Jeff GarrisonBluemont and Mayberry ChurchesNovember 29, 2020Genesis 15:1-5, 21:1-3©2020 Setting the state at the beginning of worship For Advent, this year, we’re going to look at passages in scripture to help us understand the themes of each week. This week, the theme is hope. In future weeks, it’s joy, love, and peace. Perhaps no one … Read more Advent 1: Hope
Billy Beasley, The Girl in the River: The Grief of a Widower, The Hope of a Child (Abbeville, SC: Moonshine Publishing, 2020), 226 pages. Billy Beasley tells a great story. Several of the characters in his first novel, set in the late 1960s, reappear here. We learn what happens to them fifty years later, as they play a … Read more What I’ve been reading lately: 3 Reviews
Jeff GarrisonBluemont and Mayberry ChurchesNovember 22, 2020Psalm 100©2020 Setting the stage: One of my favorite Georgian authors is Ferrol Sams. A physician by trade, he began writing later in his life. I’d read most of his books before moving to Georgia and highly recommend his three-volume memoir. In volume two, which is about his college … Read more Thanksgiving, Joy, & Gratitude
The sun burns brightly in the blue sky. What warmth it provides is swept away by a strong breeze. The move, the death of my mother, settling into a new church, and dealing with the new house has taken a lot out of me. I need a break. I take Tuesday off and spend the afternoon … Read more A Windy Walk to Clear My Mind
Jeff GarrisonBluemont and Mayberry ChurchesNovember 15, 2020Matthew 23:13-38©2020 At the beginning of worship: I warned you last week; we’re spending two weeks in the 23rd Chapter of Matthew. It’s a difficult chapter. Jesus deliverers a pulpit-pounding sermon. In the middle of this sermon are seven woes. For each, Jesus lifts up particular actions of … Read more Woe or Whoa?
Jeff GarrisonBluemont and Mayberry ChurchesNovember 8, 2020Matthew 23:1-12 At the beginning of the service: Today we’re moving into the 23rd chapter of Matthew. Some commentators think this is one of the more difficult chapters in Scripture. I’m don’t think that’s true. This text is not that hard for us to understand, but it makes us quite … Read more Matthew 23:1-12
Esau McCaulley, Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope (Downer’s Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2020), 198 pages including a discussion guide, bibliography, scriptural index and index. McCaulley provides an interesting insight into the struggles facing African American theologians today. Coming from an evangelical tradition, he quickly notes the failure of … Read more Reading as Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope
Jeff Garrison Bluemont and Mayberry ChurchesNovember 1, 2020Psalm 110, Matthew 22:41-46 The video above was recorded on Friday, October 30, 2020 and may be a little different from the text below. At the Beginning of Worship We’re going to complete the 22nd Chapter of Matthew’s gospel this morning. Two weeks ago, we began the chapter with … Read more Who is our Savior?
On Wednesday, drove from Mayberry to Bluemont along the parkway, in the fog. It looked a lot like Halloween. With the bare trees and fog, who knows what evil might be lurking… In thinking about this day, I recalled my first time going out trick-or-treating and pulled out an old manuscript and reworked it. Remember, … Read more Halloween 1962
Joseph Klaits, Servants of Satan: The Age of the Witch Hunts (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1985). 212 pages including an index, notes, bibliography, and a few woodcut plates. We often think of witch hunting as something done in a pre-modern world. However, most of the witch trials and executions took place in a relatively short period … Read more Servants of Satan