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About Larry Parsley

Husband, father, Texan, and a Baptist pastor of all things. Works at vrbc.net and blogs at lonesomepulpit.com. Enjoys long walks on the sidewalk and dinners by fluorescent light.

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Author Archive
    
    J.B. Roane and the Case of the Entrepreneurial Pastor

    J.B. Roane and the Case of the Entrepreneurial Pastor

    A new original short story featuring the Rev J.B. Roane: The three of us sat at one of those concrete picnic tables at a rest stop a good fifteen miles from town. My two potential clients, both pastors, were not necessarily sure they wanted to be seen talking to the likes of me. “‘J.B. Roane, […]

    J.B. Roane and the Case of the Reluctant Granny

    J.B. Roane and the Case of the Reluctant Granny

    When my new cellphone rang for the first time, I tried not to act surprised. “J.B. Roane.” My heart raced, but I kept my voice steady, just a tick above bored. “Umm, is this the Preacher?” That’s what most Texans call pastors. Technically, yes, I thought. I’d spent three years in seminary, largely learning how […]

    J.B. Roane and the Case of the Belated Apology

    J.B. Roane and the Case of the Belated Apology

    This is the first in an ongoing series of original short stories featuring the Rev. J.B. Roane. Thornton bought me a cup of coffee at the same Dairy Queen where he found my business card the previous day, pinned up a little crooked on a bulletin board next to the men’s room. J.B. Roane – […]

    On Dead Lions, Live Donkeys, and the Limits of Endurance

    On Dead Lions, Live Donkeys, and the Limits of Endurance

    David Grann has penned a gripping New Yorker profile on Arctic explorer Henry Worsley. If you don’t have time to read the whole lengthy piece (or even if you do), this 25 minute New Yorker Radio podcast is a fantastic supplement. A retired British army commando, he was obsessed with the Arctic explorer (and current leadership book […]

    "A Broth of False and True": Frederick Buechner's Godric

    “A Broth of False and True”: Frederick Buechner’s Godric

    My friend John and I are the sole members of an organization we call “The Nerd Book Club.” Once a month or so, we grab coffee and talk about books we’ve always wanted to read but lacked the self-discipline to finish on our own. Recently, we committed to read a novel that has been on […]

    The Road Back for Pariahs

    The Road Back for Pariahs

    It is hard to know how much of his tongue was in his cheek when Politico’s Jack Shafer penned “The Sex Pariah’s 6-Step Guide to Rehabilitation.” Yet the questions he addresses in the wake of Weinstein and Lauer and O’Reilly (and so many others) are both serious and timely: once the pariahs have served their […]

    Hopelessly Devoted: Mark Chapter Five Verses Twenty-One to Forty-Three

    Hopelessly Devoted: Mark Chapter Five Verses Twenty-One to Forty-Three

    In an undergraduate class on the short story, James Joyce’s Dubliners in hand, I learned how to hunt for epiphanies. In Joyce’s Araby, for example, a young boy is infatuated with his friend Mangan’s sister. She is to him a chaste goddess — “Her dress swung as she moved her body and the soft rope […]

    "He Reads Well"

    “He Reads Well”

    I was both thrilled and intimidated when my church asked me — then a 29 year old college minister — to become their interim pastor. While I loved to preach, I was nervous about having to prepare practically every Sunday. I treated those sermon manuscripts like so many of the doctoral seminar papers I was […]

    Navigating the Denominational Food Court

    Navigating the Denominational Food Court

    One of the mixed blessings of Martin Luther’s 500-year-old legacy is finding one’s place among the hundreds of denominations which roughly fly under the Protestant banner. In other words, how does one find the “right” denomination, assuming you profess faith in the lower-case catholic church? This is a particularly acute question for me, born and […]

    Do Not Pass Go

    Do Not Pass Go

    Last week my parents visited a childhood acquaintance of mine named Russell. Russell and I are close in age, and his late mom and my mom were great friends. But that’s where most of our similarities end. Russell is disabled and has lived his whole life in a wheelchair. As a kid, I remember that […]

    A Welcomed Interrogation

    A Welcomed Interrogation

    John le Carré knows spy craft. A master of espionage fiction, he also once served as an intelligence officer in Britain’s MI5. In a recent interview with Terry Gross of NPR’s “Fresh Air,” while promoting “A Legacy of Spies,” le Carré discussed the art of interrogation. He expressed his firm conviction that the “rough stuff” […]

    Hopelessly Devoted: Exodus Chapter Two Verses One Through Ten

    Hopelessly Devoted: Exodus Chapter Two Verses One Through Ten

    I live over 250 miles away from the path of Hurricane Harvey, but the stories have hit close to home. In the hours leading up to Harvey’s arrival as a Category 4 just north of Corpus Christi (my hometown), I did a lot of anxious calling and texting with members of my immediate family who […]