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Leaving Salem

Leaving Salem

Jesus Archives

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

posted by ronniemcbrayer

At some time in the ancient past our ancestors began to watch the sun make its journey though the midday sky. It didn’t take long to figure out the days and nights, but somewhere in our DNA was the need […]

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“Enter to Worship…Leave to Serve”

posted by ronniemcbrayer

In the gospels there is an account where Jesus is transformed – “transfigured” is the traditional word – on a mountainside. Jesus picked back up the glory that was once his before his incarnation. His body and clothes become brilliant […]

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How to Handle a Hammer

posted by ronniemcbrayer

Almost as well known as the cross of Christ, was his occupation. Jesus was a carpenter. In fact, he spent far more of his earthly years with a tape measure in his hand rather than a Bible. His preparatory school […]

Sancta Ignorantia

posted by ronniemcbrayer

Having lunch with friends recently, we began talking about our earliest childhood memories. Maybe you have a firmer grip on your memory than we do, but none of us could recall anything but flashbulb moments before our kindergarten years. My […]

Jesus as the Way, not standing in the way

posted by ronniemcbrayer

“I am the way, the truth and the life,” Jesus said. We Christians are quick to fasten hold of these words. We properly talk about his uniqueness, Jesus’ distinctive nature, but maybe we miss the point. Rather than treating Jesus […]

The Last Loaf of Bread

posted by ronniemcbrayer

“If there was one last loaf of bread in this town it would be mine.” I swear that’s what he said. He being a rather pretentious member of the clergy, stating how God would take care of him should the […]

“McDonaldization”

posted by ronniemcbrayer

“McDonaldization.” I love that word. It was first coined by sociologist George Ritzer to describe American culture. The predictable, robotic means of producing hamburgers and fries, according to Ritzer, has overtaken our society. Like one giant automated system everything from […]

Holy Ignorance

posted by ronniemcbrayer

Thoughts for Ash Wednesday

posted by ronniemcbrayer

It’s Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Lent is the season of the year that many Christians use to prepare for Easter and the Holy Week. As an adult I have come to appreciate this time of preparation. As […]

The “Will” of God

posted by ronniemcbrayer

During World War Two the Nazis set up a camp where prisoners were forced to labor amid barbarous conditions. Prisoners were ordered to move a huge pile of garbage from one area of the camp to another. The next day […]

Save Jesus a Seat

posted by ronniemcbrayer

I struck up a conversation with a man at the coffee shop the other day. He was a nice chap. We talked about the usual neighborly dribble: The weather, the news, work. When he discovered I was a “Christian,” he […]

The Kingdom of God is like…The Mighty Mississippi

posted by ronniemcbrayer

The kingdom of God. This was Jesus’ favorite subject. We find the phrase on Jesus’ lips more than a hundred times in the gospels. If forced to parse Jesus’ message down to one theme, this would be it. But what […]

It “Resonates, Percolates and Unsettles”

posted by ronniemcbrayer

By Dawn Cribbs, Associate Editor, McCook Daily Gazette A new book is a treasure to hold. As a writer and a prolific reader, new books generally don’t stay new very long if they’re within my reach. Also, unless borrowed from […]

Home, Not-So-Sweet, Home

posted by ronniemcbrayer

Not long ago I returned to my hometown to speak at a former congregation’s “homecoming Sunday.” Homecoming is a combination of gospel music, sweet reunions, blissful nostalgia, and of course the famed “dinner on the grounds.” My family and I […]

“Hey Dad…Chill.”

posted by ronniemcbrayer

“You know Dad, you do a lot of good work in the world, but you need to chill out a little.” So said my eight-year-old son as I clicked the “off” button on my cell phone. He and I were […]

A Drug Problem

posted by ronniemcbrayer

There I sat, stranded in a continuing education conference for a week. The lectures made me sleepy. The content bored me to tears. The schedule, unrelenting, did not allow for more than fifteen minutes of freedom at a time. Oh, […]

My Jesus Versus Your Jesus

posted by ronniemcbrayer

Reverend Ken Autry is the former pastor at First United Methodist Church on the lake yard in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. I say, “former” pastor only because he has now moved on to another appointment. Those Methodists won’t let their preachers […]

Previous Posts

An Apple Pie Could Change the World...Or at Least Change Yours
When my wife’s boss first moved to our small town it was more than a little culture shock. Raised on the slick windy streets ofChicago, he had mastered the ways of the urban jungle, but this experience had done little to prepare him for the Deep South. He had never eaten grits. He did not know wh

posted 4:16:42am Sep. 04, 2012 | read full post »

Learning to Let Go
There are things in our life that are very, very good. Money, family, jobs, church, possessions, friends: These are all good and in many cases irreplaceable, but you cannot build your life on these things and expect your life to sustain itself. These can all turn to sand. Money vanishes a lot quicke

posted 4:12:16am Aug. 31, 2012 | read full post »

Getting an Education
My children have returned to school; let the rejoicing begin. But I don't know why they go to school. They know everything already, just like I did when I was their age. See, when I was a kid, I really thought my father was something. I looked up to him as if he was a superhero who could leap tall b

posted 4:05:34am Aug. 28, 2012 | read full post »

Step into the Water
My youngest son was baptized recently. I had the honor of dipping his little shaggy head under the river that runs near our home. It wasn't quite like my own baptism, however. When I was his age, however, I was terrified of water. I didn’t learn to swim until I was an adult, so commanded by Jesus

posted 4:57:42am Aug. 24, 2012 | read full post »

Vow-Keeping Faith
When the ancients spoke of faith, they used a word that described a signature on a contract or a title deed. Faith was the oath that lay beneath such a document. A buyer may not have yet taken full possession of the property, but the closing documents gave them the faith that they one day would. Fa

posted 4:53:56am Aug. 21, 2012 | read full post »

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