Thomas the Believer

Jesus was dead. Anyone who said otherwise was either crazy or lying. Thomas had no desire to waste time entertaining the tales of hysterical women or deluded men. Jesus was dead and all the wishful thinking in the world wasn’t changing that. Ridiculous chatter about visions in gardens and visits from the master only made him miss his friend and teacher all the more.

So he’d skipped last week’s gathering. If Jesus’ other followers wanted to pick at grief’s open wound, that was their business. He’d just as soon try to put the whole thing behind him. Better to meditate on the Rabbi’s teaching than try to conjure the man’s ghost.

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Between Two Worlds

I preached once again this past Sunday. The text was Jesus’ parable of the persistent widow. That parable got me thinking, “What is prayer?” You can read the verses I allude to here.

What is prayer?

Is it a wish list? A sort of Amazon.com for God? Is it a meditation exercise? Good for lowering stress and rejuvenating the mental state? Is prayer poetry — pretty words and pleasing rhythm?

Does prayer, to put it another way, mean anything?

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Surrender

I recently gave my first sermon in the United Methodist Church. This is the full text of my message.

It was about ten minutes to midnight, and I was more alone than I’d ever been in my life. Oh, to be sure, I was surrounded by people — hundreds of people, in fact. But I was utterly alone, and so scared I was crying like a child.

You see, I was lost. More lost than I’d ever thought possible. I was lost and I had no idea how to change my situation. I was standing in the middle of Milan station, in the heart of downtown Milan, Italy. And I’d missed the last train home.

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What songs are meant to do

You may not know it, but you’ve probably already heard a Chris Trapper song. Though the Boston-based songwriter hasn’t become a nationwide household name, the sophisticated simplicity of his tunes has earned him a well-deserved reputation as one of best songwriters currently working in the craft. And that reputation has brought with it one opportunity after another for his music to be featured in films and television.

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Ars Poetica

When I first started writing, it was for the sheer joy and mystery of it all. It was just downright amazing to me that I could think up anything I wanted and then make it, well, make it real just by writing it down. I got hooked.

I think always knew I wanted to write and play music. I was trying to make music when I was in diapers; I’d bang on pots, pans, my momma’s lampshades — anything that made sound was fair game.

I used to not pay attention to my school work so I could write songs. Even before I played an instrument I was writing down lyrics and singing melodies as they popped into my head. Somewhere in the stacks of my childhood is my first album, sung a cappella and recorded in glorious one track mono on my Radio Shack cassette player.

Those were the days.

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