Keepsake

Hold on loosely to the things of this life...

I watched them tear down my dreams today… Well, it wasn’t really as devastating as it sounds. It was actually just the set for a musical I was performing in. We had auditions about 4 months ago. I hoped and hoped I’d get this particularly fun part. It was everything I’d dreamed of since my […]

LESS > MORE

With church, sometimes bigger isn't always better

I was on larger church staffs for more than 20 years. One of my favorite jokes shared among staff members was this one: “I love the ministry, it’s just the people I can’t stand.”  Although it was supposed to be ironic, it was probably truer of me once than I’d ever want to admit. When […]

The Perfect Church

Just because it looks like a church and sounds like a church...

I was browsing through local church websites the other day, looking at their statements of faith. That’s basically a list of what they believe. Most had predictable statements about believing in one God, Jesus is His Son, and the Bible is God’s Word, etc. You know, traditional Christian theology. But I did stumble upon one […]

Games little boys play

How to be a hip pastor...LIKE ME!

“Authenticity is what matters,” everyone says. “Just be yourself”.   Unless you’re a jerk, I guess. Then please try to be someone else. They say that’s what people really look for in a pastor these days, as well. But instead, there seems to be a lot of image consulting going on. Gone are the suits and […]

How I Know He Lives

Growing up in a southern Baptist church, every Easter there were two hymns you had to sing…or you probably weren’t really Baptist. One was “Low in the Grave He Lay”. Most people don’t remember it by that title, but by the bouncy chorus that interrupts the sad, mournful verse. After lamenting the crucified Jesus, suddenly all […]

Enemy Mine

When I lived in Chicago over a decade ago, a friend invited me to what he claimed was the best theatre troupe in the area. The next Friday night, we stood in line at a very hole-in-the-wall kind of place, surrounded mainly by young hipsters and people dressed much cooler than us. My friend had […]

My Stepford Wife

This is soup. My awesome wife Dawn made some for supper tonight. Author’s note: I did not force her to cook this meal in any patrician/male-dominating sort of way. I’m pretty sure she did not feel coerced to do it and it did not betray her femininity to take on such a traditional conservative role […]

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

I attended one of the first integrated elementary schools in Alabama. Fifth Avenue Elementary in Huntsville. In 1963, Sonnie Hereford IV held the hand of his father Dr. S. W. Hereford III and walked into my elementary school in my little southern town to enroll. By the time I got there five years later, you’d […]

Denial’s not just a river in Egypt

Believe it or not, the biggest jerks in the world don’t realize they are. Even when they notice their behavior is hurtful to others, they excuse it. It’s always someone else’s problem: their boss was a jerk, their friends wouldn’t listen, their spouse wasn’t supportive. They never seem to realize it’s been most every boss, […]