Posts by Jim McCarthy

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In 1983, elite distance runners from around the world met in Australia to compete in a weeklong, 544-mile ultramarathon from Sydney to Melbourne. The racers were lean and mean professional athletes, decked from head to toe in the most expensive gear by Nike, Asics, & Puma; all except for Cliff...
Did you ever eat something so tasty that you had to close your eyes? If you haven't, try scallops. Imagine this mouth-watering mollusk: snow-white, pan-seared to perfection with a golden crust, a dash of salt, a pinch of pepper, a brush of butter, a spritz of lemon... delicious! And the texture is...
In college, I attended a men’s group Bible study that met Thursdays, dark and early. Over burnt coffee and powdered donuts, our rag-tag band of Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, non-denoms, and everything in between read and discussed the Bible. It was a catalyst of spiritual awakening and...
Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon,which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the LORD has commanded...
There are only 335 days until Easter. Are you excited yet? For many, Easter is a highlight in the annual life cycle of a church family. We mark our calendars months in advance. Our anticipation brightens and warms with the Spring. We clear our schedules of competing commitments and bend our lives...
On May 4th, 1865, Abraham Lincoln’s body was laid to rest at the Oakridge Cemetery in Springfield, IL. But his initial interment was anything but restful. In the years that followed, the crypt was disturbed 17 times for various maintenance and security reasons. So, in 1901, Robert Lincoln ordered...
Of nature’s elaborate courtship displays, none is more elegant than that of the western grebe, a swanlike bird with ruby eyes. Each spring the grebes congregate on the lakes of Oregon to find a lifelong mate. Two by two, the male leads his female to a secluded spot on the water. Their waltz begins...
When I was a boy, my parents gave my siblings and me a big, round trampoline. That gift brought us and countless hours of fun, laughter, and exercise. So, when our children were old enough, Jordan and I decided to surprise them with a big, round trampoline for Christmas. As I bolted the frame...
Have you ever spread Marmite on toast? It's a British condiment made from yeast left over from beer brewing. It is dark, thick, and sticky, like a savory molasses. Marmite is hailed as the superhero of sandwich spreads because it’s bursting with vitamin B. Over the past century, it has come to the...
On June 3rd, 1981 William Thomas pitched a ramshackle tent outside the gates of the White House with a large sign that read, "Live by the bomb, die by the bomb." He was so gripped by the threat posed by nuclear weapons he held a vigil protesting the atomic arms race at the heart of the Cold War...
Preachers love pulpits. We dream of Calvin’s crowned pulpit with the spiral staircase, Spurgeon’s rail pulpit in London, Palmer’s marble pulpit in Columbia, or the “high pulpit” of the Independent Presbyterian Church in Savannah. But my favorite is the pulpit I have the privilege to fill each Lord’...