Rustlings

Rustlings (February 24, 2020)

Rustlings (February 24, 2020)

I knew it. I had felt it. I had an intrinsic understanding of the concept. A colleague of mine put this reality into words, and it has stuck with me for a decade. She said, “It’s always two things.” It’s always two things. Life is never black and white. There is never...

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Rustlings (February 18, 2020)

Rustlings (February 18, 2020)

I have spent a portion of the last decade planning and guiding international pilgrimages for church members and friends. I will soon be leading a conference to teach fellow ministers the process of planning and the value of guiding others on religious pilgrimage....

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Rustlings (February 10, 2020)

Rustlings (February 10, 2020)

In an interview with a television journalist, Meryl Streep once said, “I have a theory that movies operate on the level of dreams…” At the very least, movies draw us into the world of cinematic imagination and into the depths of our own imaginations. Watching a...

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Rustlings (February 3, 2020)

Rustlings (February 3, 2020)

I’d like to introduce you to John. You will never meet someone who loves Jesus more or the church more. He is a gifted writer who has allowed his pen to explore multiple genres: biography, didactic letters and even fantasy literature. He’s a little more verbose than...

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Rustlings (January 27, 2020)

Rustlings (January 27, 2020)

I’m glad our exterior church signs are monumental and not electronic—or worse—marquis-styled letter signs. Monumental signs do not have to be changed each week. The Senior Minister—nor anyone else on the church staff—has to conjure a quippy quote to publicly post each...

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Rustlings (January 13, 2020)

Rustlings (January 13, 2020)

This past summer, I was invited to speak to a gathering of denominational ministers (non-Baptist) about our church’s system of fundraising. In a climate where the vast majority of churches are experiencing a decline in giving, we have become an anomaly. For the last...

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Rustlings (January 6, 2020)

Rustlings (January 6, 2020)

Each year our congregation selects deacons to serve among us. They give of their time and talents to work in multiple areas of ministry and administration. They bring a deeper and broader wisdom to the work of your Senior Minister and staff. They are often the bridge...

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Rustlings (December 23, 2019)

Rustlings (December 23, 2019)

It has been called The Butterfly Effect. In the chaos theory of mathematics, a small change in a large system can have large effects later and elsewhere in the system. The idea is largely based on the work of Edward Lorenz who metaphorically theorized that the flutter...

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Rustlings (December 16, 2019)

Rustlings (December 16, 2019)

Most of my Christmas shopping is complete. I always save at least one gift to be purchased on Christmas Eve. I actually love the hustle and bustle of the last day before Christmas. It’s a personal tradition. For the most part, I’ve stayed within budget and have...

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Rustlings (December 9, 2019)

Rustlings (December 9, 2019)

On December 28, 48 pilgrims associated with First Baptist Greenville (FBG) will embark on the inaugural “Cruise the Bible Pilgrimage.” Some are long-time members, some are new, and some are friends. Rev. Joy Yee and I will be leading the learning sessions. Jenna...

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Rustlings (December 2, 2019)

Rustlings (December 2, 2019)

Several Christmases ago, a semi-chaotic crowd of dissimilarly musically trained individuals got together to bring us our inaugural First on Main concert. For weeks, the motley crew of musicians gathered in the Fellowship Hall selecting songs, transposing keys,...

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Rustlings (November 18, 2019)

Rustlings (November 18, 2019)

Much of our history has been romanticized. As decades and now centuries pass, it’s easy to reminisce in ways that affirm our current biases and undergird our present cultural idealized values. The truth is, our history is a messy mix of good and bad, justice and...

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Rustlings (November 11, 2019)

Rustlings (November 11, 2019)

It was my parents’ primary mantra and mandate during my early days of worship—Be still! It often crossed their lips in a whisper. At other times, it was more of a growl. In a life filled with bicycles, little league, running, bouncing, kickball, freeze tag, and Pong...

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Rustlings (November 4, 2019)

Rustlings (November 4, 2019)

Last week, I shared two prayers from my sermon on Sunday, October 27. Both were published in the Jesuit prayer guide Hearts on Fire. Today, I’m sharing the final two prayers from that sermon. The first is also from Hearts on...

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Rustlings (October 28, 2019)

Rustlings (October 28, 2019)

It is anticipated and beautiful. Whenever I read a prayer or poem in the course of a sermon, inevitably several listeners want a copy. I’m always happy to share. This past Sunday, I read/prayed four prayers in the body of the sermon. And yes, you asked for copies....

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