October 22, 2017

Marking 31 Years of Marriage to the Wonderful Denise

Thirty-one years ago today Denise and I were married by the Rev. W.O. Spencer at Walnut Street Baptist Church in Owensboro, Ky. Rev. Spencer is gone to be with the Lord and the church building has burned, but our marriage has lasted and is a wonderful blessing to me. This is my one and only […]

God Isn’t Gamey: My New Hot Button

I’ve got a new hot button. I experienced it this week and I think it’s best to warn the general public that until I make some progress in sanctification, pushing this button could result in an ugly scene. (Before I say this, I know there are a bunch of books on this subject and I’ve […]

The Shepherd of These Hills

Other IM essays on Appalachia. The Gospel and Appalachia The Gospel and Appalachia: Can The Culture Change? The Gospel and Appalachia: Four Christian Responses Most IM readers know that I live in southeastern Kentucky, in a particularly poverty and crime affected area of Appalachia. In economic and social studies of crime and poverty, our county […]

Has Grace Made Me Gracious?

I’m thinking about grace a lot today after a bit of a mystical experience in church Sunday. As we were preparing for communion, I was praying. The Spirit brought to mind a series of dark incidents from my own life where God was miraculously gracious to me. I’m not talking about small matters. I am […]

Marriage Proverbs for Clay and Taylor

I’ve been studying Proverbs with my Advanced Bible class. I thought I’d write a few for my newlywed son and his wife, and invite the IM audience to add their own. (Keep them short.) “Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church” is the most humbling word that God will ever speak to you. […]

In The End, God Knows Us (A Meditation for Friends)

But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God…(Galatians 4:9a, English Standard Version) I’ve been teaching Galatians for over a year, and I happened to cross this verse this week, a week marked by the passing of one of my most significant mentors. She exemplified many things in […]

Butter and Cream: Denise’s Tribute To Our Departed Friend and Mentor, Betty Hasty

This morning our school community lost one of its most loved and influential members, Mrs. Betty Hasty. For 21 years she’s been my personal accountability group. No one on the planet has more to do with my passion for the Gospel in the place where I serve than Betty. She was the person responsible for […]

Riffs: 03:05:09: Richard Foster on Solitude; Me on Silence

Next Reformation posted this bit of a 2008 CT interview with Richard Foster. (I mainly mention Foster to light up the radar of the discernabloggers. Boo!) What is the discipline that you think we need to be exploring more at this point? Solitude. It is the most foundational of the disciplines of abstinence, the via negativa. […]

What Have I Learned From Living In Community? (Part 1)

When you’ve lived in an intentional Christian community for almost 17 years, you’re a pretty sorry excuse for a person if you haven’t thought about how your life has affected that community or how that experience has shaped you as a person. You live together on the same campus, eat together for most meals, live […]

“I Forgive Myself:” The Hardest Word?

One of the things I really don’t like about run-of-the-mill evangelical spirituality is the assumption that we’re all basically clones of each other. Cheerful clones. Mentally healthy clones. Good family clones. Conservative political clones. Happy at church clones. Like the same music clones. Clones who cope well. Clones who think alike. Clones who can take […]