Rustlings

Rustlings (April 13, 2020)

Rustlings (April 13, 2020)

What about Saturday nights? It has been gratifying to see so many people take advantage of the online programming our church has offered over the last several weeks. More than 3,000 people have taken advantage of our Livestream worship each week—obviously members and...

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Rustlings (April 6, 2020)

Rustlings (April 6, 2020)

The Lenten season typically begins with the reading of Jesus’ wilderness temptations. As this unique Lenten/Covid season slowly slips into Holy Week, maybe we should glance at a portion of the story again. The first temptation is to turn stones into bread. It is the...

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Rustlings (March 30, 2020)

Rustlings (March 30, 2020)

This year’s Holy Week will be like no other. We are accustomed to gathering in our Sanctuary to wave palms on Palm Sunday, gathering in the upper room (the Parlor) to remember the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, gathering in the Carpenter Chapel to venerate the cross...

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Rustlings (March 23, 2020)

Rustlings (March 23, 2020)

How long, O Lord? It is a question asked by the psalmist (Psalm 13), the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 6) and the prophet Habakkuk (Habakkuk 1). It is a question being asked by many of you as well…so I thought I would share a few answers… How long, O Lord…is the minister’s...

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Rustlings (March 16, 2020)

Rustlings (March 16, 2020)

What we do on Sunday mornings is important. The influence of worship and prayer in our lives and in the world should not be minimized. Prayer is our subversive work in the world. Worship is, all at once, an affirmation of our allegiance to God and a rebellion against...

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Rustlings (March 9, 2020)

Rustlings (March 9, 2020)

It was Spring Break 1980. Four college freshmen piled into a 1972 Chevy Vega, left Central Kentucky and headed to Pensacola, Florida. An ice chest took up two-thirds of the teeny-tiny trunk. It was filled with enough bologna, hot dogs, soft drinks, mustard and...

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Rustlings (March 2, 2020)

Rustlings (March 2, 2020)

There is always something to do in Greenville. This is one of the reasons I—and so many others—love this city. Pressed into the parameters of this great city and county are countless opportunities to enjoy the arts, sports, intellectual pursuits, dining and the great...

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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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