Undone

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“Splendid dining”, Leonard smiled to the missionary wife. “I’m a lucky chap, finding this home for my lodging.” He nodded gratefully to the family. “I shall now get on with some things”, he offered, and stepped from the room. Entering his own room he rolled his head slowly about and gave his body a long stretch. Moving the few steps…

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Insistent

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The ambitious Brit puzzled his dilemma. “If I’m to make my case that the book this naïve teacher calls holy is simply no more than a collection of fables chock-full of contradictions, I suppose I must fetch a copy for myself.” He mulled the idea. “By Jove, I shall”. The San Antonio College I was drawn to came with a…

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Defining moments

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Non-sectarian. I liked my childhood church, whose wooden benches supplied on their underside, a landing place for my thoroughly-spent chewing gum. Before entering I studied the odd word on the church’s sign-board. I practiced sounded it out well before I knew its meaning – Non-sec-tar-i-an. It was a bold word – a statement declaring our religious identity – holding a…

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Who’s Got This?

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Why is it? I wondered. Why does God, when setting out on a mission, often pass over human schemes. Why does he seem to disregard the confident, presuming “we’ve-got-this” mentality often advanced by his people? He seems almost to chuckle over us humans – our strategies, our denominational fixations. Our rightness – I know I am right, don’t confuse me…

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Baptist Bug

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I took a seat. My underside had barely warmed the church bench when the pastor’s appeal grabbed my attention. Oh, my, I wondered. Are we coming to another offering? “Folks, I feel the Lord wants us to get in on this missionary adventure with Brother Jerry and Sister Ann.” David paused just a moment. “The Louts will need a car…

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Unexplainable

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I’m dreaming, right? Hallucinating? By the time I again took a seat the Preacher-man had shifted from prophesying mode to Holy Ghost fund-raising. I sat quiet, weeping, marinating in a fog of wonder. Rev. G.C. had drawn a bill from his wallet. Waving it to the gathering, he sounded a challenge. “Who’ll join me tonight in getting this young man…

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A Call Confirmed

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Truth is stranger than fiction. The adage proved itself one October night in a small-town church. When an uncommon word astonished a gathering and helped frame a destiny. Rising from my seat next to friend and mentor, David Mulford, my response felt surreal. Like an out-of-body Sci-Fi character I advanced toward the sanctuary altar. Each step added to the emotion….

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Signposts

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The spindly lady of the Bluegrass State bought me time. Mrs. Hottenstein’s sponsorship gift achieved what she’d hoped. Freed me to attend more to my college work at hand. And the extra hours away from the teletype keys meant added time with my young nurse-student wife. That meant a lot. Our ships-passing-in-the-night could sit a few more minutes each day…

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Mother

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*today’s post is in current time, a departure from my usual narratives out of a more distant past. I’m in Africa. A ministry visit. Thank you for your time and for joining in special prayer. *** Tanzania, my country host, lies mourning. The bright young students held such promise, their minds fired up for the day’s challenge. That was reality…

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A Curious Mercy

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My host brings me hot tea and we talk of yesterday’s murder of his young brother. Nashon Gibuke, my host, was a modest spiritual shepherd entrusted with the care of an equally modest gathering of believers, young in the faith. By the time of this visit he had served as pastor for barely thirty months. Had recived the leanest of…

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