A Farewell to 2017

2017 is coming to an end. Like most years, it has been a time of ups and downs, highs and lows, good news and bad news. For much of the year, national politics have dominated the news cycles; but it has also been a year of global events and personal experiences. While we get ready to end the current calendar year, the church year…

American Idols

This November will be Mission Month for Maize Manor UMC! The United Methodist Church’s mission is “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” I like to shorten that to say our mission is to “Live Like Jesus,” which includes both making disciples and changing the world…but it’s a lot easier to say! In this day and age, there are a…

Things I Learned in School

Right now it’s time for students and teachers to go back to school. Back to school is an exciting time but stressful time. It’s stressful for students who are getting themselves ready to meet new teachers and make new friends. It’s stressful for teachers who are preparing lesson plans and classrooms. And it’s stressful for parents who are doing back-to-school shopping and rearranging schedules…

Be Still

It is amazing to me how quickly time passes. It seems like just yesterday my kids were finishing up the last day of school, but now they are already gearing up for the first day of school for the new year. Summer is almost over! In the midst of the busy-ness of our lives – from work to family to everything else we have…

Letting Go

When people worship, they often try to leave their troubles at home. For one hour on Sunday mornings, they pretend everything is good in their lives even though secretly they are struggling. But I’m not so sure God wants us to leave our problems at home when we worship. Every time I open the Psalms, I am reminded how hard it can be to…

Fairy Tale Princesses and the Women of the Gospel

When my oldest daughter turned seven years old, I took her to Disney World to be turned into a fairytale princess. She thought hard about who her favorite princess was. Then, finally, she chose to dress up as Princess Jasmine from the movie Aladdin, and we had a blast taking pictures of her all around the theme park.   I imagine many people have…

The Day of Resurrection is Almost Here

The day of resurrection is almost here!  During the month of March, we have been following Jesus on his journey to the cross.  Now, as we all get ready for April to usher in a new Spring, Easter Sunday is coming fast… We began this Lent by talking about the challenges of a world filled with Diversity; but we will finish it by envisioning…

Lent

The season of Lent lasts 40 days, not counting Sundays. It is a time of spiritual reflection, self-examination and recommiting our lives to faithfully following Jesus Christ. This Lent we will follow Jesus on his journey to the cross in the book of Matthew. Along the way, we will see Jesus serve a person who followed a different religion than he did; we will…

Boom and Bust: The Appalachian Spirit

I grew up in the foothills of Appalachia. The small town where I went to grade school was called Racine, Ohio. Racine was located on the edge of coal country,  and was within a short drive of several old mining towns. When I lived there, the region had a lot of financial challenges. Many of the people who lived in the area often looked…