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Articles written by Ronnie Mcbrayer

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 By Ronnie McBrayer    Church    January 8, 2014 

Choose the future

Last year the Old South Congregational Church in Boston began to unravel itself from a quandary. They had been the longtime owners of an exceptional church hymnal, one of the first books produced in North America, printed in 1640. After years of deli…

 By Ronnie McBrayer    Church    December 18, 2013

Shalom (third week of advent)

“On earth peace, goodwill toward men,” sang the angels on the first Christmas morning. The Hebrew word for peace is shalom. In Judaism shalom is a living concept, not a word; a vision for how life could be, should be, and the life God is pulling…

 By Ronnie McBrayer    Church    November 6, 2013

Keeping the Faith for Birthing Babies

Making my usual pastoral rounds at the local hospital some time ago, I witnessed the most unusual of circumstances. A dilapidated Buick had jumped the parking lot curb and had crash-landed in the flower garden just outside the main doors. The…

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    October 8, 2013

Fan the flame

Even a one hour weather delay couldn’t stop Seattle Seahawk fans from breaking the Guinness World record for loudest stadium. As our team played victoriously against the San Francisco 49ers on September 15 cheers reached a decibel reading of…

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    October 1, 2013


Years ago my sister traveled to the Ukraine on a mission trip. She worked among the indigenous Christians on a number of worthy projects, and when her time ran up, she returned home with a heart full of joy, a head full of memories, and bags full of…

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    September 24, 2013


You may not be aware of this, but our planet and its people should be bursting with relieved celebration, because 30 years ago this week, life as we have known it, came perilously close to the end. It was September 1983, and the Cold War was…

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    September 17, 2013

Keeping the Faith | A Conspiracy of Kindness

An ancient story, often retold but never without relevance, has one of the Egyptian Pharaohs making a strange request of his priests. As the sacrificial ox was being slain at the altar, the Pharaoh demands that the holy men bring to him the holiest…

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    September 3, 2013

KEEPING THE FAITH | Let Your Soul Catch Up

The first Labor Day celebration was observed in New York City in 1882. It was not intended to be the official end of summer. It was a movement to honor “the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our…

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    August 13, 2013

Keeping the Faith | No more show-and-tell

In American literature, the biggest religious pretender of all time is probably Sinclair Lewis’ Elmer Gantry. While most of us have not read the book, we may remember the movie. The film was a 1960 masterpiece starring Burt Lancaster in an…

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    July 2, 2013


My wife attended Lutheran Catechism. My neighbor went to an Adventist Sabbath class. My college friend was enrolled in a Yeshiva. And I attended Sunday School. I suppose these are all different names for a similar religious rite of passage: The…

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    June 25, 2013

KEEPING THE FAITH: Some assembly required

Do you know the three most frightening words in the English language? “Some assembly required.” You order something online; a toy or a bicycle for your children. Or you go to a big box store to get a grill or piece of patio furniture….

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    June 18, 2013

KEEPING THE FAITH: Thanks dad, for wising up

I’m writing this article while sitting in my father’s chair. You know the chair of which I speak. It is that ratty old recliner that occupies the living room, den, or man-cave that no guest or other family member is ever allowed access….

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    June 11, 2013


I’m writing this article while sitting in my father’s chair. You know the chair of which I speak. It is that ratty old recliner that occupies the living room, den, or man-cave that no guest or other family member is ever allowed access….

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    May 21, 2013


Curtain climbers. yard monkeys. cherubs. whippersnappers. ankle biters. urchins. I don’t know what you call them, but our children have been turned loose on the world. School is out for summer (at least it ends this week here where I live). By…

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    May 14, 2013


In Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, the author tells of a young lad sent journeying to a wise man to discover the secret of happiness. After a long journey, the wise man listened to the boy’s explanation for his visit, then answered,…

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    May 8, 2013

KEEPING THE FAITH: A Saint goes marching in

Years ago my oldest son asked me a question: “What is a saint?” When you’re driving along with a numb mind at day’s end, as I was, that’s not the type of question you are prepared to answer. So I splattered out,…

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    April 30, 2013

KEEPING THE FAITH: The power of now

There is a Zen parable about a man who surprised a sleeping tiger while walking through the jungle. The ferocious animal pursued the man, causing him to throw down his bag and walking stick, as he ran for his life. With the tiger tightly on his…

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    April 16, 2013

Keeping the faith: The discovery of forgiveness

Four-hundred and ninety times. That was Jesus’ answer to the question, “How many times should I forgive someone who has offended me.” I don’t think Jesus was being literal; how I wish he were!. Then there would at least be a…

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    April 9, 2013


I was smacked away from the dinner table on one occasion. Calm down, I was never abused, not even close. But my parents did believe in the effectiveness of that proverb, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” Thus, I was definitely not…

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    April 2, 2013

KEEPING THE FAITH: where nothing is sacred

The words “holy” and “sacred” are sometimes used interchangeably. I don’t think this should be the case, as there is a huge difference between the two. Sacred comes from the Latin, “sacrum.” You might…

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    March 26, 2013


I have bad news. Researchers have confirmed that planet Earth is headed toward an apocalypse. Yes, I know that the Mayan calendar is in our rearview mirrors, and we have all returned to paying our credit card bills, mortgages, and car payments once a…

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    March 12, 2013


Jesus never described the gospel as an escape hatch, whereby we can exchange this current world for a spiritual retreat far away. Rather, his gospel was: “God’s kingdom is here! Heaven has come to earth!” Jesus invites his…

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    February 26, 2013

Keeping The Faith: God said it…and that unsettles it

“God said it, I believe it, and that settles it.” This slogan is one of today’s all too common bumper sticker defenses of the Bible. The phrase is sometimes amended to read, “God said it…and that settles it,” to…

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    February 12, 2013

Keeping the Faith: Hard Grace

It was extremely important for the church of my youth to prove that every single miracle in the Bible be proven as an historical and scientific fact. A literal seven day creation, the plagues on Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, Joshua making the su…

 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    January 29, 2013

Keeping the Faith: More thank we can stand

In the previous generation there were at least three great Southern-born prophets: Martin Luther King, Jr., Clarence Jordan, and Will Campbell. Campbell is the only one still living. He is nearing his 90th year, and is a self-proclaimed prickly,…


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