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Renaissance, Reformation, and Restoration

The Renaissance When we divide world history into discrete periods – realizing, of course, that nothing, in reality, is ever as neat and tidy as it appears in a textbook – the ebb of learning that characterized much of the Middle Ages is followed by the Renaissance (c. 1300-1517). The dependence on institutional authority that defined much of medieval life for common people – not least in the church – was rejected for an individualism manifested primarily as faith in…
Tombstones with American Flags on Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery

How Do You Want to be Remembered?

No one is entirely sure how Memorial Day got started. It is so shrouded in mystery that it is a little scholarly specialty; Columbus State University in Georgia even has a dedicated Center for Memorial Day Research. But whatever its origins in this country, whether in the Civil War or earlier, the fundamental practice of Memorial Day – decorating the graves of soldiers – is an ancient one. Human beings, across civilizations, continents, and millennia of history, have sought to…

Lazy Sunday

I passed by the field of a sluggard,     by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,  and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;     the ground was covered with nettles,     and its stone wall was broken down. Then I saw and considered it;     I looked and received instruction. A little sleep, a little slumber,     a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber,     and want like an armed man. –Proverbs 24:30-34 No…

Once Upon a Pew

Once upon a pew I sat. And heard the preacher ask “We need someone to teach an adult class, Now who will take this task?” Then God sat down beside me there And said, “Son, that’s for you.” “But, Lord, to stand before a class Is one thing I can’t do. Now Brett or Don would be the men to call, There’s nothing they won’t do. I’d rather hear the lesson taught From here upon my pew.” Once upon a…