Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Cover Songs

Covering a song in rock & roll is a delicate task.  The artist must honor the original while adding a new element, energy, or style that makes the new version stand on its own.Some artists cover well.  Others get covered.  Some, like Bruce...

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Illustrations And Animations

We preachers spend a lot of time and energy trying to bring life to our sermons through what have historically been called illustrations.Donald Grey Barnhouse, longtime pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, compiled the most famous collection of...

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Royal Pains Week Three — The Kings Of Compromise

We like compromise in our families.We prefer it in our politicians.We deal with it at work.Overall, compromise makes us kinder, gentler, more tolerant.But to what level do we want in matters of faith?Maybe more to the point, what was the result of the tolerant...

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Odds And Ends

Some random thoughts on life, faith, and Charlotte, North Carolina . . . If Ann Patchett wrote it, I'm going to read it.I work on two messages per week . . . researching and writing one that I will preach in four to six weeks and then internalizing one that I...

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Theologically Progressive Diversity?

Does progressive theology at the denominational level result in diverse ethnicities at the congregational level?Or: if we would just be more progressive in our theology -- Jesus as one of many rather than the One and Only; heaven and hell as creations of...

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Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Insights From Tim Keel

Last week, I had the chance to hear Tim Keel speak to a group of United Methodist pastors from Western North Carolina.Tim is the founding pastor and primary teacher of Jacob's Well Church in Kansas City.  That congregation is located in KC's version of what we...

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Royal Pains, Week 2 — The Iron Lady King

No, it's not a sermon on Margaret Thatcher.It's not even a sermon on Meryl Streep playing Margaret Thatcher.But it is a sermon on a lady leader whose story has everything to do with iron.And I think it might be one of the more unsettling sermons we've had...

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His Word The Last Word

At the conclusion of Sunday's worship gathering, we gave people an chance to pick up a His Word The Last Word card as a sign of a "surrendered brain."What is HWLW?It's a legacy of the ministry of Dawson Trotman who founded The Navigators student ministry in...

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Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Bob Dylan Songs

A couple of weeks ago, I went down to Austin, Texas to visit my mom in advance of Mother's Day.  While there, I also spent time with two older sisters and two older brothers.As you may know, Austin is the music hub of the southwest.  Home to musicians and...

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Bishop Patronizes Continent

In a May 17 column posted on the United Methodist Reporter site, Bishop Minerva Carcano of the Desert Southwest Conference offered her assessment of the recently completed 2012 General Conference. As many of you know by now, that Conference retained our...

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