An Eclectic?

ECLECTIC? The dictionary defines me as "a person who derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources." An evangelical? That's me! The Eclectic Evangelical.
     Eclectic is a life theme. I've enjoyed membership in a tapestry of churches as well as humanitarian and policy positions. My book choices range from biblical, political, and devotional, to spy novels, and World War I and II history. I listen to Peter, Paul, and Mary, Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, The Temptations, and Josh Turner. Among others, add Big Band, Gregorian chants, beach music, Klezmer, and Chopin.
     On the mission field living aboard Mercy Ships, then in Switzerland, and Romania, plus moving around the US, my faith has ripened with fruit from many good trees. I invite you to walk with me through my articles, anecdotes, and commentary on many topics. Woven into a faith-and activist-tapestry, I hope it will enhance your journey to discover the extraordinary beauty and limitless fulfillment of your Christian faith.
     My eclectic journey began as a child in the Carolinas. My parents owned one of the few professional float building companies in the USA. While "Universal Decorators" didn't circle the world with floats, we did cover the southeast with floats that colored my world and delighted many thousands of parade-goers. In grammar school I already knew how to hammer a nail and use a staple gun on fringe, floral sheeting, foil, and festooning on 25 or more fanciful floats displaying a candy house, little train, American flags, big watermelons and swans, reindeer and sled.  
     In churches, I found beautiful threads of faith woven together in the Lord’s Hands. Growing up Southern Baptist built a foundation; how to sing the great hymns of the church, where to find books of the Bible, and scripture memory. Presbyterians fed me at a buffet of Protestant theologians and introduced me to my favorite theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer recognized by Israel as a Righteous Gentile.   
      In The Episcopal Church, I waded into two streams, one liturgical and the other charismatic. In the "high" Episcopal church, I feasted at the Eucharist each week, navigating the ups and downs of kneeling. In the charismatic Episcopal church, I connected more deeply with the Holy Spirit and experienced joyful worship. My membership in an African American church lifted me up listening to the poetic cadence of prayers, inspiring sermons, and songs that gave me a glimpse of heaven.
     During our eight years with Mercy Ships, the world's largest Christian hospital ship, we sailed the seas with a Christian crew from 35 nations-like South Sea Islanders-who introduced us to their worshipful dances. On the mission field in Romania, my senses delighted in the Orthodox Church replete with incense and gilded, intricate altars.
     In a non-denominational church with contemporary music, I engaged with believers from varied church backgrounds and joined a small group. In the Church of God, I experienced a Pentecostal setting in a pro-Israel denomination that displayed both American and Israeli flags. Now, I belong to a small Anglican church with a strong sense of family and includes liturgy, weekly Eucharist, missions outreach, and acoustic guitars.
     Jewish friends, rabbis, colleagues, and Hebraic teachers tied the ancient bow on my Christian faith, opening an elegant door to the Jewish DNA that nurtured Christianity in a sacred cradle. Learning more about Christianity's Jewish roots supplied a more personal perspective of my Savior, a Jewish Rabbi walking and ministering among His people in the Jewish culture. As a non-Jew, I've received an extraordinary gift grafted into the ancient Jewish olive tree.

In Essentials Unity. In Non-Essentials Liberty. In All Things Charity.

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