I had the pleasure Tuesday of interviewing Pastor Billy Benson at Garland Road Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma. My favorite part of these clergy interviews is hearing how they discerned their call to ministry, and the path toward surrendering to that call. Benson was called as a teen, during an altar call at Falls Creek, … Continue reading Answering the call: How can we say ‘Yes’ to God today?
In my previous post I wrote briefly on the new Justice Department religious liberty task force, announced Monday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The AG's words in making that announcement, I wrote, revealed an intent steeped in fear and intolerance, and having little to do with true religious liberty: Sessions spoke Monday of a “dangerous … Continue reading Religious liberty: A lesson hard-won through oppression
This sermon was delivered at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Enid, Okla., Sunday, July 29, 2018. In reading this week’s lessons my mind was drawn back to a parable – not a biblical parable, but one I think is relevant nonetheless. It’s often, possibly incorrectly, attributed as a Native American story, commonly known as the … Continue reading Which wolf will you feed?
“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs … Continue reading The bonds that set us free
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 In Greek mythology Sisyphus was a man of excessive pride, who believed he could outsmart the gods. As punishment, Sisyphus … Continue reading Set down your boulder
“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:4b-5 This scene occurs immediately before the Ascension, and Jesus is telling the apostles to wait patiently … Continue reading Waiting in joy and praise
Whoever says, “I am in the light,” while hating a brother or sister, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates another believer is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because … Continue reading The light of life
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Ephesians 1:18-19 St. Paul tells us to look with eyes of the heart, and to see nothing … Continue reading Seeing with the eyes of the heart
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 Moses is speaking to the Israelites, reassuring them as he prepares to hand over leadership to Joshua. He knows he soon will die, and the Israelites must go on without him, … Continue reading The banks of the Jordan
All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be … Continue reading A prayer for oneness