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About Andrew Taylor-Troutman

Andrew Taylor-Troutman is the poet pastor of Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church in North Carolina and the author of Gently Between the Words: Essays and Poems.

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Author Archive
    

    Scared and Sacred, Faith and Fear

    During the quarantine, I’ve spent many afternoons sitting quietly on the trunk of a tree that had fallen across the neighborhood creek—a small body of water that meanders through the woods behind my home. One recent afternoon, as my three young children splashed, I watched the sunlight in the treetops render the green leaves almost […]

    A Grave Burden

    Blessed are those who carry / for they shall be raised. – Anna Kamienska Several years ago, during Christmas vacation, my dad and I were discussing funerals. This is not as weird as it sounds. We were two pastors talking our trade. The conversation turned to my own grandfather’s service, which had taken place twenty-five […]

    A Cat Called Soul

    After only a couple of dates, we got on the subject of pets. I am a dog guy. My romantic interest had already met my hyperactive little puppy. I told her that, growing up, my best friend was a Golden Retriever named Lucy. She commented that her father always said not to trust a man […]

    A Grave Hope

    And if life is a miraculous opening, why cannot death be a miraculous opening also? — Brian Doyle 1 In Acts 7:16, readers are told that the bodies of Jacob and his twelve sons were brought back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the […]

    The Zen Parent Writes of Posture

    Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. – Matthew 6:34 ~ As I was busily typing a sermon one Saturday evening, my seven-year-old son crept into my bedroom. He had gotten out of his bed because he was scared. Naturally, I asked him why. He whispered tearfully, “I can’t put […]

    The Grace of Ordinary Dog Days

    It’s summer and the liturgical calendar rolls through Ordinary Time. True enough, the phrase “The Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time” doesn’t exactly titillate the senses. But this “ordinary” does not imply commonplace or routine events. It refers to a sequence of ordinal numbers—first, second, third and so on. For followers of Christ, this “ordinary” denotes […]

    A Gift on Father’s Day

    This Father’s Day, my three children gifted me a bird feeder in the shape of a log cabin. Now, as they joyfully run amok in the playroom, I am reflecting on the gifts of fatherhood itself. Fatherhood has taught me that children are actually verbs. Also, that Legos multiply through their own procreative process. Yesterday […]

    Healing in the Middle

    When I say Asa, I sing Asa – Bry Webb, “Asa” Our middle child is named Asa, which means Healer in Hebrew. His biblical namesake was the fifth ruler in the House of David, the third king of Judah. In his two and a half years, our Asa has had more days with a royally […]

    Catch Me

    A new friend, who is joining the church I serve, offered a Rumi reading to me from his morning devotional: Hold up a mirror to your worst destructive habits, for that is how the real making begins. ~ 1995 was my first year of high school. That spring, my baseball coach announced to the entire […]

    My Most Selfish Prayer

    Dear Lord: let me die before my wife. I’m bouncing our baby daughter on my lap as she drools on a wooden rattle. Her mom makes pancakes every Saturday morning, but the baby has only recently gotten her first taste. Our middle child, age two and a half—his big brother has taught him to emphasize—marks […]

    Comma, Grace

    I was taking a mid-afternoon break at my favorite coffee shop. The brew was dark, organic, and fair trade; the scone, buttery and soft with little treasures of cranberries buried beneath the surface; and the people-watching, exquisite. Take the guy with the cryptic tattoo on the back of his neck. I was trying to crack […]

    The Golden (Arches) Rule

    On the first Sunday of the month, I gathered with the other middle schoolers early in the morning before church and piled into the motley assortment of cars driven by our church’s college leaders. I worshipped those undergraduates and would have gladly tagged along wherever they drove. Plus, you got to wear your t-shirt and […]

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