mama

Mama Tried

When I heard the news last month that country music legend Merle Haggard had died, I immediately remembered a rainy night in Georgia more than thirty years earlier. With oozing red clay rising above the ankles of my Converse tennis shoes, I slogged through a monsoon to a pole barn in an open field, a…
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Kid5

Pride Goeth Before A Tinkle

Sometimes everything comes together perfectly: In life, at home, even in church. I had one of those perfect Sunday mornings not long ago. The weather was warm and pleasant. The sky was clear. It was one of those days in which you could actually feel the life around and within you. Worshipers entered the sanctuary…
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peace

“Let It Begin With Me”

In the summer of 1955, singer-songwriter Sy Miller and wife Jill Jackson, introduced a song to a group of teenagers at a California mountain retreat. This multi-cultural group, purposely chosen because of their diversity, was the first to hear and sing what would become an American standard: “Let there be peace on earth,” the familiar…
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kirie

Lord Have Mercy

Maybe all prayer can be reduced to two words: “Kyrie Eleison.” The translation, “Lord, have mercy.” This is the usual prayerful response in most liturgical churches. During that portion of the worship service that involves the “Prayers of the People,” the priest or deacon will rise to lead and say something like, “With all our…
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rain67

Praying For Rain

I love an old story that circulates in my family about my great-great grandfather, a fiery circuit-riding preacher named John Martin McBrayer. “The Reverend,” or just “Preacher,” as he was known, traversed the Southern Appalachians on horseback, going church to church, camp meeting to camp meeting, and revival to revival preaching anywhere he was given…
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