Atlanta Marietta District

'Have a Heart'

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking… I remember the sound of our children’s first heartbeat.  Our children were born in the age of ‘sonar grams’.  The sonar gram gave us the opportunity to hear the baby in the womb’s heart’s beat.  It sounded like the cross between a whale under water and fingernails on a chalkboard.  But it was the sweetest sound I’d heard to that point in my life. I take my heart beats for granted.  Do you?  I don’t think about them at all.  Unless I’m exercising (which I need to do more) or ...

'Red Shoes'

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking… My mentor in preaching, Dr. Fred Craddock, died of complications due to Parkinson’s disease in 2015.  I believe Dr. Craddock was the greatest preacher and storyteller of recent generations.  Here is one of his works of art that still speaks to my heart…maybe yours too. “I have a student who, for eight years, taught in a school in Nashville, Tennessee, for children with hearing disorders.  Their ears were all right; they just didn’t make contact.  He said that after eight years,...

'Throwing Furniture'

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking… Have you ever been so angry that you wanted to throw furniture?  We certainly know that is possible, after all, Jesus turned over tables in the temple!  I confess that I once slammed a door so hard that it knocked the door trim loose. Anger is a God-given emotion.  However, it is an emotion that doesn’t live far from destruction and sin.  What we can learn from Jesus is that anger is appropriate in moments when the ‘least and lost’ of this world are being oppressed and/or ...

'If Only...'


I Was Thinking… We often think in terms of ‘if only…’.  ‘If only I were rich…’  ‘If only I were successful…’  ‘If only I were an athlete…’  ‘If only I were young again…’  ‘If only I were king/queen…’  ‘If only I were a prince or a princess…’ The recent news from Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan is sort of a reverse ‘If only’.  The couple has requested and been granted a path to become ‘ordinary’ civilians.  The pressure to be a royal couple is quite painful, it seems.  Queen Elizabeth has ...

'Answer or Not?'

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking… I’m not sure I can write it better than Richard Rohr.  This is from a recent reflection from Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation entitled “Ours to Do”. Over the years, I met many activists who were doing excellent social analysis and advocating for crucial justice issues, but they were not working from an energy of love except in their own minds. They were still living out of their false self with the need to win, to look good, to defeat the other side, and to maintain a superior ...

'Getting Along'

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking… “Why can’t we all just get along with one another?”  I love the way the letter of James in the New Testament puts it, “Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others.  It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced.  You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with ...

'Word of the Year'

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking… Can you say ‘distraction’?  When I think of 2019…I think ‘distraction’.  Merriam-Webster has declared the personal pronoun, ‘they’, as the word of the year for 2019.  There was a 313% increase in lookups on the company’s search site this year compared to 2018 for the word ‘they’. Merriam-Webster may declare ‘they’ as the word of the year, but I declare ‘distraction’ as the posture of the year.  We, and they, have been distracted all year long.  Distraction has taken over the ...

'An Alternate Way'

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking… Our Christmas gift to you is a story from one of my mentors and favorite preachers, Dr. Fred Craddock.  I hope you enjoy.   I recall once in Israel, being in Bethlehem and having a Jewish man explain the Christmas story to me.  He explained this to me when we were standing in Shepherd’s Field.  Now, some of you may know what I’m talking about.  There is a field down in the lower part where there were once tents.  Now I think there’s a housing development, but nothing sacred ...

'A Child Leads'

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking… The prophet Isaiah proclaims, “The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6) But what about the children who have difficult childhoods, of no fault of their own.  How do they lead?  These are the ones who spend a lifetime trying to correct the trajectory of ill-equipped adults whose adult illnesses fall unfairly upon the child.  Where will their ...

'AND Witness'

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking… Patricia Holbrook in her Saturday’s AJC Commentary entitled “What will they say when you leave?”, spoke words that need repeating. “I have seen it too many times.  Children of churchgoers (and even ministers) rebelling against God because their parents’ talk, and their walk did not match.  How many people cringe at the name of Jesus because they were around self-righteous Christians whose words did not translate into actions?  The apostle Paul said it this way in his letter to ...

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