Grace – a Poem for Autumn, by Wendell Berry

November 5, 2015 2:44 am

The woods is shining this morning. Red, gold and green, the leaves lie on the ground, or fall, or hang full of light in the air still. Perfect in its rise and in its fall, it takes the place it has been coming to forever. It has not hastened here, or lagged. See how surely it has sought itself, its roots passing lordly through the earth. See how without confusion it is all that it is, and how flawless its grace is. Running or walking, the way is the same. Be still. Be still. “He moves your bones, and the... Read this post

Frost on the Pumpkin

October 23, 2015 12:40 pm

Franklin is beautiful all year round, but oh how lovely it is in Autumn! Together with a walk on the Old Charlotte Pike and a drive down the Old Natchez Trace to see the blazing colors of our trees, nothing says ‘Fall’ to me like the presence of pumpkins. Large and small, orange and white, these colorful friends seem to tell us, “It’s time to give thanks for all good gifts – and get ready for the coming cold!” That’s why that autumn drive inevitably takes me to Gentry Farms with all its charms and fun. What could be better... Read this post

Was Jesus Married? Singleness and the Christian Community

October 22, 2015 12:34 pm

Unmarried people often feel marginalized in the life of a church. There are many reasons for this but surely one is the frequent failure in many Protestant congregations to value singleness as a vital and helpful way of life in the family of God. If a church asserts or implies that marriage is the only relational status open to believers, or that its the only ‘normal’ and expected relational status to aim at in life, it will exclude a vast number of her members from joyful participation in the mission of God. But widows and widowers, the unmarried by choice,... Read this post

Rocky Top and Religion

October 12, 2015 6:46 pm

  There’s a pageantry to sports that is woven deeply into the rhythms of fan bases and their families. It extends past themselves and the teams they follow into the wider culture of calendar and food, education and entertainment, scheduling and finance. Whether the sport is football or futbol, golf or tennis, baseball or basketball, lacrosse or volleyball, various tribes arise around the teams that participate, and these unique social structures have various rituals, practices, expectations, and ways of celebrating the team’s play. Teams make disciples and being ‘enculturated’ to the fan base is discipleship 1o1. Take a college football... Read this post

A Pilgrim by Any Other Name

September 27, 2015 12:35 pm

  With the likes of Willie Nelson, Weezer, Band of Horses, Steven Tyler, and Sheryl Crow lighting up the various stages it’s no surprise that the first annual Franklin Pilgrimage Festival is going to be a roaring success. May the rains stay away and the power be uninterrupted. Welcome to Franklin fellow pilgrims! The word ‘Pilgrimage’ has been in the news this week way beyond Franklin, Tennessee though. Hundreds of Muslim pilgrims on Haj were trampled in death in a tragic mass stampede; thousands of Roman Catholic pilgrims made their way to see Pope Francis in Washington DC and New... Read this post

A Little Word for People Doing a Big Job

September 19, 2015 7:47 pm

I love words. Their beauty, utility, history, and flexibility are intoxicating. The magnificent poet Emily Dickinson wrote, “I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.” It is a good week when I encounter and find myself embraced by a new word. This is not because the extent of one’s vocabulary is a ground for self-congratulation, but because the new word or phrase is an introduction, a visa, to a larger world. The word bids us ‘Welcome’. There are countries to... Read this post

Postcard Theology Three – The Joyful Humanist

September 10, 2015 5:37 pm

Postcard Theology Three Joyful Humanism I’m not sure what comes to mind when you hear the word ‘Humanism’. It might be the arts and learning, or it might be the ancient adage that ‘man is the measure of all things’, or it might be the scholarly life of Erasmus and other late medieval/early Renaissance chaps. But ‘Christianity’ probably isn’t something that you think of when you ponder what it means to be a humanist…unless of course you’re thinking ‘I’m a humanist so I’m not a Christian.’ Being a Christian, however, makes one a superb humanist, someone who loves people and... Read this post

Fixer Upper: The Gospel According to Chip and Joanna

September 5, 2015 1:53 pm

The Gospel According to Chip and Joanna As much as I love Franklin I have to confess that it would be pretty cool to be in Waco, Texas this weekend. Unless you’re a Baylor football fan that might seem like a weird destination for a weekend excursion. There’s a group of TV show fans, however, arriving in number there today for a clearance sale at a smallish home decor place on Bosquet Boulevard. The show is HGTV’s Fixer Upper, hosted by Chip and Joanna Gaines, and the sale includes items they used in their show to stage the renovation projects... Read this post

The Agony of Getting Everything You Want

September 3, 2015 3:35 am

I love the work done by Mockingbird. This excellent article is not only a timely offering for our idol manufacturing souls, it also functions as a great intro to the very fine commentary Mockingbird offers – deeply Christian reflection with a cultural awareness few seem to possess. Enjoy! http://www.mbird.com/2015/08/the-agony-of-getting-everything-you-want/

Behold the Glory: Study Notes for John

September 3, 2015 2:52 am

Behold the Glory, Part 22 The Servant of Yahweh John 13:1-30 I. Overview of John 13-17 From anointing as the King (by Mary Magdalene) to enthronement in Crucifixion All is reversal – anointed on feet rather than on his head. Made explicit in John 19:1-3 A. Greco-Roman Feasting and Dialogues Jesus as fulfillment of the Wisdom of God in Jewish hope (Proverbs 9 – the banquet) Greek world: trade guild meal, followed by discourse A very “missionary” document; John “contextualizes” his structure to open up to the Gentile world the teachings of Jesus. NOT a Passover Meal; see 13:1: This... Read this post