Lagniappe

“An Axe in the Attic”

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night…” For years we have been warned that the day would come—that a category 4 or 5 hurricane would hit  New Orleans and that the waters would rise higher that the levees and we would fill up like a bowl with water up to… Read more →

“Now Open”

Mark 16:1-8 “And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had come upon them…” You have heard of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony.  Did you know that there is a sense in which the Gospel According to Mark is an Unfinished Gospel.  These verses we just read are all we have of Mark’s original ending.  This is… Read more →

“All Things New”
First Katrina Anniversary

Isaiah 43:16-21 “Behold, I am doing a new thing!  Do you not perceive it?” It was the Sunday Mayor Ray Nagin was to be in worship with us.  But by then the mandatory evacuation of our city was underway.  It was 1 year ago, August 28.  It was 8:45 am.  Though the lights were on, the sanctuary was dark with… Read more →

“Spiritual Gravity”

Mark 10:46-52 “And they called the blind man saying, ‘Take heart!  Rise! He is calling you.’” Maybe you saw the article recently on the front page of the Living section in the Times-Picayune entitled “Katrina Fat.”  It made me feel a little better to know that I am not the only one who has gained weight since the storm, eating… Read more →

“Acorns and Oaks”

Luke 6:17-23 “Blessed are you poor…you that hunger…you that weep now…you when people hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you…” Whenever I go to the beauty salon to get my hair cut or colored, it gives me an opportunity to read magazines that I would otherwise never read, to which I would never subscribe, for which I… Read more →

“Unconditional Joy”

<em>Jazz Sunday</em> 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” In one of his books, Anthony de Mello tells the story about an Italian couple who were getting married.  They had an arrangement with the parish priest to have a little reception in the parish courtyard outside the church.  But it rained, and they couldn’t… Read more →

“The Heart Has Reasons”

John 12:1-8 “Mary took a pound of costly ointment and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair…” Many, many years ago, when I was an undergraduate student at LSU, I had a poster stuck with magnets on the side of the refrigerator of my small apartment.  It bore a quote by the brilliant and renowned … Read more →

“This is My Story”

The Easter Story from John 20   When I first came back to the city after the storm, I went through a long period when I couldn’t sleep very well. A lot of people had that same trouble.  But something of such tragic and monumental proportions had happened that the world as we knew it would never again be the… Read more →

“Life Interrupted”

Acts 16:9-15 “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night:  a man beseeching him, ‘Come to Macedonia and help us…Immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach to them.” Anyone who reads the New Testament can see that the church in Philippi of Macedonia was very special to Paul.  Located in… Read more →

“Bless You Boys and Girls”

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well-pleased!” You may find this hard to believe, but I have never been much of a football fan.  It’s true.  At least, not until now. Not until the new New Orleans Saints, a team with such class and caliber and character that I cannot help but be crazy… Read more →

“Finish Strong”

2 Timothy 4:6-8 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”   Drew Brees is a great quarterback not only because of his physical ability, but because he is a great motivator. He not only knows how to win games, but also how to win hearts and minds.   His spirit, character,… Read more →

“Shaken”

Hebrews 12:18-29 “…the removal of what is shaken…in order that what cannot be shaken may remain.” There is an old saying that people of faith are those who can see the invisible, hear the inaudible, believe the incredible, and attempt the impossible.  Down through the centuries, people of faith have lived with an amazing awareness that there is–how shall we… Read more →

A Deeply Personal God

“You have searched me and known me…such knowledge is too wonderful for me!” from Psalm 139 Years ago, on a trip to Washington D.C., I visited the Air and Space Museum, where I saw the award-winning film “Powers of Ten” by Charles and Ray Eames.  It began by focusing on the arm of a man sleeping on his stomach on… Read more →

Flow

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit…” 1 Corinthians 12:4-13 “Flow, river flow.” There’s a song about the Spirit of God that goes like that.  I thought about those lyrics driving to Shreveport and back this week, over the Bonnet Carré and Morganza Spillways where the Mississippi River has been allowed to bust through the bays and… Read more →

Alphabet of Grace

“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart…” Psalm 111 I had not seen this place for 55 years, but last week, coming home from a district preachers’ meeting in Metairie, trying to avoid the interstate, taking a neighborhood route, I drove right by it: the Bridge Dale Elementary School.  This was where I was a first… Read more →