Rustlings

Rustlings (January 25, 2021)

Rustlings (January 25, 2021)

Every once in a while, a sermon gets me in trouble. I have typically preached in ‘free pulpits.’ These pulpits are surrounded by congregants who know two things: 1) the minister is free to preach what they sense the Holy Spirit is leading them to preach, and 2) the...

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Rustlings (January 19, 2021)

Rustlings (January 19, 2021)

One of the great temptations for all ministers (all people of faith, in fact) is the inappropriate redaction of our holy texts. More simply said, we quote scripture out of context. This selective redaction allows us to prop up our arguments, validate our actions, find...

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Rustlings (January 11, 2021)

Rustlings (January 11, 2021)

It is the most common sermonic rookie mistake among new preachers—cramming multiple sermons into one sermon. These lengthy diatribes usually contain three or four ideas which could each be independently shaped into a sermon. In the early days of preaching, however, we...

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Rustlings (January 4, 2021)

Rustlings (January 4, 2021)

I did a thing today. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve done ‘this thing,’ but it’s the first time with this specific intentionality. (Was that convoluted enough?) I walked through the Sanctuary today. That’s it. I walked through the Sanctuary—up and down every...

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Rustlings (December 21, 2020)

Rustlings (December 21, 2020)

It always arrived in late Autumn. By mid-December it was tattered, creased, marked-up and mangled. In our home, it was a shared treasure among four children. We placed our initials throughout its pages—SD, DD, JD, FD—signifying the items each child hoped to find...

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Distance Bridges (December 14, 2020)

Distance Bridges (December 14, 2020)

The length of a football field… A city block… Humans love to measure distance by referring to familiar spaces. If 2020 had its own unit of distance, it would naturally be the “6-foot social distance”—as in, “Wow! Can you believe we were only ten social-distances away...

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Rustlings (December 7, 2020)

Rustlings (December 7, 2020)

Alex Trevino and his family lived a few blocks from my house—the halfway point between my home and our elementary school. Each school day morning he would wait on his corner and join the parade of Mabry Street students already meandering toward the campus. Alex...

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Rustlings (November 23, 2020)

Rustlings (November 23, 2020)

Green and red are the primary colors of the Christmas season. Burl Ives might have disagreed—arguing silver and gold. For today’s literary purposes, however, I’m going to land on green and red. This Sunday, November 29, is the First Sunday of Advent. It is also the...

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Rustlings (November 16, 2020)

Rustlings (November 16, 2020)

Perspective makes all the difference in the world. I’ve played bass guitar for three years now. It all started when Kyle Matthews asked me to learn ‘one song’ on bass to accompany Rolyn Rollins during a MidWeek Fellowship service at church. Since that night, I’ve...

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Rustlings (November 9, 2020)

Rustlings (November 9, 2020)

I am certainly no expert in world history. My knowledge of ancient history is particularly connected and essentially limited to my acquaintance with biblical literature. I have never been a history buff. I like history buffs. I’ve just never been one, so I usually...

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Rustlings (November 2, 2020)

Rustlings (November 2, 2020)

Rest in peace. Like many of you, I was moved by the All Saints Day service this past Sunday. As was stated during the service, our ability to grieve together and celebrate together has certainly been limited this year. Seeing the pictures of our saints during the...

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Rustlings (October 26, 2020)

Rustlings (October 26, 2020)

From the beginning of this pandemic, I’ve known the arts would both suffer and sustain us. It is always that way with art. Artists struggle. In their struggle, they dream, create and share the nourishment of spiritual survival. When people ask what I’ve missed most...

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Rustlings (October 19, 2020)

Rustlings (October 19, 2020)

I rarely repeat sermons. I have ‘conference/retreat’ sessions that I’ve repeated numerous times, but rarely do complete sermons garner a second chance in the pulpit. Having said that, I often find myself repeating stories told in sermons, poems recited in sermons,...

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Rustlings (October 12, 2020)

Rustlings (October 12, 2020)

As we step into the last quarter of 2020, I’m keenly aware of what and who we have lost this year. Weekly, your ministers counsel with members of the church and community who are grieving the loss of events, milestones and even worse, souls that have been close to us...

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Rustlings (October 5, 2020)

Rustlings (October 5, 2020)

This past weekend, I traveled for the first time since January. I took all appropriate COVID-19 measures: sanitized before and after fueling my car, was privileged to have two nights lodging in a safe and beautiful home, and was masked during any contact with other...

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