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Author Brent McDougal

Brent McDougal is senior pastor of Cliff Temple Baptist Church in Dallas.

One of the joys of being a pastor is that I get invited into some very sacred spaces. I’m not talking about actual places or buildings, but the inner experience of individuals, the holiest of holy places where people dwell. It’s a privilege to be welcomed into those spaces as people share their longings, hopes, […] Read More

Once there was an astounding castle owned by the Castlereagh family, one of the most princely residences in Ireland. But the ancient home fell into decay, and the usual happened: When peasants wanted to repair a road or even construct a pigsty, they scavenged stone from the old dwelling. The stones were already craftily cut, […] Read More

Aesop wrote a fable about a donkey who discovered a lion’s skin. He tried it on, strutted around and scared many animals. Soon a fox came along and the donkey tried to frighten him too. But when the fox heard the donkey’s voice, the fox said, “If you want to terrify me, you’ll have to […] Read More

With all of the talk about how divided America is, I continue to believe that there is more that we have in common than what drives us apart. One fundamental need that all humans have is for deep, supportive relationships. Relationships make the difference when there’s mental distress, an economic crisis or a family loss. […] Read More

Are you thankful for all the ways that God has been good to you this past year? And do you want to acknowledge the needs of others, even as you enjoy the benefits of God’s good gifts? Then make your Thanksgiving missional this year. The word missional simply points to how any everyday activity can […] Read More

When I did my doctoral studies on Rwanda, the driving question I wanted to answer was, “How could a group of people do this to one another?” I wanted to know how there could be so much violence, even neighbor killing neighbor. I was hoping to discover one key factor that would perhaps rise above […] Read More

I climbed into an open vehicle for a night safari with about 15 other people one evening in Kruger National Park in South Africa. For the first two hours, we saw nothing except for a glimpse of the uninspiring backside of a hippo. But then we spotted two small elephants close to the road on […] Read More

Years ago, John Denver sang a song (written by Guy Clark) that says: “Only two things that money can’t buy / That’s true love and home-grown tomatoes.” Cliff Temple Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, hosts a farmers’ market on the first Saturday of each month on our parking lot. This past month there were vegetables […] Read More

John Mayer’s song called “Waiting for the World to Change” has been my head as I think about Christmas. Mayer writes compelling lyrics about how we often feel like we don’t have the power to change our world. “Now we see everything that’s going wrong/with the world and those who lead it/we just feel like […] Read More

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the toughest of them all when it comes to using nuclear weapons against Osama bin Laden and terrorists in radical states such as Iran and Afghanistan? And by the way, while you’re pondering that, mirror, mirror, what should people of faith and those who seek peace demand of candidates […] Read More