February 19th, 2018

Cecil’s family left it up to me to choose the New Testament lesson for this service.  There’s a bit of a risk in that, I suppose!  It took me most of the weekend, but the Lord seemed to put into my mind this morning the perfect Scripture for C. Bost.

The Bible includes a number of metaphors for the church.  You’ve probably heard of “the body of Christ” or “the bride of Christ.” There’s also the church as a family or  garden. Each of the biblical metaphors is rich in meaning.

A metaphor used less frequently is the church as a building.  That makes the parts of the church stones – or as Jesus’ disciple Peter calls them in chapter 2 of his first letter, “living stones.”  The metaphor was particularly meaningful for Peter, because the name Peter means “rock,” and it was a nickname Jesus himself gave to Peter (Mark 3:16).

So why is a “living stone” so appropriate a theme as we celebrate the life of C. Bost? Read more »

February 18th, 2018

One Thing

In the midst of your “many things,” keep doing the “one thing” you know to do.

Luke 10:28-32


We have pictures!

The introductory question on this week’s Bible study sheet read:  “If someone were to look at your (pick one) calendar, financial accounts, social media posts, or emails and texts for the last week, what would that person think is your top priority?”

There would be no question for me the last two weeks. A 10-pound bundle of joy named Arlo has captured Linda’s and my hearts. Read more »

February 18th, 2018

Catawba Valley Interfaith Council

February 18, 2018

Thank you, Don Flick and the Catawba Valley Interfaith Council, for entrusting me with this privilege.  With as many options as the Council had locally for today’s presentation, it is humbling to represent the Christian perspective in this significant conversation.  I also want to thank my friend Dennis Jones for getting this dialogue started so well last week.  He said he didn’t feel qualified to reflect on Bruce Feiler’s work.  I don’t feel qualified to follow Dennis Jones!

You probably know (or might guess) that my heritage, training, and vocation are distinctively Christian.  Not many of you know that I was raised in a Muslim country and I have a Jewish grandson! Read more »

February 3rd, 2018

This is undoubtedly a first for Corinth Reformed Church – a funeral meditation by videotape. The reason for it is not all that complicated. I’m the only pastor Nancy has known for 25 years. Nancy’s children very much wanted me to be a part of this service, and I very much wanted that as well. But as you meet together today, my wife Linda and I are in Hawaii enjoying our first grandchild, who was born in December. As important as it was for Nancy’s children and for me that I be a part of this service, we all knew that Nancy adored her own grandchildren, and would be adamant that where I belong right now is with my grandson.

Still, there is an undeniable irony here, and I’m not sure any of us really wanted to ask the question families often ask, “Would Nancy Dowdy want it this way?” Pioneering the replacement of personal presence with technology does not sound at all like Nancy Dowdy. Read more »

February 1st, 2018

I suppose it’s only fair that I begin with a brief explanation of why I chose the Scriptures I read. Kelly described her grandmother to me as “a needle in cotton,” a phrase from Tai Chi. One blogger explains, “the motion is soft and flowing, yielding gently like a ball of cotton, but with cold, hard steel on the inside. The practitioner yields to a push or a punch, making the pusher or puncher feel like he is moving against air, then suddenly turns the force around into a shock that knocks the other party off his feet.”

When I preach a memorial service, I like to look for some aspect of the person’s life that illustrates a biblical principle, or illustrates the Gospel, or reveals the character of God. We humans, after all, are created in the image of God, so we should be able to find in every human being some reflection of what God is like. Read more »