RECONCILIATION’S SONG

Lunch and Conversation at City Market BBQ in Luling, Texas

                        Featuring Special Guest:  Denbigh Cherry

This is one of those dream podcast episodes for me.  Eating brisket and sausage at the #1 BBQ joint in Texas with one of my best friends on the planet.  We welcome Denbigh Cherry to “the Table.”  He and his wife Stephanie model what authentic, creative Jesus-following looks like.  He’s a worship leader, songwriter, and musician.  (He wrote the catchy theme song that opens every “Redemption’s Table” episode.). But before Denbigh discovered what God, the Heavenly Father, had created him to do, he had to open up the door of reconciliation between himself and his earthly father.  You are invited to go to the smoke pit, order up a pound of brisket and sausage, drag up a metal chair across the concrete floor, and join us.  

BLESSED ARE THE GUITAR-MAKERS

Dinner and Conversation at Wintzell’s Oyster House in Montgomery, Alabama

                        Featuring Special Guest:  Hank TeutonI

learned of today’s podcast guest – Hank Teuton (rhymes with crouton) – from a comment of a total stranger.  It is amazing where God will lead when we pause and pay attention.  When Hank and I sat down to some good southern seafood at Wintzell’s Oyster House, it was one “wow” after another.  He served 31-years in the US Coast Guard. Along the way he became a luthier with a unique mission.  Hank names his instruments Baruch Guitars (Baruch is Hebrew for “blessed.”)  And although it is a completely different word with different meaning from the “blessed” of Jesus’ beatitudes, I could not help but think, “This is what someone’s life looks like when it becomes a living, breathing beatitude.”  So join us at our outside table.  We saved you a seat and some hushpuppies.

SHRIMP AND GRITS AND MAKING DISCIPLES

Lunch and Conversation at John’s City Diner in Birmingham, Alabama

                        Featuring Special Guest:  Bob Moon

I have known today’s podcast guest for four decades.  We attended Samford University at the same time. We both served as Ministers of Youth in different churches, different states.  We have followed Jesus together in a lot of different places – at Youth Camps, DiscipleNows, and other student events.  And we both have spent over 40 years obeying a single command of Jesus, “Go and make disciples.”  I was able to catch up with Bob a few weeks ago over some incredible Shrimp and Grits at John’s City Diner in downtown Birmingham.  The conversation was just as nourishing as the food.  We talked about what a lifetime of making disciples looks like. Slide on into the booth and join us. We saved you a seat.

WASH THIS BLOOD OFF MY HANDS

Lunch and Conversation in my office

                        Featuring Special Guest:  Norman Askew

At the end of every “Table” conversation, I click off the recorder and ask my guests, “Who are three of the most redemptive people you know?” When I met with Pastor Arthur L. Price, Jr. a few weeks ago and asked him that question, Norman Askew was one of his three choices.  Norman serves as the Prison Ministry Assistant for the 16thStreet Baptist Church in downtown Birmingham.  He has an “amazing” grace story that is gritty and real; from the streets of crime and death to a vibrant walk of ministry and new life.  He and I met for a wonderfully fresh summer salad in my office a few weeks ago.  Meeting new friends like Norman is one of the many blessings I receive from doing this podcast.  Toss up some fresh fruit and vegetables and join us.  We saved you a seat.

FLYING A DIFFERENT SIGN

Lunch and Conversation at Crestline Bagel Company in Birmingham, Alabama

                        Featuring Special Guest:  Scott Rackstraw

For the past 18 months I drive into downtown Birmingham twice a week to serve as a chaplain at Brother Bryan Mission.  At the corner of 3rdAvenue N. and 14thStreet I started noticing positive messages on the sign at Jim Edwards’ Chevrolet.  Right in the midst of a stretch of city streets where the homeless wander twixt rescue missions and interstate bridges were words of hope. I knew there had to be a story behind those words so I walked into the dealership and all the sales representatives pointed to Scott Rackstraw.  Scott and I met for lunch where I listened to an amazing journey of one man’s family who knows the power of redemption.  Grab a bagel and join us.  We saved you a seat.

BIG SPOON CREAMERY: HEAVEN IN A CUP

Ice Cream and Conversation at Big Spoon Creamery in Birmingham, Alabama

                        Featuring Special Guest:  Ryan OHara

I am a gushing enthusiast.  When I discover something I like, you can expect to hear about it. Three months ago I walked into an ice cream place that transcended my tastebuds to a whole new level.  Big Spring Creamery in Homewood, Alabama crafts the best ice cream I have ever put into my mouth.  So when I had the opportunity to sit down to talk to one of its two cofounders – Ryan O’Hara (his wife Geri-Martha is the other), I was ecstatic.  What follows is refreshing to the palate and the soul.  Grab a big spoon and join us.  (I recommend the Michael Dean’s Lavender.)  We saved you a seat.

IN FRESH PURSUIT OF A DREAM

Iced Coffee and Conversation at a Lively Starbucks Coffeehouse.


                    Featuring Special Guest:  Abigail Douglas

I first heard Abigail at an open mic night at a local barbecue joint.  I was wowed by a musical depth and maturity beyond her age.  She has been writing songs daily since age 11 and learned to play the guitar not long after that.  She just completed her freshman year at Belmont University in Nashville and released her brand new single, “Away From You,” just in time for your next summer road trip.  I encourage you to listen to Abigail’s freshman journey.  It is real.  It is honest. It is vulnerable.  Grab a latte and join us.  We saved you a seat.

A LOVE TO LAST

Lunch and Conversation at the Dinner Table


                    Featuring Special Guests:  Tom and Betty Chesnutt

He is 97; she is a young 93.  They have been husband and wife for 73 years.   He is a WWII veteran who saw combat.  She became a published author with her first book at age 85.  Their lives together have been marked by adversity, faith, resilience, joy, family, and love.  I caught up with Tom and Betty at their home in Hope Hull, Alabama. Before I arrived, Tom drove himself to pick up fresh pizza for our lunch.  (Who needs delivery?)  I brought some homemade Bon Bons and Fat Cake from Liger’s Bakery out of Montgomery, Alabama for dessert.  The meal was scrumptious.  The conversation?  Absolutely delightful.  We ate all the bon bons, but we did save you a seat.

A DRUMMER IN THE DISTANCE

Lunch and Conversation at Lek’s Railroad Thai in Montgomery, Alabama

      Featuring Special Guest:  Chuck Conner

My favorite Christian rock band is Geoff Moore & the Distance.  They were at the top of the charts from the late 80’s ‘til the late 90’s.  Their music was pure rock and roll with soul challenging lyrics.  Chuck Conner was drummer for The Distance through most of the 90’s.  Through circumstances that only a humorously sly Sovereign could orchestrate, Chuck and I are now friends.  We sat down recently to some delicious Pud Thai, Tom Kha, and Thai Tea in the old Union Station depot in Montgomery for an enlightening conversation about riding the rails to the rhythm of redemption.  We saved you a seat.
           

BIRMINGHAM’S 16TH STREET CHURCH: FOR SUCH A TIME AS ALWAYS

Coffee and Conversation at 16thStreet Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama


                    Featuring Special Guest:  Rev. Arthur L. Price, Jr.

I love this church.  I love its heartbeat.  This is hallowed ground where evil once struck; yet the love of Jesus Christ continues to resound triumphantly in the lives and ministry of this precious congregation.I was privileged to sit down with Rev. Price over a cup of coffee and listen as he shared his redemption story, as well as his unique perspective as Pastor of this historic church that was challenged 56 years ago “for such a time as then.”  I think you will agree that his testimony of grace and wisdom is relevant “for such a time as now.”  But my greatest takeaway from this marvelous conversation is this:  the main attraction of 16th Street Baptist Church is Jesus Christ.  And just like Jesus, they have answered nails with gospel truth, love, reconciliation, and forgiveness.  That uncommon witness is “for such a time as always.”