Stay Connected: October 2017 - God seeks us all, even when we disagree with one another. When God is our common desire, wonderful things happen and people’s lives are changed!
‘I Was Hungry and You Gave Me Food’: October 2017 - I Was Hungry and You Gave Me Food Food is one of those things I usually take for granted. I have vivid memories of being an insatiable teenager and staring into a fridge full of food, only to complain to my parents, “Why don’t we have anything to eat?” — which really just meant, why don’t we have anything to eat that I want right now. Even as a young adult, I frequently take for granted my freedom to mindlessly spend $10-20 on tacos and chips & queso at Fuzzy’s or a BLT at Sweetie Pie’s. I can afford to go to the grocery store anytime I want, purchasing food for meals and snacks and junk food without thinking twice. Legitimate hunger is never a Read More
Full Moon: September 2017 - Have you ever given any thought to the topic of a “full-moon?” Ask any first responder or someone who works in a hospital emergency room and they will give you their thoughts and/or experiences of working during a full-moon. As a peace officer, it seemed those nights when the moon would be full were the nights when some of the craziest things occurred. It was almost like a full moon triggered unrestraint in some people, brought about extreme carelessness or foolishness in others, and evil had its most power or extreme effect upon the rest of us. In some ways, the world around us seems like we have had an ongoing or constant full moon for weeks if not months or longer. At least that’s Read More
My Grandmother’s Kitchen: September 2017 - I first learned how to bake as a child in my grandmother’s kitchen. With a bit of practice, those senses and memories I picked up in my grandmother’s kitchen slowly came back to me.
Forming Opinions Through Experiences, Not Others: August 2017 - A few days ago, I overheard a conversation between a couple of people. The topic of their discussion was about “Reunion” (Wise County Old Settlers’ Reunion). One sounded like Reunion Veteran with plenty of comments about what the other person was going to like and dislike. The person who was receiving these comments had never attended Reunion, and after listening to the one with the experiences, I thought the friend may now never attend Reunion. It’s funny, and in some ways even odd, how we hear or read comments and based on those comments we form an opinion and too often, as a result, miss an opportunity to have a first-hand, untainted experience for ourselves. Like the person who heard some of the Reunion experiences Read More
Remembered and Reminded: August 2017 - This past month I have been reading Judges and Acts during morning prayer. Through these scriptures, I have been re-minded of the vital importance of remembering who we are and Whose we are as the people of God. Throughout Judges I see what it looks like when the people of God forget who they are and Whose they are. These recent nomads have settled into a more comfortable life in the Promised Land, no longer wandering the desert and depending on God to provide manna in the morning dew and water from rocks. In their comfort, they began to stop telling the stories of faith: the stories of suffering in Egypt, of God’s hand breaking the bonds of slavery and leading them to freedom through Read More
Reflecting on Liberty: July 2017 - The celebration of one of our country’s most honored events occurs in July as we recognize and remember our independence from British rule with commemorative activities and a holiday on July 4, 2017. While we call that particular day Independence Day, there were actually a number of days, months, and even years, both preceding and following July 4, 1776, of dedication, sacrifice, and perseverance by untold numbers of people to ensure that the American Colonies would in fact be free. While representatives of 12 of the 13 colonies which made up the Continental Congress voted to approve the drafted Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 (New York approved it on July 19, 1776), the document was not signed until August of that year. Five Read More
An Update on the Church’s Health: June 2017 - This month will mark an entire year that our church has been engaged in implementing the five prescriptions that were a result of the Healthy Church Initiative Weekend Consultation. We have been busy in the past months, working to increase the overall health of the church. Let’s see how we are doing as we work toward full implementation of the items in the report. In June last year, the Vision Team brought a new Vision Statement to the Administrative Board for consideration and approval. That statement, “We are a people of grace, hope, and love who faithfully participate in a way of life that includes learning, growing, giving, and serving,” was adopted in June of 2016. As a result, a “ministry audit” was conducted of Read More
The Pool of Life: May 2017 - During a recent trip to Fit-N-Wise in Decatur, I looked through a 2nd floor set of windows down toward the Aquatics Center and noticed what appeared to be a very faithful lifeguard sitting atop the lifeguard stand above the main pool. The lifeguard had his flotation device across his lap and seemed to be ready to spring into action at any moment. However, the water in the pool was calm. In fact, the pool appeared deserted and certainly there was no immediate need for a rescue. I wonder how many times we have wandered out into the “pool of life” expecting God to be on the heavenly lifeguard stand, ready to dive into whatever frantic situation we might find ourselves in and drag us back Read More
Spiritually Preparing for Easter: April 2017 - In the last few weeks in worship, we have heard the powerful stories of Jesus’ transfiguration, followed by his trials in the wilderness as Satan tempted him, a life-changing encounter for a Samaritan woman who finds Jesus thirsty at a well, and a man blind from birth having a very spirited conversation with some stuffy church leaders who refuse to believe Jesus is the Son of God after Jesus gave the man the gift to see (of course those who thought they could see were really the blind and those who believe are no longer blind). While these Bible stories are often associated with our current liturgical season of Lent, I enjoy them anytime and every time they are read. They, like so many other Read More