Imagining Humility

Imagine what might happen if the American church stopped trying to defend that of our history that is indefensible? What if we owned our collective sin and humbly asked God and society for forgiveness? And what might happen if we Christians took it to the personal level and asked for forgiveness for our own failureContinue reading “Imagining Humility”

Getting Back Up Again (A Nefarious Shetland)

  A Nefarious Shetland (Pinckneyville, Illinois, circa 1971) When I was about ten, we lived three miles north of Pinckneyville on Highway 127 in the tiny parsonage of the Oak Grove Baptist Church.  It was 1971 and my father served as the pastor, worship director, secretary, youth director, custodian, bus driver and exterminator of the smallContinue reading “Getting Back Up Again (A Nefarious Shetland)”

Don’t Get Too Far From the Herd (I Mean the Church)

Go When I was a kid I loved to watch Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom which ran from 1963 to 1985.  I literally grew up with the show.  It starred St. Louis zoo-keeper Marlin Perkins.  Back then, animal shows were rated PG, not R like they are today and a lot more was left toContinue reading “Don’t Get Too Far From the Herd (I Mean the Church)”

Being a Part of Something Great (Involves Sacrifice)

Smoky Mountain Trees (Great Smoky Mountain National Park, circa 2006) There is no place in the world Melissa and I like to visit more than the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Her people come from that area (and I wish mine did) so we both have a real link to theContinue reading “Being a Part of Something Great (Involves Sacrifice)”

Why My Name Isn’t on the Church Sign

As I get older, more things that “usta-didn’t” (a proper Southern Illinois contraction) bother me now bother me a lot.  Among the things that irritate me are church signs.  I am talking about those big signs all churches have in front of them.  Some are just painted boards but most have messages that you canContinue reading “Why My Name Isn’t on the Church Sign”

TGIF (Everday)

TGIF (Everyday) Fridays are my day off.  The perfect Friday involves getting some morning sleep, not too much yard work, a cheap lunch with Melissa and gassing up the cars for the next week.  It is usually midafternoon before I can make it to Huck’s for gas; since I always want something inside the storeContinue reading “TGIF (Everday)”

Crazy About Them (Poop-a-geddon)

A story called “Harold” seemed to define the first several years of my ministry.  This story is taking its place as my favorite.  Less gritty, more grace.  I must be getting older.  This one is in my new book “Re:member.”   Crazy About Them (Fairview Heights, Illinois circa 2013)   Fridays are normally a dayContinue reading “Crazy About Them (Poop-a-geddon)”

Smoky Mountain Trees (It Isn’t About You)

Smoky Mountain Trees (Great Smoky Mountain National Park, circa 2006)   There is no place in the world Melissa and I like to visit more than the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Her people come from that area (and I wish mine did) so we both have a real link toContinue reading “Smoky Mountain Trees (It Isn’t About You)”

The Irrepressible Fred Bishop

Praise-a-Thons (Herrin, Illinois, circa 1988) For a while in the late 80’s, dad was active in Christian television.  Active in the same sense piranha are active when they encounter meat.  It was really a pretty good fit.  Television loves larger than life personalities and Fred Bishop is larger than several lives.  Dad loves to learnContinue reading “The Irrepressible Fred Bishop”

A Christmas Miracle from “Exactly As I Remember It”

Here is one of my favorite Christmas stories from my first book “Exactly As I Remember It.”  It recounts a Christmas miracle that happened not in Bethlehem, but in the places our feet touch the ground.  Namely Arkansas… A Story about Jesus Turning Water into Teem (Somewhere in Arkansas, circa 1975)  Growing up the childContinue reading “A Christmas Miracle from “Exactly As I Remember It””