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Rite of passage: The green room
Oct09

Rite of passage: The green room

I have the privilege of speaking at some of the largest churches in the United States. Because the services are televised worldwide and the messages have mass exposures, there are sometimes threats from unstable individuals. When I preach in these churches, I must follow their protocols. One megachurch where I preach has a bodyguard who comes and picks me up from my hotel. He drives around to the back of the church, and I have to wait...

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Rite of passage: Love Potion No. 9
Oct02

Rite of passage: Love Potion No. 9

It was 1963; I was a pimply-faced, hormonally imbalanced 12-year-old. Half the world was telling me to find myself, and the other half was telling me to get lost. I wasn’t alone. I had plenty of company known as the Baby Boomers; we were all in the same boat without a sail. The turmoil of the ’60s wasn’t helping us feel secure: riots in the street; draft dodgers protesting against the Vietnam War; LSD, marijuana and other...

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Rite of passage: Titus, tornadoes and timberline
Sep25

Rite of passage: Titus, tornadoes and timberline

I love to hike. But my fascination with this activity didn’t start until I reached my 60s. It began when I was training for my climb up Mount Kilimanjaro. For two years, I hiked up mountains, hills and every place I could find to prepare for that journey. After successfully making that challenging climb, I have kept on hiking. In fact, hiking has become the go-to activity for Titus the Honorable and me. I am not sure which my oldest...

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Rite of passage: Perfectly imperfect
Sep18

Rite of passage: Perfectly imperfect

When my wife and I go to the grocery store, she doesn’t like me to shadow her. She knows I will throw non-list items into her cart that she deems unnecessary. “We don’t need these cookies; we have plenty at home,” she will say. “But we don’t have any like these,” I argue. “I have never tried the lavender dark chocolate chip kind.” Then we begin to negotiate. “When you finish the picante dark chocolate chip cookies you bought last...

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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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