Category: Churches of Christ

My Top Ten Anti-Resolutions for 2008

Why start off 2008 with a laundry list of resolutions that I know I won’t keep? No, no, better to make anti-resolutions, things that I know, absolutely without a doubt, I will never, ever do this year…

1) Serve on another committee. I wasn’t just any committee member. I was a bona fide read-all-the-emails, attend-all-the-meetings, believed-I-could-actually-make-a-difference kind of committee member. I was determined to overcome my natural cynicism and play well with others. Ha! What was I thinking? Eyegal kept telling me: “Careful, Mike, you’re gonna get burned.”

I hate it the way she’s right all the time. Bureaucracies, whether they be at work or church (and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference), suck.… Read the rest

Straight to the Soul

In keeping with my current theme of saying little and listening a lot, I will say this: This is what I’m listening to.

Some in my beloved Church of Christ tradition will ask this question: Yeah, but can you understand what they’re saying?

Answer: No, not really (save for a phrase or two now and then). But it doesn’t really matter. You see, there is more to God than print on a page, and there are some things that bypass the left brain and head straight to the soul.

Read the rest


One of my favorite parts about visiting my Mom in Virginia is exploring the museum that is her house and searching among the archives and exhibits for long lost treasures.

Among the items that I’ve found (and rescued) in the past:

  • My collection of Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars (unfortunately, I couldn’t locate the Hot Wheels Supercharger Sprint Set)
  • My baseball and sports card collection (and it is a very good one if I have to say so myself)
  • My scrapbooks from elementary, junior high and high school which contain old class pictures and portraits, 4-H and church camp ribbons, newspaper clippings containing my super-amazing, jaw-dropping feats on the tennis courts and cross country trails (heh), my acceptance letter to Duke University and goofy letters from an old high school girlfriend which still hold the slightest hint of perfume.
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Let’s Hear It For The Little Guy

Among all the things that Pope Benedict XVI has stated recently, it’s important to remember one thing that he did not say: that those believers outside the Roman Catholic Church are not true Christians.

And I don’t believe that he would say that, because that’s not the official teaching of the Catholic Church (although there are many Catholics still today who might say that). What he did say is that those “ecclesial communities” formed by those other Christians are not churches in the “proper sense” because they do not have apostolic succession and are therefore “defective.” That has always been the view of the Catholic Church and the Pope is, for whatever reasons, basically stating what has always been official teaching.… Read the rest

C’mon In Boys, The Water Is Fine–Part 2

There are certain immutable laws of the universe which govern the course of the day. The sun rises in the east and sits in the west. Politicians will talk a good game, and when push comes to shove, fail to follow through (or use their fists instead). And whenever I absolutely have to be somewhere in a hurry, I will inevitably end up behind an octogenarian in an Olds. Or in this case, a memaw in a Marquis.

There were no cars behind me or coming toward me, and it would have been a simple matter to have downshifted, crossed the double yellow, and blown granny’s doors off on my way to church.… Read the rest

C’mon In Boys, The Water Is Fine–Part 1

“Well that’s it, boys. I’ve been redeemed. The preacher’s done warshed away all my sins and transgressions. It’s the straight and narrow from here on out, and heaven everlasting’s my reward…Neither God nor man’s got nothin’ on me now. C’mon in boys, the water is fine.”

–Delmar O’Donnell in O Brother Where Art Thou

The phone rang in the middle of the night, shattering my blissful slumber like a Louisville Slugger against a plate-glass window.

Okay, whoa—better nix the miserable metaphor and start over. It was really only 10:30pm. But after the kind of day I had Sunday, I needed the extra rest.… Read the rest

Pretty Grads All in a Robe

Yesterday was Senior Sunday at our church. That’s “senior” as in high school, not the over-the-hill, AARP type. There were 26 seniors this year, which, as we say in the South, is a whole big mess of ’em.

They marched down the center aisle of the church, clad in their graduations robes–brown, burgundy, white, red, purple, power blue. This was the start of a new tradition this year. But just barely. It was announced last week that they would wear their robes, and as one might expect, there was a great hue and cry and a week’s worth of high drama.… Read the rest

Found Jesus? Part II

Bad boy Billy Ray finally came forward for baptism at a Church of Christ in L.A. (Lower Alabama). Preacher and the whole con-gree-gay-shun rushed down to the river before Billy Ray changed his mind.

Preacher put him under quickly, making sure that all body parts were completely covered by the cleansing flood. He held Billy Ray under a right smahutt time, sews it would take real good and all.

Finally, he lifted Billy Ray out of the water. “Have you found Jesus?” Preacher asked.

Gagging and spitting, Billy Ray tried to reply but couldn’t before Preacher did something highly unorthodox for a Church of Christ evangelist–he put him under again.… Read the rest

Shall We Dance? Part III

From the oldest of times, people danced for a number of reasons. They danced in prayer or so their crops would be plentiful… They danced to stay physically fit and to show their community spirit. And they danced to celebrate, and that is the dancing we are talking about. Aren’t we told in Psalms 149, ‘Praise ye the Lord, sing unto the Lord a new song, Let them praise his name in dance.’ It was king David that we read about in Samuel, and what did he do? He ‘danced before the Lord with all of his might, leaping and dancing’… Ecclesiastes assures us that ‘there is a time for every purpose under heaven.’
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Shall We Dance? Part II

Students are not allowed to social dance or go to dance clubs, bars or other inappropriate places of entertainment.

Harding University Student Handbook, page 11

Another crowd of souls is led in their wantonness to abandon themselves to clumsy motions, to dance and sing, and form rings of dancers. Finally, raising their haunches and hips, they float along with a tremulous motion of the loins.

Arnobius c. 305 CE

Social dance–a major category or classification of danceforms or dance styles, where sociability and socializing are the primary focuses of the dancing.


Since the early days of the church, Christians, such as Arnobius, have struggled to make peace with the reality that they must live their lives in material bodies, complete with urges, instincts and natural cycles and rhythms.… Read the rest