The Power of the Smudge

Today is Ash Wednesday on the Christian liturgical calendar.  That meant practically nothing in my decidedly sheltered southern Appalachian context.  It never even dawned on our conservative Pentecostal churches to pay any attention whatsoever to that sort of thing.  We were, after all, filled with the Spirit and ostensibly experiencing His presence every day, full … Continue reading The Power of the Smudge

The “Prototype” Christian

There is no such thing as a 'typical' Christian.  That was a profound wake-up call for me as a relatively cloistered White Southern Appalachian-American Holiness Pentecostal believer coming of age in the tumultuous '70's.  In those days, maintaining our 'testimony' was the primary qualifier when deciding on dress, conduct toward the opposite sex - pretty … Continue reading The “Prototype” Christian

No Fence on Mars Hill

There's an alarming trend taking hold in the modern church.  It's not really new - it happens every time something 'upsets the apple cart'.  Liberty itself seems perpetually under threat, and the source of that instability is us.  We are a study in paradox, maybe the greatest of which is our insatiable curiosity alongside our … Continue reading No Fence on Mars Hill

What’s This Salvation Thing, Anyway?

Every major religion touts some sort of salvation.  The Buddhist is forever in search of Nirvana, the Muslim seeks to merit favor by submission and good works, Oriental religions seek to maintain purity of cultural thought and uniformity.....the list goes on and on, but there is a common thread - almost all religion points to … Continue reading What’s This Salvation Thing, Anyway?