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THE CALL AND THE RELEASE (1984-2017)

In November of 1984 a broken beggar with a heart to preach preached a fill-in sermon at the Lake Highlands Church in Dallas, Texas. That sermon began a thirty three year season of leadership which included for us the roles of leader, pastor, elder, preacher and teacher. I use the pronoun us because my wife Donna is the ezer of …

Seccond Childhood

Second Childhoods Kill Churches

We live in a time when we are going to church less and enjoying it more. In any given church good members may attend once or twice a month at most, may or may not be in a house church or small group of any kind and will only attend when it meets their needs. We talk about how the …

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Freedom for Faithfulness-Not Success

A couple reflects on the practices of their lives which led to their recent divorce. “We did not have the strength to “work on” falling in love again in our marriage. And as everyone knows good relationships take work. Which is not to say that we are against work. We perform many tasks. We can pick up our girls from …

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The Great Undiagnosed Heart Disease

One is the loneliest number there will ever be. And lonely is “the saddest experience you’ll ever know.” Thus says Three Dog Night. We desperately need to touch and be touched, hear and be heard, know and be known, listen and talk about everything, live in a safe place. But the worldly weak church, the “our” world, barely squeezes into …

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer-1906-1945 –Witness in Life and Death To Christ’s Ascension

In 1924 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, then 18 years old, determines to become a theologian, seeking to study theology at the University of Berlin. In 1931 the young theologian experienced what he  called “a great liberation.” This liberation pulled him into the church. He spoke of rediscovering scripture, prayer and discipleship. He referred to his new way of reading   scripture as becoming …

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A Belated Tribute To Our Brother Martin

In this most uncivil and harsh time of wall building and public name calling I am looking for witnesses of love, civility and justice; People who never return evil for evil, build bridges and never trash anyone who disagrees with them. Within my lifetime the name that most quickly comes to mind is Martin Luther King. In 1963, during his …

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BROTHER AUGUSTINE AND OUR MISDIRECTED LONGINGS

My heart is cluttered with desiring-the chaos of it is almost more than I can endure at times. Sometimes I lose any sense of a meaningful story being lived out in my life. Life becomes a series of snapshots at which time I “felt good” or I “ felt bad.” The pain of misdirected longings leads me to often long …

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Prayer And Politics

Prayer And Politics-The Martyrdom Of Polycarp The spirituality and politics of Christ’s disciples has always been inseparable from Jesus the Lord and His Spirit. At the time of Christ and the early church the word religiare from which we get the word religion meant in the Roman empire that there was a religious bond between a nation’s citizens and their …

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THERE IS SUCH A THING AS INDESCRIBABLE JOY

On May 19, 1838 at 10:30 a.m. a worldly university student, age 25, whose life had been plagued by a family curse, a culture of death, an abusive and condemning Christian father and the unremitting intellectual powers of his own dark genius, recorded the following experience: “There is such a thing as indescribable joy which glows through us as unaccountably …

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My God Longing Mother and Handel’s Messiah

For most of us Christmas began with magic, the magic of Santa Claus. We cannot remember when we began believing in Santa, at least I cannot. I knew that Santa was treasured and reinforced by everybody I trusted. So I was devastated when celebrating my sixth Christmas to discover that Santa Claus was not Santa, he was in fact my …