Truth: Remember?

  "Remember your baptism!" said the old man with arthritic hands, bellowing from the pulpit. "Remember..." I sat in the pew, head skyward, picking at the curled pages of the bible. "Remember your baptism!" I stared at the dulled (muted) stained glass Jesus staring back at me. "Remember..." Yeah, yeah, yeah. I heard it last…

Truth: Opposition

Recently I went before my presbytery to move forward in my ordination process and had to face a variety of questions about myself and my calling asked by church pastors and elders.  I stood before that fine group of people with my soul bare and naked and I attempted to answer their questions as best…

Truth: Burning.

Villa Grove is a dot on the map, not even a stop – it’s simply a place people drive through, and while there are a few residents within the immediate township, most of the people are scattered around the San Luis Valley.  The residents of the area moved there to enjoy the tranquility of the…

Truth: On Leave.

Out of character, I’ve been pretty defensive lately, keeping my guard up with the people around me.  Part of it is because there are a handful of students who have learned some of the tricks of the chaplaincy trade and they can now crack the toughest shell with ease (and I need to maintain my…

Truth: Always.

One of the things I’ve learned in seminary (or adjacent to seminary) is to be aware of patterns that occur in life around me: particular words, themes, struggles, or bible verses that keep occurring day after day.  In my final week of interning at a church here in Austin, I was bombarded by the words…

Truth: Failed Missions.

I spent last week in San Antonio with 31-ish middle school students working to repair homes in the city – it was hard, sweaty, and difficult work. Hard because I and my co-leader spent most of our time corralling teenagers who had no construction experience. Sweaty because, well, Texas in the summer. Difficult because we…

Truth: Disappointment.

As a child I received my fair share of spankings.  My parents never doled them out in anger and rarely did they act in the moment.  And they never truly hurt - the mere thought of the punishment was what caused me to cry - getting caught was never a happy moment.  While spanking was…

Truth: Hidden.

The church I’m attending is doing a summer series titled “Hidden Figures” – it's about the small, not-well-known people in the Bible who have had major impacts on the people around them.  I haven’t thought about most of these people – Micah of Moresheth, Ananias, the daughters of Zelophehad (and others) – but they’ve had…

Truth: Gossip.

I usually start my favorite conversations with: “Did you hear what happened?!”  Immediately following this question I give the scoop – who it was, what they did, when it happened, where it happened, and why they did it.  My high school journalism teacher would be proud that I am able to report so succinctly after…

Truth: Evil.

I recently finished up my paperwork to move into the next step for ordination.  One of the things I had to do was write out my faith statement followed by a deeper explanation of one of the subjects within that statement.  A brief, one-page explanation.  I chose to write about evil, because that’s easy to…