Thursday, January 30, 2014

"Curing Time" - A Fine Southern Historical Novel

I am just 'taken' by Tim Swink's novel, "Curing Time."  He has written a powerful work of historical fiction and I highly recommend it. Tim develops a twisting, wonderful, page-turning plot, beautiful, lovable characters, around a late 1950's rural North Carolina tobacco farming setting, which comes alive with mid-life struggle and crisis, race relations, a murder (which the reader is certain they have solved, only to be shocked in the end), and the magic and spirit world of an old, blind black lady.

“Curing Time” is the term for the aging and maturing process that tobacco undergoes after harvest, when the tobacco is transformed into its final, perfected form. In this story we come to understand the term is also a metaphor for the “curing time” of a man’s soul.  Will main character, Hume Rankin, survive and adapt to the changes coming to his life.?  Will they strengthen him or destroy him?

This is just a great, beautifully written book. I felt I had been on a great literary journey, full of wise lessons to be learned, while stirring the emotions from the outset. Congratulations to Tim, definitely an up and coming great southern writer. Do yourself a big favor and get a copy.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Canal, Venice

"You Win At Life"

The phrase "you win at life" caught my attention in a thread of comments on a Facebook wall.  It was posted as somewhat of an apology by one high school friend to another, referencing the beautiful family picture the first had posted on Facebook for Christmas, on which the other had made a 'snide' comment.

The thought immediately occurred to me, "how do we win at life?"  What constitutes winning at life?"  Why would one think another has won at life?"  Say what you will, but we are all consumed with the idea of 'winning' at life, or at least doing the very best that we can.  We all remember the bumper sticker which told us, "he who dies with the most toys wins."  Is that really a measure?

Winning at life has to do with living a life of peace.  Winning at life has to do with living a life which is congruent with a set of principles. Winning at life has to do with living a life of contentment.  It has to do with living a life of service. It has to do with discovering what is important, and revolving our lives around those principles and objectives. Winning at life has to do with having satisfying and  reconciled relationships with people we love and who love us.

A prerequisite to winning at life has to do with having strong and meaningful faith.  This is the basis and blueprint for our definition described above. The example of Christ's life and the blueprint we find in God's revelation of what he would have for our lives and how we are to live our lives, is the foundation.  Best wishes in your pursuit of life's victory.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Greensboro Fairgrounds and Race Track- 1940

Very cool picture. The Greensboro Coliseum Complex sits on that property now. The race track was dirt. An original, one of the first NASCAR tracks. An uncle of mine took me to races there a few times when I was a kid (in the early/mid '50s). Coliseum was built there in 1959.

Picture of the Day

Sunday, January 19, 2014

An Exciting Time in the Life of an Old Church

I am so excited about my faith and about my church as we move into 2014.  Above is a picture of the old, downtown building of the First Baptist Church of Greensboro.  We moved from that building in 1952 into our current beautiful location on West Friendly Avenue.  Born in 1948, I was a toddler in that old church.  I recall it only slightly.

Also pictured above is our young, new, dynamic Senior Pastor and his wife, Rev. Alan Sherouse and Jenny.  They were 'called' to our current church location as leaders in 2013.  Alan is one the most exciting things to happen to our church and to my faith journey in my memory, and I am a 55-year member of FBC-G.  His focus is on missions and on the importance of each of us 'being the Church' in the community and 'taking the church' and the love of God out into a hurting world.  His focus is on the love of Jesus, on social justice, and on the fulfilling of God's hope for humanity, as revealed through the loving, compassionate, forgiving, dynamic life Jesus.  

Although the church has been an important rock and anchor for my family through generations, Alan's ministry is making a difference in my life as never before.  I am putting 'feet' to my faith as never before.  His ministry is making a renewed difference in the life of our church and in our community.

It all started in that beautiful, old church building pictured above.  But as Alan would tell you, albeit historic and beautiful, it was just a building.  What is more important than ever before is the unleashing of God's love, through lives of it's members, into a hurting and needing world.  Let it be so.    

Tower Bridge, London

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