An Encounter that Redefined my Concept of “Pastor”

I had just moved to Birmingham, Alabama to serve as a college pastor.  Suburbia tends to insulate us from the deep, historical pains of a city, so I asked Tracy Hipps to give me on orientation.  The social terrain between Birmingham’s white and black and rich and poor is more vast than in any city…

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Interviewing Blue Like Jazz Actor, Matt Godfrey (part 2)

This is the last half of my interview with Matt who plays “Yuri” in Blue Like Jazz..  Click here for part 1.  Let me just say… his responses to my questions are really, really good.  These are thought-provoking insights from someone edging his way into what is for many of us an exciting but alien…

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When a Dead Man Interrupts your Cynical Conversation (from Lk 24)

[The meditation below is adapted from the last chapter of my book, Faith Without Illusions: Following Jesus as a Cynic-Saint]   Holy Week is not necessarily a “happy week.”  The truth is, many of us are disillusioned.  Prayers tossed skyward have been met with no reply.  Our eyes have scanned the horizon for an immaterial…

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Seasoned in Ministry… or Rotten? Maturing vs. Decaying

I used to cut firewood every Autumn with my Dad.  We would drive the tractor into the woods bordering the fields of my grandparents’ farm.  He would cut the trees and I would split them and load them onto the old makeshift wagon my grandfather had built from plywood and an old axle.  Once we…

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