Showing posts from October, 2019

Sunday Homily - October 27, 2019 - "Bless your heart!"

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector Icon I. "Oh Lord, bless your heart!" Now, what did you hear  when I said that phrase? Because the content of that phrase  carries with it a very contextualized meaning with it   if you have grown up in the South. "Oh, bless your heart." This phrase can mean two different things,  as some of you may know. One of them is a congenial meaning,  such as how my grandma would use it after me or one of my friends   got hurt playing outside,    "Oh, bless your heart!" Or,  it can also be used dismissively and antagonistically,   as in someone does something or says something socially out of line,    "Ugh, bless their heart." That one person in your social life  that everyone knows is, you know, and little on the manipulative side   rolls up and is trying to coax you into doing something that she wants to do,    and you think to yourself,     "Oh Lord, bless her heart." Tha

Sunday Homily - October 20, 2019 - The Wrestler and the Widow

The Persistent Widow  by James Tissot I. Young Child: "Mom.                          Mom.                           Momma!                            Mahhm!!" Mom: "Oh my goodness child,              I heard you the first time.              What do you want??" Young Child: "Can I have a snack?" Mom: (sighs) "Yes, what kind of snack do you want?" Young Child: "Marshmallows!" Mom: "Marshmallows aren't a snack!" Young Child: "Please please please can I just have 5 marshmallows?" Mom: (sighs again) "Okay, just THIS ONCE. No more marshmallows for a snack after this." _________________ Teenager: "Hey Dad.                   Dad.                    Daaad!" Dad: "Dude, I'm literally underneath the car right now!           What do you want?" Teenager: "Can I borrow the truck to go to Sonic?                   Literally all of my friends are goin

Sunday Homily - October 13th, 2019 - It is Well With My Soul

The Healing of the 10 Lepers Icon I. Has anyone here heard the hymn, "It is Well With My Soul"? Growing up in the Baptist Church,  this was one of the hymns that was played the most,   at least in my young memory. And the lyrics to the first verse were always in my memory:    When peace like a river, attendeth my way,    When sorrows like sea billows roll    Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say    It is well, it is well, with my soul And, of course,  the chorus of the song was simply a repetition of that last line,   with melody and harmony echoing in the background.    It is well (it is well),    With my soul (with my soul),    It is well, it is well with my soul. There is always a story behind the songs we sing in church, friends,  and the writing of "It is Well With My Soul"   was written in the middle of a heart-wrenching tragedy. The author of the hymn text is a man named Horatio G. Spafford,  a successful lawyer and bus

Sunday Homily - October 6th, 2019 - Horses, Riders, and Faith

I. Have you ever ridden  a really well-trained horse before? If you have,  you might not know how many hundreds of hours of riding   and training and guidance    that that particular animal needed     in order to respond faithfully and loyally,      trusting in its rider       and following instructions. Some of you know that I used to train American Quarter Horses  when I was in high school.   I also trained kids to ride horses when I was in college,    so it occupied a large portion of my life. And there are two things that I was taught as a trainer of horses  and those things have held very true when passing on my riding instruction to adults and kids. 1) A horse is not a machine. It is an animal.  AND   2) A horse will do nothing it is asked unless it understands and trusts its rider. So many people, when they walk up to a horse,  treat it like they are hopping on a 4-wheeler to go for a drive   or getting into a truck to go haul something.    And th