Author: Michael Milton

In The Company of Sinners: How God Creates Trophies of Grace from Portraits of Pain

Are we more than the sum of our greatest sin? Are we identified by our past failures or a legacy yet unwritten? When I hear Tom Waite’s folk song, Shiver Me Timbers, I’m Sailing Away—recorded with success by both James Taylor and Bette Midler—I think of my father. “I’m leaving my family; I’m leaving my friends, My body is at home, but my hearts is in the wind; And the clouds are like headlines In the new front-page sky Shiver me timbers, I’m sailing away.”[1] My father was born in 1908. He was born to a family suffering from...

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The Mustard Seed Principles: Help and Hope for Struggling Churches and Disappointed Disciples

The Messiah sat in a boat for his humble pulpit. The little fishing vessel must have moved gently on the water. Jesus, our Lord, looked out across the fresh-water beach at a growing congregation. And what he saw then is what he sees today: believers and those who would believe burdened by the incomprehensibility of God’s promises in a world gone mad. “When will God show up?” Or, a familiar phrase from little ones in the back seat, “Are we there, yet?” When promises are taught, but fulfillment seems impossible, and oppression and heartache is merciless, even the strongest...

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The Problem With Forgiveness

“This is getting old. How many times are we going to have do this? This is crazy!” Hyperventilated moaning spread through the ranks of the exhausted players in our pre-season football workouts even as we gasped for air. We were in gym clothes and helmets only. The swampy South Louisiana heat was blistering our sunburned skin like a slow release of radiation in Chernobyl. After the sixth fifty-yard sprint we were all bent over in stomach cramps, drenched with sweat, reeking with the visible vapors of twenty-four adolescent boys in week-old unwashed gym-clothes. We swatted Boing 787 sized mosquitoes...

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Be There

Introduction “The soldier’s heart, the soldier’s spirit, the soldier’s soul, are everything. Unless the soldier’s soul sustains him, he cannot be relied on and will fail himself and his commander and his country in the end.”[1] General George C. Marshall spoke those words at Trinity College. He went on to earn the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953 for his plan, “the Marshall Plan” to establish peace. “The Soldier’s . . . soul [is] everything.” General Marshall’s words apply to pastoral theology in this way: The ministry of presence, just being there, is one of the most powerful resources in...

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To Be A Christian

Introduction One of the lessons we learn as children is to wait. But waiting is a mystery to a six-year-old boy. My Aunt Eva could really cook up a good lemon meringue pie. Oh, my. That cold and luscious yellow custard, so tart, so sweet, settled beneath a mound of glazed sugar, whipped up into a cloud of goodness, just settling over that delicious golden filling, a nestled onto a flakey crust, the kind that soaks up the scrumptiousness of the lemon custard in the pie. I can almost taste it now. Well, one-day Aunt Eva had some ladies...

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