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"Tony Robinson is one of the most active church leaders in the United States, greatly in demand as he teaches congregations and denominations about church life. His work has a deep theological underpinning, which many congregational-development gurus don't have."

Fleming Rutledge
author of The Gospel and the New York Times and And God Spoke to Abraham: Preaching from the Old Testament

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Prayer Bowls (this is a recent poem of mine)

The line of five Dish TV receivers -- each one four feet and ten inches high, grey --
stands outside the low-slung, two-story apartment building
where my daughter lives in Atlanta

Each concave dish
tilts upward, as if
searching, scanning, listening, waiting
for a word from the Lord

Instead they get
“Modern Family,”
“Jeopardy”
and never-ending episodes of “Law and Order” --
eternity as re-runs

But still these mute grey dishes
in a neat line
all tilted toward heaven at the same 70 degree angle
strike me
hopefully

A sign of our longing
of our search for something
that cannot be scheduled or programmed.

They stand, waiting to receive

What if, one day,
all the Dish TV receivers
did receive
such a signal,
the Word
spoken in the beginning

What if an announcer named John who is a progressive fundamentalist Baptist in Georgia said,
“We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming,
to bring you what everyone wants,
which is also (he added sotto voce)
what everyone doesn’t want.”

The line of Dish receivers --
long ago invisible to the residents --
hurrying to their jobs, classes, and appointments --
stands alert, waiting
a cable guy’s modest Stonehenge
a technician’s tiny Angkor Wat on a side street
in Atlanta, Georgia

 

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