Road Builders

?December 6, 2009 Second Sunday of Advent Luke 3:1-6 When I served as a pastor in Columbia, S.C., in the 1990s, Interstate 77 was being completed. It would form a beltway around the city as it crossed I-20 at one point and joined I-26. Our family lived about a mile from the roadway under construction.

Ever Ready

?November 29, 2009 First Sunday of Advent Luke 21:25-36 What an exciting time is the Advent season! It's the beginning of another year of walking through Scripture to experience the life of Christ together. And of course, it signals the beginning of the Christmas season.

What Does It Mean to be Born Again?

?June 7, 2009 Trinity Sunday (B) John 3:1-17 ?Ivan the IV lived in the 16th century and was the first czar over all of the Russian empire. He was such a cruel and abusive man that he was given the name "Ivan the Terrible." He had a well known reputation for being immoral and violent. But when he died in 1584, historians record that he was prepared for burial by having his head shaved and being dressed in a monk's robe. The intent was to make God think the czar was a monk, and thus He would allow Ivan the Terrible into Heaven.

The Church of My Dreams

May 31, 2009 ?Pentecost (B) Acts 2:1-21 ?One of my fondest school memories was a seventh grade field trip to Linville Caverns in the mountains of North Carolina. I was mystified by all the beautiful rock formations sculpted by dripping and running water over thousands of years. Our class went deep into the caves where daylight never reached. As the surroundings grew darker, I was getting a bit jittery with the spooky sound of dripping water and the damp feel in the air around us. I sure was glad our guide had a powerful lantern! At one point, he stopped by a stream and pointed out that the trout living in the cavern waterways had been blind all their lives because they had always lived in darkness. I thought about how sad it would be to live in the midst of such breath-taking beauty and be unable to see it.

The Ripple Effect of Prayer

May 24, 2009 Seventh Sunday After Easter John 17:6-19 ?One of my favorite childhood places was a farm pond near my house. It provided so many playful opportunities across the years of my adolescence-fishing, camping, hunting, skipping rocks, bike-riding, woods-walking and so much more.