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Rite of passage: Luggage adventures
Sep19

Rite of passage: Luggage adventures

Recently, my wife and I took a much-needed vacation. It was a short one, just five days, but we loved the rest and the time away. Flying back into Tulsa, we were excited, because we knew Titus the Honorable and Cohen the Goodhearted would be there to greet us. Nothing says “Welcome home” like two little boys yelling your name as soon as they see you. As we came out of airport security, Titus spotted me and yelled “Poppy!” Then he ran...

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Rite of passage: The great hymnal robbery
Sep12

Rite of passage: The great hymnal robbery

In the late ‘50s, our little country church congregation was split down the middle. The older people wanted to keep the hymnals we already had, but the younger generations wanted a new hymnal that contained some of the more contemporary hymns. Now, if you know anything about Baptists, you know they are the most agreeable and gracious people on earth—that is, until they don’t get their way. We held a well-attended business meeting...

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Rite of passage: Called to be a pastor
Sep05

Rite of passage: Called to be a pastor

I have been around pastors and other clergymen most of my life. Being a pastor is the best and the worst. Most of this depends on how the reviews come in on last week’s sermon. But people have lots of preconceived ideas and misconceptions about what it means to pastor a church. Here are five truths your pastor would like you to know: 1. We don’t all look or sound like Billy Graham. I think Dr. Graham is one of the coolest-looking...

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Rite of passage: Superpowers
Aug29

Rite of passage: Superpowers

Recently we had a tornado touch down in my hometown of Tulsa, close to our house and office. The office didn’t sustain any damage, even though the buildings on each side of us did. The only destruction the tornado caused at our home was to blow down the fence between my neighbor and me. I didn’t mind the fence falling down, but I was really upset that it fell into our yard. There seems to be an unwritten rule that whose yard the fence...

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Rite of passage: My heroes
Aug22

Rite of passage: My heroes

Recently, I wrote two articles about what it was like to grow up in a small church. From the responses, I realized most of my readers grew up in a church just like mine. If you still have that annoying “stand up” and “sit down” chorus from Vacation Bible School stuck forever in your mind, then you too grew up in a small church. Our church may have been small, but it was always pointing us to a bigger and a more global aspect of the...

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