Death and Deviled Eggs

A few years ago, I was on my way to a funeral. An in person, non-masking, church member funeral with a receiving of friends, a service, and committal. Funerals remind me of funerals, the same way this Christmas will remind you of last Christmas. So many of the practices are the same. At this funeral,Continue reading “Death and Deviled Eggs”

Expanding Theological Education

With the pandemic beginning to taper off, I am finally getting to offer in-person courses again (I know the proper protocols to maintain safety, am encouraging people to only sign up if vaccinated, mask up, and maintain distance). Some of my favorite in-person courses are United Methodist Studies courses offered in my district for layContinue reading “Expanding Theological Education”

Joshua – Reviewing a 50-Year-Old Album

Dolly Parton recently reminded her social media followers that the critically acclaimed Joshua album turned fifty this week (April 12th, 1971 was it’s release date). A review in the magazine Cash Box called the title track one of the all-time best country records ever recorded. The song became Dolly Parton’s first #1 Hit on theContinue reading “Joshua – Reviewing a 50-Year-Old Album”

Holy Week Fragments: Silent Saturday

Click Here for a Link to Today’s Scripture Tom Waits is all we need….here’s a lyric excerpt…. Well, the moon is broken and the sky is crackedCome on up to the houseThe only things that you can see is all that you lackCome on up to the house All your crying don’t do no goodComeContinue reading “Holy Week Fragments: Silent Saturday”

Holy Week Fragments: Wednesday

Here is a link to the lectionary reading for today, John 13:21-32 Today’s scripture bothered me. I didn’t want to focus too much on Satan, betrayal and over explaining this. However, since, I’m not alone in my study of scripture, I turn again to commentators. Francis Moloney suggests that the thing we should look towardContinue reading “Holy Week Fragments: Wednesday”

Holy Week Fragments: Monday

Today’s Scripture is John 12:1-11. Click here for the link. Mary pours a jar of perfume onto Jesus’ feet and washes his feet with her hair. Judas Iscariot (and likely other disciples) respond that they could have sold the perfume and given it to the poor. Jesus rebukes them and tell them the poor withContinue reading “Holy Week Fragments: Monday”

Holy Week Fragments: Palm Sunday

As the Scholar in Residence at First UMC, Newton, I challenged the congregation to read the gospel lectionary text for each day of Holy Week and to sit with it. Of course, I am doing this too. I wanted to provide my first thoughts on Holy Week from a rural theologian and Christian educator. HereContinue reading “Holy Week Fragments: Palm Sunday”

Rural Bible Readings: Psalm 50:1-3

I regularly teach the course “Engaging the Bible in Rural Ministry.” Throughout the course I work to instill the understanding that the Bible is a rural text. Rural communities find themselves in the text through the patterns of life, the imagery, story, and prophecy. When rural communities connect their story with the biblical story theyContinue reading “Rural Bible Readings: Psalm 50:1-3”

Can these Porch Lights Still Glow?

There’s a saying from that annals of rural southern mythology that goes something like “If the porch light’s on, come on in.” I think this statement is designed to promote the idea or heritage of rural hospitality. The idea that country folk will welcome anyone in need need into their homes. I can, with someContinue reading “Can these Porch Lights Still Glow?”

Learning to “Sit Watch”

This pile of used surgical masks is my reminder that in the past month, I’ve clocked more hours in hospitals than in my office. A family health issue—one that I won’t go into too much detail here because of privacy and the reality that it is still ongoing—has me coming and going from a 5Continue reading “Learning to “Sit Watch””