A Desire to Keep God’s Commandments…

For me it’s Friday and that means I celebrate Sabbath on this day. Since I am a pastor and my Sunday’s are fairly busy, I try my best to practice my Sabbath on Friday’s. I usually don’t answer my phone or look at emails or do any “church” business. Of course like all things I struggle doing this, but if it were a normal Sabbath I would watch a worship service online. I attend an online service on Friday’s along with my wife who is also a pastor and so we worship together on Friday’s. Now this blog is not about Sabbath, but I could write a lot on that topic. Actually, I want to talk about the Law or better the Commandments.

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Our Frustration, God’s Glory

This past week my family and I were in a car accident. It wasn’t our fault, we were rear ended at a stop light. We are not sure if our car will be totaled, but if it is this would be the 2nd car accident in 2 years where we were hit and our car got totaled. On top of this we were supposed to travel to Ohio to visit my sister, but with injuries this prevented us from our plans. Of course I was frustrated all weekend because this accident threw a monkey wrench in my plans. I hate when my plans are ruined. My wife on the other hand turned and told me that maybe this happened for a reason, maybe we weren’t supposed to make that trip to Ohio. Hard words to hear and of course frustrating. My response is that God does not work that way. He does not cause pain or suffering to advance His plans. However, maybe I’m wrong???

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Muttering Leads to Happiness

It’s been a while since I have blogged last. Nearly 3 years. Since that time this world has gone into chaos with Covid and a divided nation and now with my home denomination, the United Methodist Church, splitting at the seams. I have also gone through some rough times as well. I lost my oldest brother to Covid complications, and I have been moved to a new church. Needless to say, it has been a rough few years for me personally and for most of us. So I decided to write again. I think for most of us we all wonder what will truly bring us happiness. Our nation is at an all time high in cases of depression and it seems like there are not enough prescription drugs to help the cause. Maybe this is why so many people turn to alternative means to help their state of mind. So how do we help those who feel no sense of joy or happiness?

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Christmas Card…

This morning I went to the local laundromat to wash a sleeping bag for our local clothing drive and I met a woman who thought Christmas was just a day.  I didn’t say much, but I wished her a Merry Christmas.  As I got in my truck I thought to myself, this woman needs at least a Christmas Card to maybe brighten her day.  So I rushed home and got a card took it back to the laundromat and filled it out.  I wished her a Merry Christmas and told her that Jesus truly loves her.  I even invited her to our Christmas Eve Service and our church service on Sunday.  I sealed the card and went in the building… Needless to say, she was gone before I could give her the card.  I missed a perfectly good moment that God provided.  I should have talked to her instead of rushing home. Read More

To Fast, or Not To Fast…

In early Christianity, the Church would prepare for Christmas the same way it prepared for Easter, through fasting.  Lent is the season before Easter which calls for a fast as a way of discipleship.  We fast during Lent as Christ did during His time in temptation.  Of course the temptation never left Jesus, for He was tempted until He completed His mission on the cross.  Advent is the season before Christmas and it calls for a fast as a way of preparation.  Four weeks of fasting to help prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ.  So the question that we need to ask ourselves is, do we fast or not? Read More

How Do We Respond…

Why do we give gifts this time of year?  It probably is a tradition which includes the Magi giving Jesus gold, frankincense and myrrh.  This is not a bad tradition, in fact I very much like the tradition of giving gifts.  However, lately I have been struggling with the quid-pro-quo manners of Christmas.  Am I giving to people to receive?  After receiving a gift is it proper to give one back?  These questions can also reflect our attitude toward God as well.  Why do I worship?  Why do I tithe?  Why do I do good deeds?  Is it because God has already done something for me?  Is it so I can receive something from God?  Have you had this dilemma in your life? Read More

Charles Wesley: Hymns & Sacred Poems, 1749, II

For me Charles Wesley is my favorite poet. A lot of people have not read his hymns or poetry. Charles Wesley was the younger brother of John Wesley and they both founded the Methodist Movement within the Church of England in the 18th Century. My Wesleyan professor in seminary, Dr. Hal Knight, once commented that if you wanted encouragement for your faith you should talk to John Wesley, however if you needed pastoral care, someone to grieve with, someone to console you, go to Charles Wesley. Both Wesley brothers were essential for the Methodist Movement to grow as it did and does today. For that reason I will share some of his writings from time to time. Whenever I have been truly inspired. I hope you all like it and may it help you mature in your faith through the Holy Spirit. ENJOY… Read More

The Lengths of Love…

So this week as I was reading various topics about God’s love I came across this story from our Desert Fathers,

There was a brother who served one of the hermits. The old man’s body happened to be badly hurt, and evil-smelling pus flowed out of the wound. The serving brother thought to himself, ‘I’m getting out of hear; I can’t bear the smell of gangrene.’ To control the thought, he took a bowl, washed the wound, and kept the water which he used and whenever he was thirsty, he drank from it. But his thoughts began to trouble him again saying to him, ‘If you will not go away, at least do not drink the pus.’ The brother struggled with endurance, and went on drinking the water. God saw his charity [LOVE] as he ministered to the old man; and God turned the contaminated liquid into the purest water, and by unseen means healed the old hermit.
The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks
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Butler, Therapist, Pastor, Friend???

As a pastor I come across and hear about a lot of problems in people’s lives and in the world. As a pastor I not only have to preach about God’s love, but also be the example of that love toward everyone. Of course that is nothing to complain about, in fact I love doing that. I could not see myself doing anything else. However, being a pastor is also one of the most misunderstood and abused roles in the world. In fact if I was to be truly transparent it is also one of the most lonely. Nothing brings me more joy than to be a pastor AND nothing creates in me a sense of worthlessness than being a pastor. Read More

Bodily Resurrection???

Our time of mourning and repentance is over. Easter is upon us. During Lent we spent 40 days focusing on what hinders us from Jesus. We fasted, prayed, gave up, repented, and cried out to the Lord. We asked God to create in us a new heart and spirit. One that is not fashioned out of stone, but out of His own. Now we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We turn our eyes not toward the cross, but toward an empty tomb. Jesus has conquered the grave! He has turned our mourning into joy! Read More