The Grave With You is no Grave!

“With You, Lord, I will flee, that I may gain in You Life in every place. The prison with You is no prison, for in You man goes up into Heaven: the grave with You is no grave, for You are the Resurrection!” (Jn 11:25) St. Ephraim the Syrian, 4th century...

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Saturday Mourning

  Now’s the time for mirth and play,Saturday’s an holiday;Praise to heaven unceasing yield,I’ve found a lark’s nest in the field.  Christopher Smart, Hymns for the Amusement of Children  A Bird’s-Nest-On-the-Ground Kind of Day I don’t know about you, but finding a bird’s nest on the ground wouldn’t excite me...

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The Little Black Dog

  Years ago, I discovered a poem by Elizabeth Gardner Reynolds entitled “The Little Black Dog.” The first time I read it, I wept. Being a lover of Jesus Christ and a huge fan of dogs, the two came together in a perfect storm of emotion. On this Good Friday 2013,...

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Three Parades

  The parade route begins near the twin towns of Bethpage and Bethany, less than two miles from Jerusalem and winds into the Holy City. The Grand Marshal is an unlikely hero – a rustic from a blue-collar town up north, the son of a woodworker. In keeping with his...

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Turning Garbage Into Gold

On this day in 1987, a 210-foot barge named the Mobro 4000 began a strange voyage on the seas, searching for a place to dump over 3100 tons of garbage. The trash was generated by the Long Island city of Islip, but their overextended landfills couldn’t take in the refuse....

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Signs of the Season

  Ah, spring! That season when, as the American writer e.e. cummings put it, “the earth laughs in flowers.” Here in the Lone Star State, there are two seasons that I cherish: autumn, because it finally brings cool weather after the hellish heat of a Texas summer and spring, which summons green growth following...

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How A Slave Set Others Free

A Peek into a Famous Parade On this day in 1762, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held, but not in Ireland. Irish soldiers stationed in colonial New York City organized the first procession. Though St. Patrick parades are held in over 100 U.S. cities every year, the New York...

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What the New Pope Can Teach Protestants

  “Habemus papam!” We have a new pope, which might prompt some Protestants to utter, “Who cares?” After all, we bid arrivederci to Rome centuries ago. Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals and a host of other denominations don’t go in for praying to the Virgin Mary, eschewing contraception or believing that the bread and wine...

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What Makes A Church Grow?

  The United Methodist bishop of my conference, Mike Lowry, recently noted on his blog that laypeople are asking him, “What makes a church grow?” When the bishop offers a couple of points in reply, the questioners begin to debate him.  “I pointed out that my answer wasn’t a matter of opinion,” Bishop...

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