The city of New Orleans is one of my favorite cities in the world. I would argue it has the richest and most distinctive culture of any major U.S. city. Known as Creole culture, it arose in New Orleans as a rich stew of nationalities that lived in New Orleans in the 18th and early […]

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The Better Part (#ChristCentered)

Perhaps the most dreaded phrase you can hear from your teacher when you’re a kid in school is, “I’m assigning a group project.” Looking back on it, I assume that teachers assigned group projects as a means of not simply teaching the course material, but teaching a collaborative way of learning and being productive that […]

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How’s Your Vision?

When Steve and I were young pastors serving the First Presbyterian Church of Medford, Oregon, we took 19 junior and senior highs on a three-week go-and-serve trip to Southeast Alaska.  One week was spent in the Tlingit Indian village of Angoon, where we painted the floor of the sanctuary of the local Presbyterian Church and […]

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The Well-Dressed Christian

One of the interesting things about serving this church is who recognizes me out on the street in Bethlehem. People at the contemporary worship service don’t have any trouble, because what I wear in that service is, more or less, what I wear in “normal life.” But people from the traditional service sometimes have a […]

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Faithful Unto Life

There was a member of my church when I was growing up in Atlanta whom we’ll call Miss Leslie. I didn’t know her well; I knew she was in her 80s, that she lived alone, and that she had been retired so long that I had no idea what she had done for a living. […]

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From Company to Companion

Based on: Luke 24:13-35 It had been a highly emotional three days for those two people walking home from Jerusalem to Emmaus. First had come the horror of that awful day when a man whom they trusted, a man in whom they had put their faith, was put to death by the Romans.  And it […]

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Remembering the Truth

She draws the door shut softly behind her, wincing slightly at the sound of  the latch clicking. She draws the hood further over her head, glances down the road, and then sets off walking; quickly, but not too quickly. It was important to hurry, but it was also important not to be seen hurrying. That […]

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The Royal Treatment

When I was a kid, sometimes when I was meeting grown-ups for the first time, they would sing my name to me. I thought it was pretty odd, myself. I mean, even at 7 or 8 years old, I had met my fair share of people, and not once was I tempted to sing their […]

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A Lingering Scent

A couple of years ago, my wife Tammy was out of town for the weekend, and I had been traveling a lot for my job in theological education at the time, so while she had gotten a lot of one-on-one time with our son Liam, I had not. So Liam and I were both looking […]

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