7 Tips for Peaceful Family Holiday Get-togethers

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I come from a family of six. My mom and dad were high school sweethearts who married young and have stayed together for 50 years. They had four kids in about 10 minutes, and all of us crowded into a small three bedroom house that burned nearly to the ground when I was six. My [Read More...]

The Worst Day at Ardent Beats the Best Day Anywhere Else: A Salute to John Fry, Ardent Founder, & Memphis Music Legend

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One doesn’t typically use words like character, integrity, genuine, honest, and kind to describe executives in the music business, but that’s how those who knew him will surely remember John Fry. John was a singular figure in Memphis music. Reeling from the death of John Hampton just one week ago, the Ardent family of music producers, engineers, artists, [Read More...]

Monday Morning Confessional: Godspeed John Hampton

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I was at a party Friday night when I heard John Hampton had died. I was taken aback by how sad the news made me. I’ve been thinking of John and the whole Ardent family ever since. When we were making records at Ardent Studios in Memphis, John Hampton would usually be mixing or producing some big [Read More...]

Performance Riders, Doomsday Preppers, & Advent: Isaiah 40:1-11 (Advent 2B)

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In the entertainment business there’s this thing called a performance rider, a written list of the artist’s demands. The promoter agrees to prepare the venue exactly the way the artist likes it. The instructions for this are all in the rider. Given the prevalence of artistic eccentricity, some of the demands can be absurd. Beyonce’s Rider asks [Read More...]

Top Ten Gift Ideas For Book Lovers – 2014.

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As a book lover, and I don’t mean to be harsh, I find most of the gift ideas for book lovers to be terribly disappointing. Trust me, pajamas with books on them will be more likely to appeal to those who don’t read books. We don’t want bookmarks, nor do we want–wait for it–a bedtime story duvet cover [Read More...]

Advent: The Great Decrescendo (Advent 1B – Isaiah 64:1-9)

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This was the message on the first Sunday of Advent, 2014 for Redemption Church. If you are a pastor feel free to copy & steal (w/attribution please!). You can listen to the message here.     Advent 1B – Isaiah 64:1-9 / Waiting “O, that you would tear open the heavens and come down.” Today [Read More...]

Monday Morning Confessional

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I confess that I have not written a Monday Morning Confessional since October 20th. That I have not written one has much to do with the fact that I am attempting to take a real Sabbath from Sunday afternoon until Monday afternoon. My definition of Sabbath is anything but rigid. Sabbath means almost anything that encourages delight, [Read More...]

Religion that Professes Concern with the Souls of Men, but Not the Slums that Damn Them…

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“Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them, is a spiritually moribund [at the point of death] religion.” – Martin Luther King Jr.   In a letter written [Read More...]

On Civil Disobedience

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This essay was originally a sermon written for Redemption Church on November 09, 2014. If you are a pastor, feel free to copy and steal. __________________________________ “Even powers that seem invincible are vulnerable to love, which is why God’s love has so often taken the form of the civil disobedience of God’s people.” __________________________________ Somewhere [Read More...]

Saint Brennan Manning: A Ragamuffin to the End

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This was originally a sermon preached at Redemption Church on 11 NOV 2014. If you are a pastor, please feel free to copy and steal. One of the important aspects of our discipleship, often overlooked, involves the understanding that our relationship with God didn’t just appear out of thin air. Our faith has a history [Read More...]


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