Ten Commandments for the Political Season

I am currently cleaning up my blog archive. I wrote this in 2012. How little things have changed. Sigh. Two weeks, two National Conventions, and the airways spew impossible promises, nastiness, low blows and the usual mud-slinging.  Yet both parties claim to be full of decent human beings and aiming for the most upright of [Read More…]

United Methodists: It is Time to Stop and Pray.

The battle over sexuality rages with new energy. The Just Resolution decision instead of a trial for Rev. Olgetree (this 80 year old retired clergy presided at the same-sex wedding for his son, and fellow clergy filed charges against him) has ignited a firestorm of separatist talk, exposing more fully the deep divisions among us. [Read More…]

The Freshness and Fragrance of the Gospel: Pope Francis and the UMC

In an interview published today, Pope Francis said the church should be a “home for all” and not a “small chapel” focused on doctrine, orthodoxy and a limited agenda of moral teachings. Yes, he sounds very much like Jesus. I wonder how long he’ll last as Pope. I’d like to think a long time. But I [Read More…]

Four Months, Fourteen Days

On December 31, 2013, I will say “good-bye” to a life and work I have simply loved.  That day will be my last day to serve as Senior Pastor at Krum First UMC, and my last day as an Elder in active service in The United Methodist Church.  The next day, I officially take on the status [Read More…]

From Barren to Baby, Hope After Tragedy

As did many clergy, I faced a dilemma with this Sunday’s message after the events of Friday’s massacre of children. For Advent this year, I had decided to do a series I called “From Barren to Baby” and speak of some of Jesus’ ancestors, particularly those whose stories started with the barren woman scenario.  I [Read More…]

On Earth As It Is In Heaven, Initial Reflections on “Everything Must Change” Clergy Retreat

I read this New York Times Magazine article with fascination, drawn into the beauty of the life of people on a Greek island.  The writer has been seeking to find the key to their extraordinarily long lives. Their food is simple, homegrown, primarily vegetarian, and herbal teas and homemade wines are consumed daily.  Exercise is [Read More…]

Dead Soil Produces Dead Souls: Thoughts on the Toxic Church

I hear the word “toxic” bandied about all the time, both applied to people and to churches.  The word means poisonous, of course.  Poison is “a substance with an inherent property that tends to destroy life or impair health” (from dictionary.com).  So if we are in a “toxic” relationship or toxic church, we are in [Read More…]

Biblical Ignorance and the Delegates to General Conference

I have been reading blog after blog about what is happening at General Conference, taking particular interest in the ones that supported the now dead legislation that would take language out of the Book of Discipline that condemns homosexual practices. I have numerous thoughts here. The thing that hits me the hardest here is the [Read More…]

The “Do-Over”

I was recently reading some material about learning to face the things that scare us the most while being reminded again of how difficult real life-change is. We stay stuck in destructive habits and relationships, soul-draining jobs, and unhealthy bodies. We live enlarging our separation from the Holy One because facing the pain of change [Read More…]

The Transformative “Thank You”

Wow, Thanksgiving is already upon us. School is out for all of next week, academic pressure is off for a little while, and many will travel for family gatherings. For years and years, my sister and I have prepared a very formal Thanksgiving meal at her gracious home in Plano for the extended family. The [Read More…]