August 16, 2018

Christian Unity in Appalachia

Where I live, there’s a remarkable amount of visible unity among Christians. I’d like to describe it for you, at least as I’ve seen and experienced it. I live in one of the poorest regions of the United States. Two counties near to us are in the federal government’s list of the ten poorest counties […]

The “Map” Discussion

In the aftermath of reading Alastair’s “The Denominational Church,” A discussion took over my group blog, “The Boar’s Head Tavern,” for most of two days. That discussion, prompted by Jack’s use of the metaphor of a “map” for the various confessions and theologies that distinguish various denominations and traditions, was one of the best all-time […]

A Second Look at the Ordinary Pastor

Lynn (fictional) wrote me a letter with complaints about her pastor. Lynn, It was good to hear from you. It sounds as if your new home and John’s new job are just right for your family. We all miss you, but this will be a good chapter in your life together. Hopefully, we’ll see you […]

Tomorrow. Tomorrow.

UPDATE: 4:37 p.m. As good as promised….even with the out. Tomorrow is opening day in Cincinnati, in case you didn’t know. So here’s a baseball post. Sometime tomorrow afternoon, I’m going to tear up at a baseball game. It’s a certainty. I’m going to tear up because of a moment that is going to happen […]

Spencer Family Poets

The Spencer family poets are busy. Here’s an amazing Holy Week poem by Denise. Clay continues to show that he is becoming a fine poet with these two outstanding poems.

Thirty-Two Rooms and No Way Out: Adventures in Bookstore Claustrophobia

This post is an odd soup. Call it one part “Second Half of Life,” for just getting old and pathetic; one part “In The Study,” for the sermon idea I’ll get out of it; and one part “Parable, Metaphor and Illustration” for what you can do with it. Laugh at me, with me, and then […]

Grace and The Gospel in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”

I love my Shakespeare, and I love relating what I teach to my students to the Gospel. Those of you who haven’t read Shakespeare will have to excuse me for indulging my passion for The Bard. My AP English IV students just finished reading Shakespeare’s, “The Tempest.” The last few years, this play has risen […]

Remembering The Stutterer

When I was a child and a teenager, I stuttered. For several years, quite badly. Those who know me will notice that I can still get into some stuttering patterns when I’m nervous or stressed, but for the most part, my stuttering left me around age 15 when I started preaching regularly. There are different […]

The Great Pumpkin Proposes A Toast

Every year since I first published this piece, someone has linked it and I get requests for it to reappear. It’s one of my favorite IM pieces, and is dedicated to all of those writers and artists who believe in the holy and wholesome use of the imagination. Here’s a toast to Halloween, and all […]

Mom’s Money: A Gospel Picture

My parents were always poor. They came from poor people. They lived through the depression. The first house I remember was small, run down and drafty. Dad never was able to stay with a good job for very long, then his health broke down and he was disabled. He worked nickle and dime jobs, but […]