It was a fearful time in 2006 when a number of rural churches were burned in Alabama. I remember a deacon's meeting in which we discussed whether we ought to take night shifts at our church to protect our property.

Included in the lists of charismatic speakers of the 20th century are Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King and Adolph Hitler. The latter addition may cause us to do a double-take since we recognize Hitler as psychotic, or demon possessed, depending on one’s perspective.

When I was a boy preacher, I heard affirmations from congregants such as, “Preacher, you really stepped on my toes today!” This remark meant I’d either raised my voice or spoke forthrightly about known sins (known sins in that day were smoking and drinking).

The wind in my face was bitterly cold in downtown Dallas a few years ago since the winter weather was yet lingering. My continuing education classes had ended at the seminary in nearby Ft. Worth, so the afternoon was free for some sightseeing.