The Way of the Cross

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Weeks ago I was touched by a prayer, its words penned and lifted by my friend, Reverend Andrew Whaley, pastor of First Presbyterian Church here in Jefferson City, Tennessee.   He's younger than my children... and wise beyond his years.   I've been waiting until today—the beginning of Holy Week—to share its beauty with you. May you be blessed, encouraged, and challenged by its truths even as I continue to be.     The way of the cross looks treacherous, its shadow foreboding, its call fraught with danger.   And yet, precious Jesus, we have the audacity to hang it here in your house of worship so that we cannot divert our gaze away.   In a world that tells us to pump up our ego, this ... Keep Reading...

A Place at the Table

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Within walking distance of my old house is a beautiful old church, its members part of our community since before its official founding in 1867.     The church stands stately just a couple of blocks up the hill from the Mossy Creek Historic District we're working so hard to revive.   Unlike some churches of longstanding, this church makes intentional efforts to be welcoming... even if all that's needed is a quiet place to sit and reflect or pray.     But a few weeks ago—in the middle of cold, snowy weather—neighbors around the church received their invitation.     Their invitation to the table.   Every family living within a mile radius of the church was ... Keep Reading...

A New Day for the Mossy Creek Historic District

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You've heard the saying...   The devil is in the detail.   A few short blocks down the hill from my old house is the historic district of our small town. It's full of architectural detail!     Unfortunately, there's also a whole lot of What the devil happened... and why?     Our once-bustling downtown, graced with stately old buildings, was pushed aside by false illusions of progress. Back in the 1950s, a new four-lane highway was added on the south side of town—and one by one, downtown businesses were drawn away. Don't blame me! I didn't live here when the downhill spiral began...   It's really quite a painful sight...   It is in dialogue with pain ... Keep Reading...