• Fred's Blog

    My Trivial Sins

    Listen to “My Trivial Sins” by Fred Smith   No one would describe me as a product of diversity. As a Southern Baptist, I grew up sure of our traditions and practices but not our doctrine. I had a clear picture of who we were but had no idea what it was – other than hymns, potlucks, and full-immersion  – that distinguished us from the imposters to the true faith around us. Everything we thought and every question we had about salvation, God, the world, and eternity was in the Baptist hymnal, so we sang our way into believing each Sunday. And one of those hymns, “Nothing But The Blood”…

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    The Four Hundred Pound Day

      Listen to “The Four Hundred Pound Day” by Fred Smith   Tiger Woods‘ victory at the Master’s is a myth. I know that sounds like a post on a fringe site but I’m not saying it is fake news. Instead, his winning is a perfect example of what Joseph Campbell in his book, “The Hero With A Thousand Faces” would describe as a myth – a story that symbolizes one of the fundamental themes of our world. It is the theme of the hero’s quest and is not Tiger’s story alone. Campbell believed we each are on a quest. Every heroic story develops in stages. First, setting off from…

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  • Fred's Blog

    Over And Over Again

    Listen to “Over and Over Again” By Fred Smith   A favorite illustration was debunked last week. For years, I have used the image of the grain of sand in the oyster being the source of the pearl. It’s not true and I will miss it! Oysters and other mollusks thrive in the shallows and if a pearl were formed each time a grain of sand slipped through, pearls would not be the rare and prized gems they are today. Instead, because oysters feed by filtering through their gills as much as 50 gallons of water per day they are constantly cleaning their soft tissues of sand and other irritants…

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    Our Little Town

    Listen to “Our Little Town” by Fred Smith   When we moved from New York to a small town in rural East Texas thirty-five years ago small towns were not trending. That has changed. Today, there is a surge of books, articles and even documentaries celebrating the values and lifestyle of small towns. Local is in and, at least for now, global is in decline. In “The Road to Somewhere,” David Goodhart distinguishes between those who are more comfortable with being citizens of the world but not any particular locale and those who identify with a particular people and place. “Mobility and experience of higher education tend to change people’s…