Can Jesus Get a Witness?

I spent the last couple of weeks watching the Olympics on TV. I think the Olympics are fascinating. I always enjoy watching the greatest athletes in the world compete at the top of their sports, seeing various people represent their home countries, and cheering for the U.S. to win gold. I find the Olympics to be a beautiful representation of the diversity of people….

A Single Purpose

One of the hardest things for the people of a church to do is work together for a single purpose. Churches are filled with so many personalities, so many ideas, so many interests – and even so many beliefs – that it is almost impossible to get an entire church to work hand-in-hand toward one common goal. So I guess it makes sense that…

The Lower 48

In the U.S., we are blessed to live in a land filled with beauty. From mountains to valleys, oceans to deserts, and forests to plains, this country’s landscapes are a testimony to the creative power of God. When I was a child, my family went on summer vacations to travel up and down the east coast. From Florida to Maine, we canvassed all the…

Every Tear

This Spring I began meeting with people from the church in small groups to have open conversations about life, church and challenges. (I’m planning to start having more meetings like this in the Fall—so watch for details to come in!) As I have these conversations, one of the most common things to come up is the subject of loss. Everyone experiences losses in this…

May is a very busy month…

This year, May 8 will be Mother’s Day, a day when we celebrate the women who shape our lives as well as the world we live in. The next Sunday, May 15, will be Pentecost Sunday, the day we remember the “birth” of the early church and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Then, the Sunday after that, on May 22, many people will…

A Life of Service

It was local mission work that drew me into local church ministry. ​Like many people who grew up in the church, I drifted away from regular worship attendance while I was in college. I felt like I had the world pretty well figured out (even though I didn’t), and I just let other things take priority over getting up on Sunday mornings and going…

Easter comes early this year!

Easter comes early this year! ​It has only been a couple months since we put away our Christmas trees, and yet we are already getting deep into Lent on the path to Easter. This year, the last Sunday of March will be Easter Day; so we are only a few weeks away from celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. ​During the month of March, we…

The Crimes of Jesus

This February we will enter into the Season of Lent. Lent is a season of 40 days – not counting Sundays – that leads us to Easter Day. ​Easter is the most joyous and celebratory time of the Christian year; but Lent has a different focus than Easter. During Lent, the church is called to become spiritually ready for Easter. Historically, these 40 days…

A Great Adventure

  It probably won’t surprise anyone to learn that I grew up watching Star Wars. Of the six Star Wars films, my personal favorite is probably still Episode IV, which, weirdly, was the first film that was made. There are a lot of things I love about the movie. For one thing it’s a classic, pure and simple. Whether you like Star Wars or…

Advent

To the People of Maize Manor UMC: Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ. This year the final Sunday of November marks the first Sunday of Advent. In the Christian church, Advent is the season of four weeks that leads up to Christmas. The word “Advent” comes from a Latin word meaning “coming”, and it is a time when we…