Zambora, Zec and Papa Bish

I love being a Papa but I must confess that I had a pretty good teacher. With the DuQuoin State Fair upon us, this one is for all the Papas out there who are making one insane memory at a time! Zambora the Gorilla Girl(DuQuoin, Illinois, circa 1993) There is no better grandfather in theContinue reading “Zambora, Zec and Papa Bish”

Recalling the DuQuoin State Fair

Thinking about the DuQuoin State Fair this morning. Generations of kids from DuQuoin literally grew up with this fair. We were it’s labor force. It was the biggest deal ever. I remember Sam the Candyman, Malone’s Taffy, First Heat dances, Car races, smoking hot days and nights, trotters, the Exhibition Hall, famous people walking throughContinue reading “Recalling the DuQuoin State Fair”

Charles Wesley, Worship Wars and my Mom

The most important thing a church does is engage people in the worship of God, so it does not surprise me that conflict in churches historically centers upon the way we worship.  Satan knows that if he can get churches expending energy debating worship styles, they will be all the less likely to actually worship. Continue reading Charles Wesley, Worship Wars and my Mom

Why We Lead…

I received two notes from highly committed parishioners. Both thanked me for effectively leading our church through “crisis.” My first thought was “which crisis?” Since 2016 or so, the church world has been in a perpetual state of crisis. The tornados keep touching down and the tornados already on the ground never seem to lift.Continue reading “Why We Lead…”

Sixty Years in the Learning

In early April, I turned sixty.  Sixty!  Despite the depressing sound of it, sixty has been better than I expected.  I am surrounded by love and by family.  God has blessed my ministry beyond anything I could have ever imagined.  I can still do most of what I could do when I was younger andContinue reading “Sixty Years in the Learning”

Why Words Matter

“Gentle words bring life and health; deceitful words crush the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4 The Bible opens in Genesis with words being spoken by God and the cosmos forming as a result. God said and there was. In the New Testament, Jesus heals, delivers and sets miracles into motion with words. When Jesus speaks, the KingdomContinue reading “Why Words Matter”

Strategic Reallocation of Resources (Post COVID)

Though COVID will “always be with us,” the pandemic seems largely over. It has been over for a while, the politicians and news outlets just needed another story to fill their news cycles. What that means for churches is where you presently are; is where you are going to be. No one else is comingContinue reading “Strategic Reallocation of Resources (Post COVID)”

Pound Cake and Sweet Tea

When we lived in Georgia during our seminary years, we resided in a planned community called a mill village. The houses had wrap around porches and people sat out front on warm summer evenings. They sat in painted metal gliders and wooden porch swings; always swaying as kids played in the sandy front yards. SomeContinue reading “Pound Cake and Sweet Tea”

Dealing with Disappointment (at Christmas)

It is 100% certain that you will be dealing with people who have disappointed you during this holiday season. When we are around people who have disappointed us in one way or the other, a myriad of emotions are sent into frenzy by our brain. Particularly if these people who have hurt us are peopleContinue reading “Dealing with Disappointment (at Christmas)”

A (Blue) Christmas Prayer

Almighty God,Be with those who are dreading the Christmas season this year.Be with those for whom loss and despair occlude hope and light.Be with those facing empty chairs at their tables and those who will sit at their tables alone.Be with those for whom this season reminds them of where they have failed and whatContinue reading “A (Blue) Christmas Prayer”