If Only One

I’m not sure I remember the year, but I sure recall the moment. I was a young Jr. High youth director, still in college in fact. Our group had spent the week in Mexico doing evangelistic ministry in mountain villages, traveling from Tennessee in a … Read More

3 Tips for Living Well: Father’s Day Advice from my Dad

My daughter recently wrote a simple piece about my father for a class she was taking. The assignment? Interview someone you admire, and write about their life. So she did. She called my dad and talked on three separate occasions, conversing each time for about … Read More

The Justice Equation

Growing up, my mother would often say to me, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” It was a direct exhortation to watch out for the temptation to respond to injustice with injustice. My guess is you’ve heard the same thing in one way or another, … Read More

5 Things I Learned from our Regathering

Last Sunday our local body of believers regathered. After nine weeks of virtual church, we were able to once again meet physically. Yep, live and in person.  Here are (at least) five things I learned from our first week back together.   Communication pays off. We built … Read More

Justice Doesn’t Need a Qualifier

Ahmaud Arbury. George Floyd. Two men who died unjustly. When I watched the graphic videos, I was left with a raw speechlessness. And even rawer questions. Why chase a young man ruthlessly with guns? Why ignore an older man’s pleas for air? Whatever happened to … Read More

In Memory: Phil Smith, the Chain Breaker!

Today we laid to rest the body of Phil Smith, Julie’s father. Phil was a humble Christian, committed husband, involved father, and loyal Adrian Maple. For those who never knew Phil or anything about his past, perhaps this brief excerpt from chapter 2 of my … Read More

Yes, Your Pastor Needs Pastored

One reason churches need elders is because there will be times when an elder needs elders. Or, to say it another way, one reason churches need pastors is because there will be times when a pastor needs pastors. For yours truly, one of those times … Read More

The Grace and Grit to Regather

Leaders across our state and country are asking this question increasingly: When, and how, should we begin regathering? What does it look like to reconvene in a COVID-19 culture? It Will Take Grace Without a doubt there are multiple answers to that question. They will … Read More

Weep Not For Me

I’ve had a lifelong desire to live to be 100. For some reason, I have always felt a pull to be a centenarian. Admittedly, only God knows our ordained days. But if I could pick a target age, I’d shoot for the first of the … Read More

Idols are like Weeds: They Grow Back

COVID-19 has brought us face to face with many of our idols. As various elements of our lifestyle were wrangled away from us in varying degrees—sports, work, entertainment, shopping, leisure, to name a few—the stark reality of our addictions were exposed. The days and weeks … Read More