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
In the past month we have witnessed fire damage, hurricane forces, earthquakes, flooding, and now a mass shooting where at least 59 have died and hundreds wounded. Not to mention the famine in war torn countries, genocide, and persecutions that happen all around the world every day. We need to remember that tragedies can happen anywhere because we know that the darkness and evil principalities are seeking to destroy us. However, let us not despair. Continue reading
My parents decided that when they had children they would not raise them in the ways they were raised by their parents. At least this is what they claimed to me, so I will believe them. One distinct way they did this was a profound sense of God’s love for all people as His creation. In other words God has created us all in His divine image of Love. White, African, Hispanic, Asian, are all the beautifully created work of God. I did not know my grandparents well on either side, however you kinda pick up on some beliefs they had through the comments that I heard. One of these issues was race and racism. I do not know if my grandparents were racist, but when you hear the comments like, “if your grandpa knew what you were doing he would roll over in his grave” directed toward other family members when they dated people from another race you kinda get the idea on where they stood on this issue. Continue reading
Have you ever had one of those weeks or moments when you are reminded just how unprepared you are for your job, family, or life in general? You know those moments when you are hit with something from left field and it leaves you feeling completely inadequate? This past week it happened to me. Continue reading
When we went out and built fences we did not worry about the terrain. In fact it did not matter what the terrain looked like. No matter how the land moved up and down, or how rocky and soft it was we were going to build a fence. Of course Wade and I were the brute force of the team and Chub was the brains. Every post that we drove was done with a 50 pound post driver. We would stick the t-post into the ground and Chub would line it up with where the fence was going. Then we would place the post driver over the t-post and start pounding. You might think that two big men wielding a 50 pound post driver would have no problem driving in a t-post 2-3 feet. However you would be wrong. In eastern New Mexico we have this lovely soil/rock called caliche. Caliche is a hard sedimentary rock that is used to help bind other materials and rock together. It is really hard rock. Around my home town of Elida there is a huge strip of caliche next to the surface and to build anything takes a lot of work and effort. Continue reading
Its kinda sad that I have not written more. I apologize for not writing more in the last 3 months. Anyway, I am sitting in my last class that I will take as a Doctorate of Ministry student and I started recounting how much I have grown in my understanding of God through my seminary education. Theologically identifying myself as an Orthodox Wesleyan my growth was challenged and pushed being at a fairly “progressive” school. Let’s just say that I had to wade through a lot of manure in my Christian education. However, like manure in the garden, through it I have grown.
To truly grow in our faith takes a lot of change. I believe that maturity equals change. As we grow in the love of Christ, God helps us see others and the world differently. Maturity requires change. Continue reading
My dad told me once, that “God works with our decisions.” What an interesting concept, but an important one. In this one statement my dad expressed both the pain and the hope that comes with our choices. I bring this up because as a pastor in the United Methodist Church (UMC) I must consider the hard choices that are tearing the church apart. Continue reading