One Who Fell and Put the Pieces Back Together Well

The news story first broke in June 1987; the one when my former senior pastor confessed to an adulterous affair. Assemblies of God pastor, Jim Bakker, received the mainstream press’ attention that year for his alleged sexual misconduct and financial … Continue reading

Why Doom and Gloom are Not the Way to Go

There will be ripples from the recent SCOTUS decision to permit same-sex marriage nationwide, but how far they will extend remains to be seen. Fear-mongers paint doom and gloom scenarios, and slippery slope skiers are lined up for a fast … Continue reading

The Power of Forgiveness on Display in Charleston

There’s power, mighty power, in the declarations of forgiveness made by the relatives and friends of Dylann Roof’s murder victims. Less than forty-eight hours after Roof opened fire in a Wednesday night prayer meeting at the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal … Continue reading

Firecrackers and Epiphany

Firecrackers pop, pop, popped. Young men on horseback rode down the street in groups of three whooping and shouting. A festive mood hung over the small Puerto Rican town our taxi driver drove through en route to the airport. It … Continue reading

Opening Doors to Pass the Time

When we were kids, my younger sister and I pulled back the numbered paper doors on the Advent calendar at breakfast. To prevent daily squabbles, one of us had the odd days, the other the even. The doors were hidden … Continue reading

A Story from Savannah: Where Legacy and Tradition Fell Short

For nearly three hundred years, Christians have met for worship at a church on the eastern side of Johnson Square in Savannah, Georgia. Known today as Christ Church Episcopal, the church’s lineage is a long and illustrious one filled with … Continue reading

A Look at Liturgy: When Confession Shifts from “Me” to “We”

Confessions. Police officers interrogate suspects to try and get one. Counselors wait for the counselee to see their role in the problem and make one. Priests enter one half of the confessional booth to hear confessions of sin by individuals … Continue reading

Steps to Take to Avoid Unhealthy Churches

The harsh words laden with angry flew from the preacher’s mouth, flowed through powerful overhead speakers and dripped on the thousands seated in the church. This wasn’t the first time he’d used guilt to promote godly behavior; it wasn’t the … Continue reading

We Need to Know We’re Susceptible–Damage and Wounds Can Turn Toxic

“God loves damaged people” is great news since we’re all damaged. There are deep wounds within us, some self-inflicted, many other-inflicted. We’ve all sinned (Romans 3:23) and made mistakes, and the sins and mistakes of others have harmed us. The … Continue reading

Liturgical Leaves on Baptist Roots: A Year with the Church Calendar

The church banners are green, clerical collars have replaced flowing vestments, and the liturgy has settled  into the rhythm of the extended Ordinary Time post-Pentecost. The church calendar revolved one turn, and I’m back to the place I began the … Continue reading