Don Follis

Don Follis

Don Follis | Being emotionally present helps one do right thing

When I present seminars on emotional health, I tell a story from Luke chapter 7 (verses 36-50), where I think Jesus shows remarkable self-awareness. Jesus was invited to a dinner party hosted by one of the Jewish teachers of the day named Simon. Just after arriving, Jesus is approached by a woman who heard he would be attending the dinner.

Don Follis | Love is strongest element in our 40-year marriage

Late in the afternoon 40 years ago today, I pulled my light-blue 1974 Ford LTD onto Interstate 17 and headed north out of Phoenix. At 10 a.m. that morning, my bride and I were married at Central Christian Church in Mesa, just east of Phoenix. She sat next to me on the car's navy vinyl bench seat.

Don Follis | Attending Sunday school with a familiar face

My wife and I left our Americus, Ga., hotel room at 5:20 a.m. June 10, and headed for Sunday school class.

Ever left for Sunday school that early?

We wanted to make sure we got a seat at Maranatha Baptist Church, where the Sunday school class cannot exceed 475 people. We were told even early arrivers can get turned away.

Don Follis | Memorial, museum evoke painful memories

Back in the day, when I was a theology student, one of my professors handed the students an essay by a Southern white preacher from the mid-1800s arguing that the Bible clearly justified slavery. Our assignment was to read the essay and write a one-page response.

Don Follis | Let women rise up, speak the truth and lead

The #MeToo movement began by exposing predatory male behavior and hypocrisy in liberal enclaves in Hollywood and the mainstream media. Now it is spreading through the rest of society. The #MeToo movement has given birth to the #ChurchToo movement.

Don Follis | All moms need grace in the moment

My mother was not different from the other mothers in our Northwestern Kansas town in the late 1950s and early 1960s. She was not different from mothers across the country. She had one child after another, four of her five kids in less than seven years. I was number two, the first of three boys. I am 14 months younger than my first-born sister.

Don Follis | Learning to grieve well is crucial to a healthy life

When I meet caring pastors, I am reminded that the best pastors are great grievers. They take the words of Jesus seriously — "Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted."

Don Follis | 'Unsanitized version' of becoming God's friend

In almost 40 years in the ministry, I have had many a discussion with pastors about authenticity and transparency. How much should pastors tell their parishioners about themselves, some of whom unwittingly put their pastor on a pedestal? What is appropriate disclosure, especially from, say, the pulpit on Sunday?

Don Follis | Easter is the day to listen for your name

On Easter, I turn to the Gospel of Mark, flipping to Chapter 16. There I read of several women visiting the tomb where Jesus was buried.

Don Follis | I think Dad would have supported #MeToo campaign

My dad was an elder in the conservative church of my youth in northwestern Kansas. The elders were all men. However, most of the teaching in the church, except for the preaching on Sunday, was done by women. The most popular Sunday adult class was taught by a woman. Dad enjoyed her lessons, respecting her Biblical knowledge.