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Friendship Weighs More Than Ideology

June 13, 2019

Friendship Weighs More Than Ideology Michael Jinkins   Not long after beginning as Assistant Pastor at the historic Beechgrove Church in Aberdeen, Scotland, our Senior Minister, the Reverend Tom Alsup, asked if I would be willing to visit regularly with a particular member of the congregation, Dr. David Cairns, Professor Emeritus of Christ College, Aberdeen […]

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The Listening Neighbor

June 13, 2019

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor” (Part 3) “The Listening Neighbor”  Michael Jinkins   There is no place in this country where ideological disputes rage with more vigor, and often viscous, violent rhetoric, than in higher education.   Colleges, universities and seminaries are intended to provide a place for free-wheeling debate, where nothing should be taken […]

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A Neighbor Within

June 5, 2019

June 7, 2019 A Neighbor Within (Part 2)  Michael Jinkins   We all know the parable. While on a journey a man falls victim to robbers who beat him, take his money, and leave him for dead. As he lies beside the road, three other men come along, one after another.   The first two […]

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Part 1)

May 30, 2019

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?  (Part 1) Michael Jinkins   Just recently there was a fascinating article on National Public Radio about a congregation in Raleigh, North Carolina, that had found a “Center” that holds in this highly divisive time: White Memorial Presbyterian Church, a congregation of about 4000 members.   As one member of […]

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“Our Original Vocation”

May 23, 2019

“Our Original Vocation” Michael Jinkins   The first thing we learn in the Bible about God is that God is Creator. This seems to be God’s vocation. And one of the first things we learn about humanity is that we are gardeners. It seems that this may be our original vocation. These two vocations, creation […]

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When Justice Goes Mad

May 16, 2019

When Justice Goes Mad Michael Jinkins   “A time is coming when [people] will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad, you are not like us.’”   St. Anthony of Egypt (c. 251-356)   There’s an interesting connection, in various cultures, between anger and […]

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The Miracle in the Moment

May 9, 2019

“The Miracle in the Moment” Michael Jinkins   “To treat life as less than a miracle is to give up on it. “ – Wendell Berry   Perhaps the truest, purest form of thankfulness is simply not to take life for granted as we are living it. Just paying attention in the moment may be […]

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The Gift of Adversity

May 2, 2019

“The Gift of Adversity” Michael Jinkins    Several years ago a friend gave me a small marble plaque with a quote on it from Sir Winston Churchill: “When you’re going through hell, don’t stop!” While you could always count on Sir Winston to find just the right phrase to buck up the faint-hearted, it doesn’t […]

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Some Christians Give Christianity a Bad Name

April 25, 2019

“Some Christians Give Christianity a Bad Name” Michael Jinkins   Some Christians give Christianity a bad name. This is not a new thing.   Skip a stone across the ripply surface of history and we are likely to hit so many shame-filled incidents starring Christians as villains that will make us cringe, blush or run […]

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The Passion Never Ends

April 18, 2019

April 19, 2019 “The Passion Never Ends” Michael Jinkins   Today is Good Friday when we observe the crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus. Today is the hinge on which turns Holy Week. Together with Maundy Thursday, Good Friday provides that point in time and remembrance when betrayal leads to arrest; when disciples, who promised […]

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