Two Jurisdictions in One United Methodist Church?

One of the recurrent suggestions about how to resolve the impasse in the United Methodist Church, which is now getting a great deal of consideration as something to be proposed to the General Conference in 2016 is the two jurisdiction proposal. This particular post will not deal with some of the merits of the proposal (yes there are some), but with the serious flaws in any such proposal. POINT ONE: Two jurisdictions will of course require two different Disciplines, not… Read more


One Lone Word Can Be True. God’s Yes, Makes All Things New. Two Words Too, Like ‘I Do’. Can Change A Man Through And Through. Sad Or Glad Up Or Down. One Word, Smile One Word, Frown. Seek Now And You Will Find True Words Heal Or They Blind Word Made Flesh We Have Seen. Touched, Felt For Word Has Been. This My Flesh This My Blood. Truth We Ate, Did Us Good. So We Share The Cup And Plate…. Read more

‘The Theory of (almost) Everything’ (except God)

It was 1996 and I was on sabbatical in Cambridge working on my Mark commentary. It was the Easter season and ‘A Brief Theory of Time’ was still selling well (it came out in 1988). I was at the Sunday performance in King’s College of the Bach St. John’s Passion, and there on the first row was Stephen Hawking in his wheel chair. I knew of the stories about his infidelity to his wife, due to his affair with his… Read more

It was a Black Friday Indeed

One of the clearest signs imaginable that a society is becoming less, not more civilized, is the proliferation of gun buying, and therefore guns in the hands of any and all sorts of people. There are in America, already nine guns for every ten people. Someone is killed with a gun in America every sixteen minutes, and you cannot tell me that the watching of violent films and violent video games doesn’t contribute to a mentality which supports fear-based decision-making… Read more

Saltzburg– Part Four

Seeing the street life of a town is always fun, and in this case it included street artists, chess players, illusionists, puppeteers, and musicians! Yes that guy really is hovering in air…..nothing under him holding him up… Make no bones about it, this guy wanted money! And this guy was near by as well…. pointing to a money pail…. You have to ask yourself, is painting yourself silver really worth the silver you get from observers??? I’d rather play giant… Read more

Saltzburg– Part Three

The Saltzburger Dom is not a new kind of hamburger. It is in fact the name of the beautiful cathedral of St. Rupert in Saltzburg, which we will now visit. The outside of the building is a simple white and grayish colored large edifice…. but inside is a whole different story. What you see here today is a 17th century rebuild, of a 11th century rebuild of the building St. Rupert had something to do with in the 8th century,… Read more

Saltzburg– Part Two

As I was saying, Salzburg is Salt town, and so naturally you have salt shop…. including all kinds of salt, even bath salts!! of course there are lots of other interesting shops in the town as well. Here’s an apothecary, or pharmacy…. And of course there are numerous quaint cafes, we ate at one across from Mozart’s place… The following speaks for itself…. After lunch you can go to the colored egg shop…. And it wasn’t even Easter! There were… Read more

Saltzburg— Part One

Ann and I decided to take a day trip on a bus to Saltzburg. Now ordinarily, I’m not enamored of canned bus tours, but this one turned out o.k., and Saltzburg was well worth the journey. The town is named after the fact that it had a salt mine as its major source of employment at one point in its history. Hence— Salt town became its name, and there is still salt to be had there, as we shall soon… Read more

Vienna down by the Blue Danube

Vienna is a big city, with a river running through it, a famous river, the Danube (hence the Blue Danube waltz by Strauss). Christa decided to take us outside the city to see it from above, from the last slopes of the Alps which sort of end at Vienna…. What you should notice about these pictures is 1) basically the river separates the older city, from some of the newer parts of the city; 2) that the river actually splits… Read more

The Lipizzaners

If you love horses, and you’re going to Vienna, then seeing the Lipizzaners is a must. They live in downtown Vienna!! They have their own stables and exhibition hall as an extension of the royal residence buildings right in the heart of the old city. These are no ordinary, or even Kentucky special, horses. These are world famous horses, bred by the Hapsburgs since the 16th century. The name is actually Hungarian, so they are horses from this region, but… Read more

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