The Ride of a Lifetime (in the cab of a steam engine)

In 2013, I visited Virginia City, Nevada. I had lived there in the 1980s, when I was a student pastor at First Presbyterian Church. Before my time there, a tourist railroad had been established and was reconstructing the famed Virginia and Truckee Railroad. The big news when I was there, was the train crossing the … Read more The Ride of a Lifetime (in the cab of a steam engine)


Bringing Light to the World

Jeff GarrisonMayberry and Bluemont ChurchesJune 20, 2022Luke 8:16-23 At the beginning of worship: One of the key doctrines of the Protestant Reformation is the “priesthood of all believers.” The concept, defined by John Milton, held that “every person is created by God with the freedom of conscience, reason, and will.”[1]   This doctrine implies that we … Read more Bringing Light to the World


We’re called to be farmers

Jeff GarrisonBluemont and Mayberry Presbyterian ChurchesJune 19, 2022Luke 8:1-15 At the beginning of worship: Does everyone have their gardens planted? I transplanted eggplants and winter squash this week, which I’d started indoors by seed. That’s the last for my garden until later in the summer when I’ll replant lettuce, turnips, and beets for the fall. … Read more We’re called to be farmers


Three reviews: Democracy, Beza, & Tides

Anne Applebaum, The Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism (2020: New York: Anchor Books, 2021), 206 pages including notes. No index or bibliography.  This is an important book for understanding much of what is happening in our world. However, at first, I wondered what I was getting into as Applebaum describes a party she … Read more Three reviews: Democracy, Beza, & Tides


All are in need of forgiveness: the seemingly righteous and the obvious sinner

Jeff GarrisonBluemont and Mayberry ChurchesJune 12, 2022Luke 7:36-50 At the beginning of worship: The first great end of the Presbyterian Church is “the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind.”[1] In other words, we’re to bring people into a relationship with Jesus Christ for he is the way to salvation.[2] By teaching and sharing Jesus’ … Read more All are in need of forgiveness: the seemingly righteous and the obvious sinner


Pentecost: Unity in Christ through the Spirit

Jeff GarrisonMayberry and Bluemont Presbyterian Churches Genesis 11:1-11June 5, 2022 Thoughts at the beginning of worship:  Scripture teaches that our lives are grounded in God. Adam was a clump of clay until God breathe life into his lungs. Likewise, for the church, as an organization, would’ve been long dead had not God breathe the Spirit into … Read more Pentecost: Unity in Christ through the Spirit


Gardener Spirituality and Olmstead the Gardner: Book Reviews

Hannah Anderson, Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul   (Chicago: Moody Publishing, 2016), 206 pages. I heard Anderson at the HopeWords Writers Conference I attended in April in Bluefield West Virginia. Another speaker referred this book of hers for its ability to create a sense of place, which is why I chose it as the … Read more Gardener Spirituality and Olmstead the Gardner: Book Reviews