A Conversation With Special Guest:  Steph Cherry

Welcome to 2023 and our 5th Season Premiere!

Imagine today’s table conversation taking place under an interstate bridge sharing tacos with the homeless and you’ll catch a glimpse into the heart of today’s very special guest – Steph Cherry.  Steph and her husband Denbigh set The Boho Table as volunteers at The Church Under the Bridge in Waco, TX and at the Trinity Center in downtown Austin, among other places.  Steph is a taco maven and the CEO of Kindness.  She’s also a wife to D, a mom to 3 daughters, a Hope Coach and Counselor, an artist, and a mansion restorer.

Today’s podcast is about hope, how to be a light in the midst of your own personal trauma, setting a course for the year ahead, and choosing your own word of the year.  And it’s just flat out inspiring and fun!  So, grab a bag of tacos or make a batch of your own, bless them, pass them out to someone in need, and get ready to pop the clutch on this new adventure called 2023.

* Closing song Bethlehem used by permission from Ross King.


Featuring “Bethlehem (2022 Version) by Singer-Songwriter Ross King*

It’s Christmas!  Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.  The gift of God’s peace comes in a variety of ways.  Peace as presence.  Peace as mystery.  Peace as vocation.  Which peace do you know?

Today’s table visits a variety of places including Bethlehem’s manger, Ukraine, Lechuguilla Cave, and a hillside near the Sea of Galilee where Jesus taught some astounding truths.  Grab a cold eggnog and join us.  We saved you a seat.

* Song used by permission from Ross King.


Featuring “Bethlehem (2022 Version) by Singer-Songwriter Ross King*

Winter Solstice.  The scent of fresh balsam.  The crunch of fresh fallen snow.  The laughter of children at play.  Luminaries lining walls and walkways.  A crackling fireplace.  The hush of a falling star.  The midnight church bell.  How would you describe peace?

It’s Christmas Eve Eve and the most wondrous night of the year is almost upon us.  What is the peace you want most this Christmas?  And what is the peace that you already know?  May the peace of Christ surprise you when you least expect it!

* Song used by permission from Ross King.


 Featuring “Bethlehem (2022 Version) by Singer-Songwriter Ross King*

Joy is my favorite kind of ambush; it renders you speechless in a triage of worship, wonder and peace!

A trio of ambushes are shared in this special Christmas episode.  One took place this fall on the Pacific Coast north of San Francisco.  One took place in Luke 1 as someone is ambushed right in the middle of their best day ever.  And a third shares a little discovery about joy which comes just in time for our celebration of the birthday of Jesus.  May the joy of the season rain upon you.

* Song used by permission from Ross King.


Featuring “Bethlehem (2022 Version) by Singer-Songwriter Ross King

While visiting the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California this fall, I came across one particular Peanuts comic strip that was absolutely brilliant.

This episode shines the light on one thing we all need this holiday season.  It’s a little bit of Charlie Brown and Lucy, an updated version of a Ross King song*, a moment from Ted Lasso, two questions to ask ourselves and others, a prayer to pray, and a baby born in a cattle shed.

* Song used by permission from Ross King.


I am 6 years old standing on a large dam somewhere in the Smoky Mountains.  I clutch a black bear stuffed with wood wool recently purchased from a souvenir shop somewhere between Cherokee and Gatlinburg.  I walk out across the top of the dam with my parents and peer over the edge.  A wall of concrete stretches below me.  What happens next is seared into my memory.  Somehow the black bear escapes my grasp.  I fumble to catch it but my arms are too short and gravity is too swift.  The bear plummets and for the next 8 seconds, I watch it drop.  In spite of the dam’s curvature, it never bumps the side of the wall as it is swept away.  I never see it hit bottom.  It is just gone.

Mild childhood trauma, to be sure, compared to all the unthinkable broken surrounding the innocent today.  Yet the memory remains on replay in my mind.  Perhaps because nowadays, I am the bear on that dam.  After these past two years, can anybody out there seriously claim that they are not?

I am the bear on that dam and I’ve already taken the plunge.  I didn’t jump.  I wasn’t pushed.  Somehow the top of the dam escaped my grasp.  My arms were too short, gravity too swift, and I plummeted.  And whereas one side of the dam is a reservoir, the other is bone dry and painful.  Wood wool may bounce, heart and soul does not.  You find yourself in an endless cycle of seasons lying stunned among the stones.  Jeremiah languished two-and-a-half chapters of Lamentations in a rock quarry before he ever caught breath enough in his lungs to sputter, “Great………is Thy………faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:23)

As you dissect your drop from the vantage of the valley, the mind spins analogies.  You ponder strange perspectives like, “Is this the same kind of bottoming-out the disciples must have felt as they stood watching Jesus disappear into the clouds?  (Acts 1:9-11).”  He had just left them for the second time.  The first time they were crushed by the brutality and finality of His death.  Then His resurrection whipsawed them the other direction through disbelief to joy.  Now, He was gone again.  And even though He left them with a promise, no doubt each one of them chased Jesus’ descending and ascending moments of late up and down the strings of their faith like a yo-yo for the next ten days.

To be clear, this was not my first dam.  Life tends to be a series of them, does it not?  But this particular plummet bore the accumulative weight of all the drops preceding it like no other.  It magnified every closed door behind me, of which there have been many.  It cracked the tanks of my resolve and my resilience.

If you care anything at all about where you were before gravity took you over, you straggle back to the bottom of the concrete wall from which you flew.  And it will become your wailing wall.  Like the Western Wall of the Temple in Jerusalem, you scribble prayers on scraps of paper and cram them into every crevice.  You brush the wall like a blind man seeking random dots of Braille until your fingertips crack and bleed, searching for any hint of a why.  You touch the wall for the coolness of water you know flows refreshingly deep  a few feet away on the other side.

The certainty of what happens next or what ought to happen next is known only to the Redeemer of every dam fall since the big one.  Sometimes those two certainties never align.  There is no scaling the wall behind you without the Lord’s help (Psalm 18:29) and some walls can’t be scaled.  Only those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31).  Sometimes wait means be still; sometimes it means move slowly forward.  Even if the dry streambed before you looks like a Red Sea road without a mirage of Sea to define it, you trust forward.  There will be good surprises ahead and some may even catch you from behind.  You never know when a prayer once answered “Not Yet” becomes a “Yes” in God’s timing.  A dam behind you may break as your dry course becomes a river again. Greater still, the spring within may rupture upwards through the cracked sump of your soul as the River of Life rises with healing in His waves. This moment awaits everyone who has imbibed the Living Water.

Until this moment comes, bear on.  Bear on, Eve.  Bear on, Adam. 


 Featuring a Song by Singer-Songwriter Don Francisco

Children ask on average 125 questions a day.  Adults ask 3.  Big difference.

According to the Gospels, Jesus asked 307 questions.  He was asked 183.  He only answered 3.  Big difference.

According to the Bible, Jesus and children are close to God.  They get their question-asking naturally.  They get it from God.   And all through Scripture, God asks a lot of questions.  But God is omniscient.  He knows everything.  So why does He ask so much and so often.  He does it so that we can make discoveries about ourselves and our relationship with Him.

Today’s episode examines God’s first question recorded in Genesis 3:9.  And, as an added bonus, we will feature a song by singer-songwriter Don Francisco to introduce the question.  A special thanks to Don for granting us permission to use his song and for his contribution to this week’s episode.


A Conversation With Special Guest:  Clark Cothern

Life is a curious thing.  You never know the next saint or neighbor you will meet.  You never know the lasting impression the person who moves in next door might make upon your life.  And that works both ways.  How will your current neighbors remember you?

Once upon a time about a couple of score ago, two young couples moved next door to each other at 1729 and 1727 W. Seminary Drive in Fort Worth, Texas.  And though we haven’t been next door neighbors for 36 years, today’s special podcast guest Clark Cothern and I remain friends to this day.  This is a light-hearted reflection on what it means to be saints and neighbors.  It’s a beautiful day at Redemption’s Table – and we saved you a seat.


Staying in the moment does not come naturally to me.  My mind is constantly drifting back to special memories, or sometimes pivotal events from the past.  I see a calendar date or hear a favorite song and immediately I flip back to that season of my journey.  And if I’m not circling back, then my mind is possibly racing towards the uncertain turns and curves of the future. 

Can anybody out there relate?  Or am I the only one?

On today’s episode, I will share some key life hacks I use to keep me more present, wherever I happen to be, at any given moment.  And it all begins with how we begin our day.  We saved you a seat for this very timely, practical edition.  Pour yourself your favorite cup of coffee and join us.

(Photo by Robert Barge at Van Gogh and the Olive Groves on exhibit now at the Dallas Museum of Art.)


A Lyrical Conversation with Special Guest:  Jeff Gore.

Some of my favorite conversations revolve around music and favorite song lyrics.  It is even more exciting when the person you’re talking to is an award-winning cowboy musician.  And so back in the fall of 2021, I took advantage of being with one of my best friends who fits that bill and recorded two conversations instead of one

We’re excited to bring back to the table singer/songwriter/author/actor/preacher/cowboy and my good friend Jeff Gore.  Jeff and his wife Donna travel across the United States singing cowboy music and ministering to ranching and rural families.  I was blessed for many years to come along beside them in this endeavor in a variety of places across Texas and the southwest.  Today’s episode is pure fun and a real treat for anyone who already knows Jeff’s music and voice.  We saved you a place at the chuckwagon.