I've been in ministry most of my adult life. I started pulpit ministry as a young Pentecostal preacher, trained at a Pentecostal seminary (I called it preacher's school), traveling around the country filling in for vacationing pastors, holding revivals, taking part in crusades, and leading special church services.
Southern culture and a very select group of Christian leaders influenced my beliefs and style more than anything else. Then I allowed myself to pay attention to other voices, many of them saying just the opposite of what I'd been taught and told - but just as passionate, and just as sincere.
Now, although my understanding of God and the scriptures has "matured," my passion for living as an authentic believer has not. I still believe God cares and Jesus saves, but with a more honest idea of what caring and saving looks like.
Today I serve as co-pastor of a beautiful, caring, inclusive congregation in Lexington, Kentucky.
Many of the folks who attend Bluegrass United Church of Christ have been injured by the churches of their past. A big part of the work we do there is reparative. Many of these transcripts are from talks I've delivered there.
JULY 14, 2019
A lot of folks have claimed the famous and motivating words, but most attribute them to Saint Francis of Assisi…
“Preach the Gospel. And if necessary, use words.”
JUNE 30, 2019
A preamble here… If there are any aspiring preachers in the room, some advice… do NOT back yourself into a corner by announcing that you are going to preach a sermon on something that the Bible does NOT support!
MAY 12, 2019
Some of you may have heard of Rob Bell. He’s this really hip young spiritual leader (by young, I mean younger than me) who took the church world by storm back in the early 2000s when he founded Mars Hill Church in Michigan that eventually grew to tens of thousands attending worship each Sunday morning.
MARCH 31, 2019
A couple of weeks ago I shared a few words on the 23rd Psalm. When I’m putting a sermon together, I try very hard to be respectful of our time together. I know that it is precious, valuable, limited and irreplaceable. So, sometimes, even when I feel I have more to say in a sermon, I consider what a wonderful old mentor said to me once, “As much as I like cake, I usually only enjoy the first few bites.”
MARCH 17, 2019
Any preacher who has more than a handful of sermons under their belt has probably shared a message or two on the 23rd Psalm. It’s often considered the most well-known of the Psalms, it makes appearances in movies, television shows, plays… it’s one of the many verses that many of us had to memorize as kids.
MARCH 3, 2019
Yesterday, I got in my car and drove away. I drove away from my home where Mason, our dog Rags, and our cat Bela and I live. I drove out of town and way out into the country. I drove roads I’d never been on before, and truth is, I can’t tell you the counties I ended up in. The tank was full, so I kept driving.
DECEMBER 30, 2018
Do you ever hang around for the credits? A lot of folks are quick to scoot out as soon as the movie is over. They either have somewhere else to be, or they’re just not interested in seeing the massive underbelly that goes into making a good movie.
OCOTBER 17, 2018
Apparently, there is a real science to visiting a Disney theme park. If you know how it works, you can see more and do more in a Disney park than the average casual visitor.
JULY 22, 2018
The storms that rolled through Friday night left some of you in the dark for a while. Last I saw, some of you might still be without power. It’s made for a frustrating inconvenience for sure.
JULY 15, 2018
Back when I was younger, I worked a summer or two as a lifeguard. Parents would sometimes come in and drop off their kids for me and the other teenagers to watch after. Those who did stay around the pool would spend the day either visiting with friends or napping or getting lost in a book.
JULY 8, 2018
Back in the early 1930s, as the story goes, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was running for President of the United States. The country was in the middle of the Great Depression. Scores of Americans were out of work. Many wealthy families found themselves in the same soup lines as the street people. Millionaires became paupers overnight. Hunger, depression and suicide were common and there didn’t seem to be any relief in sight.
JUNE 17, 2018
Some of you may have seen him. He wanders around downtown from time to time. But if you drive out Versailles Road much at all you’re likely to see the guy walking up the sidewalk screaming at ghosts. Or at least that’s what it sorta looks like.
JUNE 10, 2018
So, did you catch the theme in today’s scripture, the common word in all of those Psalms?
I can’t imagine that you didn’t, but just in case, let’s take a look at them again real quick…
MAY 20, 2018
For everyone who is concerned that the Pentecostal preacher has been turned loose on Pentecost Sunday, let me go ahead and ease your fears… There ain’t nobody gonna get hurt here today.
APRIL 29, 2018
If you ask me, I’m usually always right. I have strong opinions that are based on well researched and indisputable facts, and those facts are always right.
I may argue with myself about them, but you are not to challenge me or my opinions… because as I say, I’m always right.
APRIL 8, 2018
Sometimes my mind wanders… Sometimes I find myself thinking about random and odd things.
Just yesterday morning I woke up very early, while it was still dark, wondering if there is ever a time when there is not a police officer somewhere in the world chasing down an escaped cow. Don’t ask me why. I wouldn’t know what to tell you.