As I write this, I’m sitting in the waiting room of Methodist Hospital, Dallas.  I’ve just heard a piece of very difficult news about a treasured colleague and friend.  Shortly, I’ll be speaking with her about this, but right now, all I can do is weep. My distress is obvious, and a woman sitting across from me comes over and puts her arms around me.  “Just cry.  It’s OK, let it out.” We talked for a little while.  She speaks… Read more

Some people are just mean. Mean as in nasty, intentionally hurtful to others in words, actions and thoughts.   “Mean” can also describe someone who is stingy with finances, time, love and compassion, but that is not the direction I’m going here. I’m just talking about plain old meanness.  People who appear to live with such a sense of entitlement that they carry no concern about their treatment of others.  Other people, animals, nature:  all these are simply objects to be… Read more

My yard is full of weeds this late winter week.  I’ve seen this happen before when we’ve moved into a different house and started the progress to an organic lawn and garden maintenance program.  Without harsh weed suppressants, the not yet healthy lawn is permeable to every possible weed right now. It’s messy and a little frustrating.  I want to just blast it with some magic quick fix product and be done with it.  I also know the cost of… Read more

“Is that your cell phone?” I squirmed in embarrassment as a well-known theologian and pastor turned to me in the midst of a presentation in a crowded auditorium on the SMU campus and asked that question. I started to apologize when he interrupted me and said, “In our church, we insist that everyone leave their cell phones on and that babies are never shushed. If we don’t have time to listen to crying babies, what do we have time for?… Read more

I sat in the seminar room watching the young and articulate woman across from me explain how she was serving as pastor to a church in what is called the “emergent” stream of Christianity. This young, energetic, vitally alive woman described how they meet in rented facilities on Sunday evenings, all go out to dinner together afterward, and then hit a pub or bar in the area and often have conversations that take them into the next day. How alive!… Read more

When things aren’t tame, we get hurt or sick or hungry. But without hunger, pain, or anguish, we lose the ability to appreciate the real good when it comes.  Mr. Tumnus: He’s not a tame lion. Lucy Pevensie: No… but he is good. “He’s not a tame lion.” Anyone who has read The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis or seen either of the two Narnia movies would recognize that line. It’s Aslan’s description. Aslan, the great lion who… Read more

“The greater the relationship, the fewer the rules.”  I read that phrase many years ago and it has stuck with me since. The truth of it reverberates deep inside me.  I see it play itself out over and over.  In situations of loving trust, few rules are needed.  But when trust begins to break, when one party no longer believes the best of the other, when intentions are questioned, the rules start to mushroom. The financial markets are facing the… Read more

There are advertising campaigns in England and Spain which publicize the atheist contention that God does not exist. Apparently highly Roman Catholic Spain has many, many atheists who feel very much discriminated against. So the local atheists have purchased an ad to run on the side of an occasional city bus that reads: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy life.” Now, while I don’t agree with the atheists, I find I disagree even more with the people… Read more

So what is health anyway?  If we can’t define it well, we can’t figure out if we have it.  Here’s a test to check your mental health:  http://www.sanityscore.com/ .  I took it and am considered pretty healthy mentally.  How nice of them.  But I’d sure like some good definitions of health, physical, mental, spiritual.  Give us a place to start. “A Pastor’s Thoughts” from First UMC, Krum, www.thekrumchurch.com Read more

How does a person get well?  What is healing?  Does God really heal miraculously?  How does western medicine cooperate with the healing process?  How does one maintain spiritual health when the body appears to be suffering from un-health? Perhaps an even better question:  what IS health anyway? I’ve got a lot of these questions racing through my mind after the last few months in particular of seeing many dear friends and relatives get hit hard by various illnesses, some absolutely… Read more

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