Out of Bounds

If Jesus’ disciples had known what a horror movie is, they would have thought they were living in one in our New Testament lesson today. It opens the way most horror movies do: it’s clear that this is not a place that the disciples want to be, but they haven’t realized it yet.  They think […]

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God Goes to Family Court

As I was reading Isaiah’s prophetic critique of the ways of the kingdom of Judah this week I thought of…Homer Simpson, the buffoonish father at the center of the longest-running animated TV series in history, The Simpsons. In one episode, Homer (the buffoonish father of the family) discovers that he’s finally made enough money to […]

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By Rev. J.C. Austin – June 23, 2019 When we began telling people that my wife Tammy was pregnant with our son Liam, people began asking all kinds of questions, from close friends to total strangers. Some were polite and kind, while some felt a bit intrusive. But my favorite arose from time to time, […]

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By Rev. J.C. Austin – June 16, 2019 When I was about five years old, I discovered gold in my backyard.  As you might imagine, it was pretty exciting.  It started off uneventfully: my brother and I had been busy all afternoon with my Mom’s gardening tools, innocently vandalizing an overgrown area she didn’t care […]

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By Rev. J.C. Austin – June 9, 2019 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 […]

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The Better Part (#ChristCentered)

By Rev. J.C. Austin – June 2, 2019 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 […]

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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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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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