Virtual Church for Actual People

It wasn’t planned. At least, I didn’t plan it. In the 10th month of the Year of Covid, I was suddenly jobless and at a loss as to what God had in store for us next. Job offers came in, but none lit us up. A good friend called me and said, “Don’t just do […]

He Sent a Baby

He sent a baby. Didn’t see that coming.Oh, we knew He would send something, or someone. And it was going to be awesome… And terrible. Truth be told, we deserved “terrible” more than “awesome.” For thousands of years we gave lip service And not much else. We worshiped ourselves, did our own thing. We hoped […]

The Power of No

Fasting is a fascinating subject. When I bring it up in conversation or in a lesson, some have a knee jerk reaction and quickly say “there are no commands in the New Testament for us to fast!” I get it. That’s what I was taught, too. I agree that there is no explicit command and […]

The Begats are the Point

When I was 8 or 9 yrs old, our little mission church launched a Read Through the Bible in One Year effort. I was in, especially since the kids got a dispensation to read only the New Testament. I was the son of the minister so…how hard could it be? I couldn’t wait to start […]

The Siren Call of Legalism

We’ll start with a bit of observational science. Not much. It will be important later. Watch two vehicles heading the same direction on the interstate, but in different lanes. When one overtakes the over, they tend to get closer, each moving a few inches closer. This is thought to be caused by the change in […]

So You Want to Be a Minister?

I am not sure how it all came about, but I have become somewhat of an Ann Landers or Agony Aunt (Google it, kids) to quite a few ministers. Most of them are young but a few, like myself, are nearing their dotage. At the same time, I am getting more and more emails from […]

Where is the Danger?

“Distant Voices” is a wonderful book written by one of the top scholars in the Stone-Campbell Movement, Leonard Allen, now at Lipscomb University. It was published quite a few years ago and remains in print. He documents how diverse our church was before the Civil War and the creation of “brotherhood papers” hardened hearts and […]

The Genetic Flaw That is Killing My People

I’m no geneticist but I’ve worked enough with DNA to know about genetic flaws and how some of them are ticking time bombs just waiting to take down an otherwise healthy individual. While Alzheimer’s has multiple causes, Early Onset Alzheimer’s has one: a gene that is dormant until, suddenly, when its host is between the […]

He Sent a Baby

He sent a baby. Didn’t see that coming. Oh, we knew He would send something, or someone. And it was going to be awesome… And terrible. Truth be told, we deserved “terrible” more than “awesome.” For thousands of years we gave lip service And not much else. We worshiped ourselves, did our own thing. We […]

King of the Septic Tank

I have a couple of choices of routes from my home to my office. One of them winds through beautiful countryside that quickly makes you forget you are within a few miles of a major metropolitan area. I find it calming and lovely. While the seasons, harvests, and time of year change my views one […]

If Thine Eye Be Single…my Life and the Gospels

I have often wrestled God down by the river…and everywhere else. There was a time in my life where I wasn’t sure He was there. Truth be told, I hoped He wasn’t anywhere at all. A great deal of my inner conflicts would be resolved or put at rest if I could be certain there […]

Saved By Barbarians

My wife and I just got back from three days at Scotfest, the largest gathering of its kind in the United States. This annual celebration of all things Scottish and Irish (to be fair, it was about 80% Scottish) takes place in Estes Park, Colorado at an elevation of 9100ft. The setting is spectacular in […]

It’s Life, Not Magic

I like watching magicians, especially the great Penn and Teller. I’m not one of those who gets frustrated wanting to know how they did it; I just enjoy the surprise and skill of the trick. There is an amazing amount of thought, preparation and practice in a magic trick and you have to get it […]

A Bringer of Light, Not Darkness

After my last post – a look at a Jesus story out of Mark – I was asked to look at this story out of John 9 and walk through that in the same way. Okay, here we go… But before we can get started in chapter 9 we need to remember John’s overarching theme. […]

A Blind Beggar and A God Who Rocked My World

I’ve mentioned before that I took time decades ago to read the Gospels over and over for six months. It changed my world. It changed everything. On Wednesday evenings at Fourth Avenue in Franklin, TN I share some of the stories in a class called “Just Jesus Stories.” We covered one last night that hasn’t […]

Any New Bible Books?

It’s been a couple of months ago now but I remember thinking “whaa?” when I got a message asking me if I thought we might add any more books to our Bible. Back in the day when I wrote the Tentpegs blog I might have just ignored that question and I almost ignored it this […]

Advent and Disappointing Gifts

After the Waiting… I love the Advent season – the lights, the prayers, the buying of presents, arranging them under the tree, the songs, and the special gatherings to celebrate the Lord. And yet…I keep thinking about the whole “waiting and then the gift” paradigm I see in scripture and it gives me pause. No […]

Reading the Bible in Churches of Christ

In the churches of my youth the Bible was read several times during each worship period. A passage would be read before communion (usually First Corinthians 11:23ff or a portion of Isaiah 53), another before the sermon (usually a few verses that were part of the text being used by the minister), and during Bible […]

The Christian, Robin and Suicide

With the recent suicide of Robin Williams the issue of suicide once again entered the public consciousness. Along with it came all the usual conversations, many of them helpful, a few of them unhelpful. Sadly, some Christians fired off blogs or tweets that were not only inaccurate (showing a complete lack of knowledge of mental […]