Don’s Column

The Love We Hold Back

Steven Spielburg’s 1989 movie ALWAYS is about a risk-taking aerial firefighter, played by Richard Dreyfuss, whose plane explodes after his heroic rescue of another pilot. He is mourned by the love of his life, played by Holly Hunter, but he is gifted with the ability to still speak to her and others he left behind. […]

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Why We Do What We Do

Several months ago, the desperate principal of a local elementary school called the director of our School on Sunday tutoring/mentoring program with an urgent request. She had a fourth grader that was two years behind academically. Both parents had been incarcerated for drug violations, and the remedial work the school was providing was not enough […]

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There is an often-overlooked scripture that recounts the final instructions of Jesus to the disciples before he ascends to heaven. Luke tells the story both in the final chapter of Luke and in the first chapter of Acts: “While he was in their company, he told them not to leave Jerusalem. ‘You must wait,’ he […]

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“But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.” —Luke 2:19 A couple of years ago I was doing some work at Siete Ranch and reached for a Bible that was sitting in a bookcase. The Bible had belonged to my mother, and I had never used it before. Upon opening it, […]

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Two Kinds of Religion

Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of Christian religious expression in America today. The first kind of religion aims to provide all the answers in black and white. It is the kind that says “We are going to tell you what to think about everything. We are going to tell you exactly how to think about God, […]

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Growing Deeper

I ran into Chico last week at the Pirate Café in Collinsville. We ate hamburgers together and talked about the weather and the crops. I was especially interested in his evaluation of the wheat crop this year. Like every farmer I’ve ever known, he was a bit pessimistic. That cautious approach to agricultural outcomes is […]

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It was Monday of Holy Week in 1974. I was a twenty-five-year-old associate and youth pastor at First United Methodist Church in Sherman, Texas. My phone rang early in the morning, and my Sr. Pastor, Dr. Earl Hoggard, told me his mother had passed away and that he was going to Oklahoma for her funeral. […]

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I’m Children Too

A few weeks ago I visited a member of our church in a residential memory care unit. He was having lunch at one of the tables, so I pulled up a chair and we had a reasonably coherent conversation about the events of the day. At one point, an older gentleman sitting opposite me joined […]

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The World Turned Green

Over the past seven days something utterly predictable, and yet nothing less than miraculous, has taken place. The world has turned green. Almost over night the pastures north of Dallas have transformed from dormant stubble into lush green grass, much of it what I call winter grass. But the coastal Bermuda is there, starting to […]

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Thank You

In the summer of 2014, I ran across a news story about a 92-year old plumber who had become a million-dollar donor in the state of Wisconsin. A member of the New London United Methodist Church, Stanley Cottrill had given $1 million to the Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation for their seminary scholarship fund. He had […]

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