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Rite of passage: Country churches, Part 3
Sep11

Rite of passage: Country churches, Part 3

I grew up going to a small country church, Six Mile Baptist Church to be exact. I am not sure who said, “You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy,” but in some ways, that is true. Even though I have left the country to serve in larger churches across America, I still see myself as that small country church boy. There have been many times, as I drove past one of these churches and saw all...

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Rite of passage: Translation tales
Sep04

Rite of passage: Translation tales

I have spent most of my career working overseas, engaging the lost. I have used hundreds of translators over the last 45 years to interpret as I preached the Gospel. One day, I spoke to a group in China where seven different Chinese dialects were represented. Next to me stood seven different interpreters. As I spoke, the man next to me translated from English into Mandarin, the next from Mandarin into Cantonese, the next from...

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Rite of passage: Free examples
Aug28

Rite of passage: Free examples

My life has been drastically altered in the past week. Titus the Honorable has started kindergarten, which has brought our freewheeling, adventurous lifestyle to an abrupt halt. It was fun while it lasted. Titus now has to be in bed at 7:30 p.m. and is only available to hang out with Poppy on evenings or weekends. And for the first time, I have to work my schedule around his. To take advantage of our first weekend, he and I decided to...

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Rite of passage: Retirement reflections
Aug21

Rite of passage: Retirement reflections

I have done a thousand things in my life. I have been a photographer, printer, welder, skydiver, bus driver, hired hand, paper boy, magician, puppeteer, pastor and youth pastor, missionary, soldier, stained glass artist, mobile home salesman, author, speaker, babysitter, lawn care worker—and those are just a few of the things I have done to make a living. But last week, I did something I have never done before: I retired. After 20...

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Rite of passage: Stuck in church
Aug14

Rite of passage: Stuck in church

The other day, Titus the Honorable asked me a question: “Do you remember when you and me used to go to the movies all the time?” I had to smile. Titus is only 4 years old, and I have only taken him to the movies twice. But I answered, “Yes.” “Poppy, what ever happened to that?” This kid is smart. He has already earned a Ph.D. in manipulating his Poppy. I explained to him that I wouldn’t be leaving town as much as in the past and that,...

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