Blog

22
Feb

Lenten Reading for February 22

We are not making this journey of renewal alone, and this is important to remember. Did you ever think about the fact that when Jesus taught us the “Lord’s Prayer” he instructed us to use the word us rather than me? We are not making this journey of renewal alone, and this is important to remember. When […]

21
Feb

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, a period of forty days* in which we are invited to examine our hearts and return to God. The concept of forty days is linked to the time Jesus spent alone in the wilderness before he began his work. Jesus himself understood the need to set […]

21
Feb

My intentions for Lent

Intentions are strengthened when you share them with others. Having promoted the idea of coming up with intentions/spiritual practices for the season of Lent, I hereby make my intentions public. 1) To be in a time of prayer first thing in the morning. 2) To become more mindful in my eating.  I am a notoriously […]

16
Feb

True Grit; “Try Again” Revisited

A fascinating article entitled, “How Not to Talk to Your Kids” appears in this month’s New Yorker magazine. It talks about studies made of kids who have been identified as gifted” and repeatedly told so. It turns out these kids have a tough time when things don’ come easily for them. Where another, more “average” kid […]

16
Feb

Preaching at the nursing home

This being the third Thursday of the month, I preached at the local nursing home this morning. Amazingly, I’ve been doing this just about every month since I got here in July of 1987. There are generally about a dozen or so women there, mostly in wheel chairs. Where are the men? There aren’t many […]

11
Feb

Thoughts inspired by the death of Anna Nicole Smith

This morning in my sermon I briefly made reference to the incredible amount of coverage being given to the death of Anna Nicole Smith on t.v. networks.  I referred to her as a symbol of the remarkable superficiality of which our culture is capable. In the midst of the ongoing news coverage, I stumbled onto […]

08
Feb

Wesley continued: the spiritual life is messy

There is a need on our part to bring order to what often feels like chaos in our internal life.  We like to identify, for instance, a decisive, change of heart for John Wesley that permanently altered the feel of his life when he experienced his heart as “strangely warmed” at Aldersgate Street in 1738. I […]

08
Feb

John Wesley and the ladies

At the United Methodist Women meeting at our church this evening Betty made a presentation on John Wesley’s time in Georgia. A young Anglican priest fresh out of Oxford, John served in the colony for less than two years.  The time was a disaster for John: the rigidity of his personality put him in intense […]

05
Feb

Sick Super Bowl Commercials

Yesterday we visited some friends to watch the Super Bowl.  We don’t have a television in our house because 1) we don’t trust our self-discipline to keep from watching it too much; and because 2) there is an immense amount of garbage on the television. Three years ago there was a major outcry when the […]

02
Feb

Evaluating worship

Lately we’ve been engaging in some self-evaluation at our church, raising questions about what would be required for our congregation to grow. At a recent meeting we discussed the experience of people in our worship service on Sunday morning.  Generally speaking, there is a lot of interpersonal warmth in our congregation during the service.  Early […]