Monday Over Coffee: "More"

Posted March 6, 2023 by Greg Funderburk in Monday Over Coffee

Carey Grant once said, "It's better to buy one good pair of shoes than four cheap ones. One pair made of fine leather," he continued, "can outlast four inferior pairs, and if well cared for, will proclaim your good judgment and taste no matter how old they become." Based on this sound advice, a few years ago, I purchased on sale from a local department store, a pair of size 8 black dress shoes…

Monday Over Coffee: "Hubris"

Posted February 27, 2023 by Greg Funderburk in Monday Over Coffee

One of my favorite stories, which suggests how we might think not only more deeply about contemporary art but more charitably about the work and effort of one another, involves a husband and wife walking through a museum featuring a modern art exhibit. The husband glances at one of the canvases, shakes his head ruefully about what he perceives to be the childish simplicity of the…

Monday Over Coffee: "Approaching Lent"

Posted February 20, 2023 by Greg Funderburk in Monday Over Coffee

After my first year in law school, interested in the field of sports law, I took a summer job with the Texas Rangers baseball club. Though it was an unglamorous entry-level position during a losing season for the team, it gave me an opportunity to gain some basic knowledge about the business side of sports. During the day, I toiled in the box office selling tickets, and in the evenings I…

Monday Over Coffee: "Epic"

Posted February 13, 2023 by Greg Funderburk in Monday Over Coffee

A few years ago our little family traveled to Europe for a week-long trip starting in Barcelona—surely one of the most beautiful places in the world. The first night, though a little jet-lagged, the four of us shared a delicious Spanish meal along what's called Las Ramblas, the famous boulevard which runs through the middle of this remarkable city. In the morning, we took a bus into the…

Monday Over Coffee: "It All Accumulates"

Posted February 6, 2023 by Greg Funderburk in Monday Over Coffee

A few years back, our church began offering a series of summer Sunday morning classes to our school-age kids—a variety of hour-long courses that touched on vital life skills, introducing them to different vocations and professions, and prompting their imaginations to explore such things further as they matured. There were meal-preparation demonstrations for those curious about cooking. Police…

Monday Over Coffee: "The Curse of the Close Facsimile"

Posted January 30, 2023 by Greg Funderburk in Monday Over Coffee

I admit their television commercial had the sound and feel of a Ronco kitchen appliance sales pitch, but this company—TEJ Records—was offering something more—a double album chock-full of terrific early 1970's billboard hits including "Bennie and the Jets," "Band on the Run," "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing," as well as "many, many more" per their persuasive spokesperson.

Monday Over Coffee: "Furthermore, I Propose..."

Posted January 23, 2023 by Greg Funderburk in Monday Over Coffee

The Roman senator known to history as Cato the Elder for a long time ended every speech he gave like this:

Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.

"Furthermore, I propose that Carthage must be destroyed."

It didn't matter what topic Cato's speech actually concerned, he would invariably conclude in this way before taking his seat. If the question at hand was about a…

Monday Over Coffee: "Anger"

Posted January 16, 2023 by Greg Funderburk in Monday Over Coffee

I heard a story once about a writer who landed an opinion column in a big city newspaper. While very pleased he got the gig, he immediately became concerned about coming up with compelling topics to write about twice a week throughout the year. A mentor suggested to him that if he focused his attention rightly, he wouldn't find this to be difficult at all. "At least a couple of things every…

Monday Over Coffee: "Ephemeral"

Posted January 9, 2023 by Greg Funderburk in Monday Over Coffee

Several years ago I went to New Jersey on a business trip then traveled back into New York City for the night, preparing to fly back home the next day. With some time on my hands, as the sun went down over the city, I decided to go to the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts because I'd never been there before.

Monday Over Coffee: "Single-Tasking"

Posted January 2, 2023 by Greg Funderburk in Monday Over Coffee

I regularly listen to a podcast called The Rewatchables, which lightheartedly revisits popular movies of the past, focusing on the power they have to entertain us even—and perhaps especially—on a second viewing, or third, or even a tenth. The show recently turned its listeners' attention to a 1982 movie called The Verdict starring Paul Newman in which Newman plays Frank Galvin, once an up-and-…

Advent 2022: Christmas Day, Jesus' Birthday

Posted December 25, 2022 by Steve Wells in Advent

If Christmas is Jesus' birthday, then why are we the ones who get the presents? There is a historical answer to that question: pagan cultures had a tradition of giving gifts in winter, and as people from those cultures came into Christian faith, their gift-giving was folded into their new Christian practice. But, while true, that is not really our answer to the question.

Advent 2022: Reflect on the Greatest Love Story Ever Told

Posted December 24, 2022 by SMBC in Advent

As we reach the end of Advent, we encourage you to take a few moments to read and pray your way through Luke 2:1-20, the story of Jesus's birth. It is our prayer that reading this story, whether for the first or five hundredth time, will remind you of God's great love for you.

Advent 2022: On Wondering and Wandering

Posted December 23, 2022 by Thomas Coker in Advent

In the days before daylight saving time came to South Carolina, I have vivid memories of running and playing with cousins and sisters in the early evening. First cousins, Tom and his sister Alice, were joined by sisters Jeanie and Myra. We would run ourselves ragged then lie on our backs on the soft green carpet grass of our front lawn to gaze at the heavens and wonder at God's creation. Loud…

Advent 2022: Rich in Love

Posted December 22, 2022 by Christina Curato in Advent

My sister's life is a living testament to her name: Jessica—meaning "Yahweh exists." There were many times in her life where doctors didn't expect her to live, times when even secular doctors exclaimed "miracle." I could write about how she had a genius IQ at eight years old and was in a nearly year-long coma by nine years old due to an unfortunate medical malpractice. Her journey is long (15…

Advent 2022: Loving Without Fear

Posted December 21, 2022 by Kathy Bernal in Advent

When I was younger, I never wanted to have children. Pregnancy, childbirth, and mothering all seemed too messy for me. I preferred instead to focus on my goals and aspirations of becoming a lawyer. Children seemed like nothing but a distraction. However, now that I reflect back on that time in my life, I realize that it was not stubborn career determination preventing my desire for a family.…

Advent 2022: A Mother's Love

Posted December 20, 2022 by Jessie Horton in Advent

This Advent season, I've chosen to contemplate the theme of love. People say that there is close to nothing like a mother's love. Looking to Mary, mother of Jesus, as well as my own mother, I know that this is true. Christ's perfect love redeems and comforts us. But when we look at Mary, we also see an example of undying, unconditional devotion. We see her love for Christ and her love for God…

Monday Over Coffee: "Getting Home"

Posted December 19, 2022 by Greg Funderburk in Monday Over Coffee

Not long ago, circumstances conspired such that I found myself sleeping all night on a metal bench in an airport, forsaken by all but the graveyard shift at the usually bustling terminal and a handful of other weary travelers. When a TSA employee roused me from my fitful slumber at 5:00 AM and told me to move along, I obediently arose, my contacts sticking to my eyes, the strap of my…

Advent 2022: Love Ripples Outward

Posted December 19, 2022 by Bettye Carpenter in Advent

In the spring of 1973, we came to South Main Baptist Church to hear Dan Yeary preach on Sunday evenings. At that time, we were in the process of adopting an infant and completing our master's degrees. Our adoption application was complete, we thought, so we returned to Alabama to complete our graduate work. All things worked together for us, but not without some significant hiccups.

Advent 2022: Fourth Sunday of Advent, Love Beyond My Attention Span

Posted December 18, 2022 by Adam Cogliano in Advent

Growing up, Christmas mornings always began with tinges of impatience and irritation. Year after year, my brother and I knew that we were not allowed to go downstairs to unwrap gifts until my father grabbed his video recording device. Through the years, my father's device of choice changed from a larger camcorder to a smaller camcorder to an even smaller phone camera, but every year, he was…

Advent 2022: Reflect on Joy

Posted December 17, 2022 by SMBC in Advent

This time of year can get outrageously busy. To-do lists get long, calendars get full, and the busyness of the season can start to sap our joy. We may know, intellectually, that love is the most important thing about this season, but we still fall short of putting that love into practice. We invite you to take a moment and reflect on how you can follow Jesus' command from John 15:12—to love…