• A Message from Pastor Rich

    Oh, Smoky Row! You were continually in my thoughts and prayers as we were away at General Conference this past week. The speaker was Karl Vaters, a well-known author on small churches and small-church life. (And a pastor of a small congregation, too.) If you’d like to look over some

  • On Psalm 22

    Psalm 22 reads: 6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. 8 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him,

  • Cutting Room Floor: Amos 7

    This Side of Jesus: Let’s start with the way the early Church made use of today’s Amos passage. The early Church was trying to figure out how to manage the care of the hundreds of people who were deciding to keep faith with Jesus, and the chose servants–a word, “deacon,”

  • What is Lent?

    What is Lent and the Lenten Season? By Jonathan and David Bennet – http://www.churchyear.net/lent.html Many Christians throughout the world observe Lent. Catholic, Orthodox, and many Protestants benefit from this annual season of sacrifice and simplicity…. In basic terms, Lent is the season before Easter…In many Protestant churches, the liturgical season

  • Cutting Room Floor: Acts 2

    Useful Things Cut From Acts 2 Peter & Lots: After Judas’ tragic suicide, his place among the Twelve is taken by Matthias. They choose his place by lots; an ancient sort of roll of the dice. A test try and see what God wills out of a handful of options.

  • Cutting Room Floor: On Truth

    Making sense of Things Series: On Truth In a time when what’s true is defined as what feels true to me right now, people justify what they say based on what they feel. They become like Pilate, or a little kid, believing that truth depends on their feelings. They speak

  • A Real Conundrum – Romans 13:1-7

    Paul says this: 1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do

  • Cutting Room Floor: Time & Attention

    Cutting Room Floor: Making Sense of Things – On the Public and Private Spheres – Time & Attention Good Work: Claiming Time If we are going to be faithful people one of the things that we must do is claim our time. Does that communicate? We must claim our time,

  • Cutting Room Floor: Fear & Maturity

    Cutting Room Floor: Making Sense of Things – On the Public and Private Spheres – Fear and Maturity Here’s what I’ll never do: I want be a fearmongerer. There’s a certain way of being Christian that really does worry that if someone has privacy, something bad will happen. They’ll inevitably

  • Cutting Room Floor: Minor Prophets – Interpretation

    But as we move through the Minor Prophets we have to keep in mind that while they broadly share the modes and even the messages that they communicate in common, they are each deeply different from one another. In some cases they speak hundreds of years apart from one another;

  • Statement Following Violence in Charlottesville, VA

    By Steven Cole August 15, 2017 The following is a statement issued by The Brethren Church Executive Director, Rev. Steven Cole, regarding the recent violence in Charlottesville, VA Brethren – I have watched, like many in America and around the world as the horrific events unfolded in Charlottesville, VA this past

  • Columbus First Brethren Closing Service

    Message: Columbus First’s Closing Service An Urge: There’s an urge, in a moment like this, to focus only on celebrating the life of First Brethren. It’s an urge to avoid the grief, the sadness, in what we’re gathering for today. And yet, that urge is misplaced, you know? At least

  • Cutting Room Floor: Rules & Consequences – In The Christian Life

    Rules aren’t Bad, they just aren’t good enough. Rules are good: Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law, he says–end all the rules–he came, he tells us, to fulfill them: To show people a way of life that actually fulfills the law. By fulfilling it, he models for us how

  • No Room in the What? By Ben Witherinton III

    Mary and Joseph weren’t trying to check into a hotel—they were staying with relatives. I am here to tamper with a masterpiece, or better said, to share with you a rather different reading of Luke 2:1-7, one solidly grounded in the facts, but nowhere represented in Christmas carols and pageants.

  • Update from General Conference

    From: PAULA STRICKLAND Dear pastors and leaders,We have had a great summer and are now following up with you to help you and your congregations find the resources needed to understand how things are progressing in The Brethren Church. At the 2016 General Conference, we had three significant conversations that are changing

  • Cutting Room Floor: Transition, Sending & Posture

    Transition: Take Away: It’s a weird scene. Jesus is walking, two blind men call out for healing. They call him “Son of David,” a Messianic title, a special title that only ought to be used for the long-awaited Messiah who would make good on God’s promises to his People. All

  • Welcome!

    The world’s first website went live in August of 1991. The world had to wait almost 25 years until Smoky Row’s new website launched…but it was totally worth it. At least I think so. Seriously, though: Explore around. Read through our Core Values, check out some of the Sermon Series

  • Cutting Room Floor: Troubling?

    There is a theological problem here, of course, or at least something to discuss, because the devil says that all this has been given to him, and he can do what he pleases with it. What’s up with this, right? Did God give the devil power over all these regions and their rights