Sea, Joshua making the sun stand still, and of course, there was the story of “Jonah and the Whale.”

Reimagining “Church” and “Christians” as the “Jesus Tribe”

This may be unsettling to some, but the earliest followers of Jesus did not refer to themselves as Christians. I am rather glad about this because the word “Christian” has too much baggage attached to it.

That Dark Thursday Night: A Maundy Thursday Reading

“Go into the city,” he said. “A friend of mine will show you a large, upper room, furnished and ready.” Strange. Peter and I rounded a corner and there, coming out of a narrow alley was a man we didn’t know, but he looked at us as if we were expected.

Use It or Lose It

Antonio Stradivari was the master instrument maker of the last five hundred years. He built a number of stringed masterpieces: Harps, cellos, and guitars. But his name is most closely associated with his violins

A Bunch of Stories

“I don’t read that article by Ronnie McBrayer,” I heard a critic say not long ago; a critic who did not know I was within earshot. “He thinks the Bible is just a bunch of stories.”

Get Out of the House!

Last week we had a fire in our home. Our aged heat pump flashed out, blowing smoke throughout the house, tripping alarms and setting off smoke detectors. Thankfully, it turned out to be more of a minor inconvenience than a major disaster.

Faith: Barricaded and Buried

A few weeks ago I read that doomsday shelters are making a big comeback. Now, I’ve never been in one of these safe havens, but I am told they were all the rage fifty years ago.

See the Light

Leo Tolstoy once compared religious rules to the light given off by a lamp post. It is a bright light. It dispels the darkness. As long as man or woman stood in that light, he or she could see. But the lamp post had limitations, Tolstoy said.

Pew Potatoes

My grandmother lived her entire life on a farm. First, it was cotton, then it was soybean, and finally it was cows and chickens. I spent every summer of my childhood and teen years on that farm, working in my uncle’s chicken houses, chasing stray cows, bailing and stacking hay.

This’ll “Get Your Goat”

My southern grandmother had a saying she used most every day: “Get your goat.” It was one of those wonderful phrases that could be employed in any number of relevant situations.

Like a Good Neighbor

A man was going from Indianapolis, Indiana, to Louisville, Kentucky, when along the way he had a flat tire. Stranded on the side of the road, he was robbed, his car was stripped, he was shot, and left for dead.

The Good News Really Is Good News

Sharing faith, in Christian terms, is known as “evangelism.” This is the English rendering of a Greek word meaning “to proclaim the good news.” That’s a problem, because the news isn’t always good.

The Greatest Good

My friend Hal never knew what hit him. He was unconscious before he even hit the ground. At least that’s what the script said happened to him. Hal, along with about fifty more of us, was a participant in a disaster drill back when we were in high school.

Take it Outside

It was the early 1980s. It was Texas. It was December. It was a Southern Baptist church. It is customary in Southern Baptist churches to take up an offering during the Advent season to support missionaries overseas.

The Welcome Wagon

When my wife’s boss first moved to our small town it was more than a little culture shock. Raised on the slick windy streets of Chicago, he had mastered the ways of the urban jungle, but this experience had done little to prepare him for the Deep South.