Have you ever had the patience to sit still and watch as one of God’s creatures goes about its normal business? Not a dolphin show or a dog doing tricks—not entertainment for us highly distractible human beings. I am talking about creaturely normalcy, for a turtle or a squirrel or a spider. Consider for a moment their capacity to focus on what really matters—food, home, awareness of their surroundings, knowing the true difference between friend and foe, being ever ready to protect and defend when needed, and being always watchful for the provisions they actually need. These creatures are … Read the full post
I married into your strange cadence
A drumbeat that never felt natural
All consuming was your intention
But I protected pieces of myself from your designs
And more pieces retrieved me
As you showed me your true colors..
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My last three sermons at Grace Covenant can be found here:
Summer of 2016 is giving us lots of reasons to feel terrorized. We need each other to remember that God is guarding grace even now–so that it can never be extinguished, so that it will always be loose in this world. Listen here. Read here.
Preached at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church
Asheville, NC 7/31/16
Scripture: Hosea 11: 1-11, Luke 12: 13-21
Our latest episode of Going Deep is with former UNC standout player Devon Ramsay, a strong student, a remarkable young man, and a legitimate NFL prospect during his collegiate career. Devon’s story lifts the veil on the nefarious nature of NCAA violations and collegiate revenue sports today. And Devon’s story is worth your time! Listen on iTunes or SoundCloud and find more information about Going Deep at www.shoopsgoingdeep.com
My first sermon at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville, NC. After an intense week of violence in our country, the Good Samaritan raises some new/old questions about white supremacy and the moral ambivalence of white dominant institutions around race and power questions. Link here to transcript and audio.
He’s been stabbed in the back, he’s been misunderstood… And he likes to be known as the angry young man. ~Billy Joel, The Angry Young Man Another shooting. This one distinguishes itself as one of the worst mass shootings in US history. This one encapsulates a bizarre tangle of pathologies from homophobia to xenophobia to Islamophobia to obsessive violence and crackling hyper-masculine rage. This one set off a firestorm of new public rants, social media tongue lashings, and political appropriations. This one induces a new depth of despair around the blood chilling vulnerability of bodies who, by their very existence, … Read the full post
Today Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville, NC voted unanimously to call me as their Pastor/Head of Staff.
My family and I are grateful and we are humbled even as we are still startled by the way God’s Spirit has been at work these last several months in our lives.
In January, after much soul searching and truth telling, John and I decided that it is time for us to step away from over two decades of big-time football. In football a turnover is called a “sudden change” and it means something either really good or really bad is about to happen! We weren’t sure what this “sudden change” meant for our family. We knew it was a leap of faith, but we trusted that good things were waiting for us beyond the world of football.
In an unlikely and providential twist our transition coincided with Grace Covenant looking for a new Pastor/Head of Staff. The interview process with them has been a profound blessing. From the beginning I was startled by the mysterious ways God was at work. And I felt like “if this all works out, it will be a miracle!” And here we are: an unlikely and miraculous opportunity to do something we had not expected. God’s call is clear for me to serve Grace Covenant and we are excited about what lies ahead.
I am grateful to return to parish ministry, a vocation that I love and that is profoundly life giving for me. I am excited for my whole family to be a part of Grace Covenant—a community living out the Gospel with vitality and radical love. Truly, this feels like a match made in heaven.
This is a huge transition for our family and we appreciate your prayers these next few weeks as we move to Asheville. My first day on the job is our 21st wedding anniversary, July 1. We are grateful for how the adventure continues!