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Exploring the Heart of Restoration

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Archives for People Who Shaped Our Faith

My year old son’s name is Sawyer.

Although often asked, he is not named after the slick-tongued con man on LOST.  He is named in honor of a couple that, besides my parents, was essential to my development as a Christ-following young man.

I grew up in Dyersburg, a rolling-hilled West Tennessee farm town. Those of us who went through our congregation’s youth group during the 90s experienced youth ministry as…

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Young men and women are looking for heroes. The same is true for Christian young men and women.

We need heroes to admire and look up to. We need heroes who can inspire us . . . people who have gone ahead of us.

We need men and women of God upon whose shoulders we can stand. And in God’s mercy, perhaps see further than they did.

If you were to…

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It’s remarkable to me that, when the original editors of New Wineskins decided to move on to other projects, Keith asked to take over as publisher of the E-zine. At the time, the Churches of Christ had hardly any Internet presence at all. Cecil Hook and few other intrepid progressives were making…

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I have a lot of guitars. I’m at that awkward stage – more than I need but less than I want. When people see them they often ask “Which one is your favorite?” The fact is that I have a different favorite for each kind of music I want to play. They all have their own voices and I seek out the voice I need for the song of…

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For over twenty years, she has loved me well.

When I was a college student in Searcy, Arkansas, I met a woman who would capture what it means when one Christian sister covenants to love another and keeps that commitment of love for over twenty-five years. While doctrine and teaching profoundly affect our faith, I find it’s often the people who embody those teachings that shape us the most.  Perhaps…

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In the past and in different venues, I have written about the people who have helped shape my faith.

In that regard, I have been extraordinarily blessed.

College and grad school offered amazing opportunities to learn from folks who were intellectual giants. Even today, all these years later I remain humbled by the ability and knowledge of many of these people.

Some of them I knew simply from a classroom setting… or…

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An article regarding people who shaped my faith cannot begin anywhere but at the beginning: that is, with my parents. Both my mother and father were the first people in their families to become Christians. As such, they worked out together what it meant to raise my younger brother and me in a Christian home. Similarly, the preacher at the church where I grew up, who was also the…

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They say that preachers help form churches, but the reverse is true as well. Churches form preachers. Preaching is a product of a hundred senior ladies coming up with a word of encouragement.  It is the culmination of dozens of different people being kind, when they just as easily could have been harsh. It’s loving people when they are off, because you trust God could form them into something…

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I’ve written extensively on my father and his role in my faith. You can find my favorite article here. The next person who had a measurable spiritual impact came into my life at another formative time.

I was a 20 year old mother with no parents and in a crumbling marriage. I was well acquainted with the church of Christ. I…

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Faith doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It is sown, fertilized, and harvested in community. Every single one of us owe much of our faith development to faithful men and women who have walked alongside us at various points in our lives. Some of those people are well known and others are people you have never heard of. There are many unsung heroes who are doing the difficult work of…

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