Where Two or Three Are Gathered

Matters of Faith

church dark

Throughout the season of Lent, our Episcopal church in Statesville offers Evening Prayer on weekdays. The service is a rather simple one: scripture, ordered prayer–for forgiveness, for each other, for safety and quietude. It takes about twenty minutes to go through.

I try to volunteer to lead prayer a few times–the offering relies upon lay folks in the church to lead the service. Most times, only a handful of people show up. There have been a couple of instances in which I said Evening Prayer by myself.

My first assigned reading date was this past Monday. It had been a full and hectic day at the office, the kind where unexpected interruptions derail the plans you’d made. Still, I was able to duck out a little bit early to make it up the road–only to drive straight into a heavy rainstorm, which slowed traffic down. I pulled into the parking lot a minute shy of the appointed start time.

Continue reading “Where Two or Three Are Gathered”

Sundays | Those Snowbound Breakfasts


Stasis is a powerful thing. Breaking free is even better. 

We eat well when there’s snow on the ground, especially at breakfast.

Before we had kids, Kelly and I had a habit of going to Cracker Barrel for brunch any time it snowed. Something there was about a big, hot breakfast served in the near vicinity of a wood fire. With two kids and a third on the way, the days of sleeping till ten are long gone, and aging into the mid-thirties has thickened our sense of caution and responsibility against driving on icy roads. That, and minivans.

But we did sleep in this morning–thank God for kids tuckered out from sledding the day before–and though last night’s fire was only cold embers, this morning I fired up the oven to fix a pan of biscuits, and got a pound of bacon cooking in the big skillet, and scrambled a bunch of eggs, and pulled out oranges and grapes and honey and preserves. (All the carbohydrates, for you fans of MZCL, were for me.)

Soon, the olfactory trinity of biscuits rising, bacon frying, and coffee steaming filled the kitchen. Continue reading “Sundays | Those Snowbound Breakfasts”

Better to be a Bitter Southerner


As Southerners, we get to choose what we keep and what we let go of. How you can love the South but hate the Flag.

Excuse me–and forgive me–for joining the bandwagon of people around our country who are demanding the removal of the Confederate flag from its official posts in South Carolina and elsewhere in the South.

I acknowledge it’s hardly a brave thing to say that the flag is overdue in its removal, particularly after none other than the likes of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Senator Lindsey Graham have added their noteworthy voices to this chorus.

Indeed, much of Southern, conservative leadership has seemed to take on the cause of taking down the rebel Stars and Bars from the corner of the Capitol grounds in Columbia, SC. It is more than a little surprising, given how flaccid their opinions were only recently–but who am I to blame? It’s not like I’ve been standing on that soapbox myself as of late.

But before you pass too much judgment upon me and my desire to see the flag gone, allow me to share with you my story as a Southerner. Continue reading “Better to be a Bitter Southerner”