Hanging Out with the Wrong People

  Annual conference time is upon us, that season in the United Methodist church where clergy and lay delegates sweep in from all points of a defined geographical area to worship, hear reports and vote on resolutions. On the first morning of the Central Texas Annual Conference in Ft. Worth,...

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I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy

  I’m a wanna-be outdoorsman. Though I’ve done my fair share of camping, fishing and hiking, I’m a greenhorn when compared to Munro baggers, volcano boarders and glacier cavers. I’m fascinated by people who climb sheer granite cliffs, hike the 2200 mile Appalachian trail, navigate angry rapids, hunt wild game. The...

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Don’t Write the Obituary Just Yet

  Last week I came across a slideshow of creepy abandoned churches across the United States. The pictures seem to be a metaphor for denominationalism across the United States, which is slowly crumbling like the inner-city cathedrals whose congregations left long ago. With alarming regularity another report or survey comes out that reveals...

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Mixed Marriage

  The Lady Is a Tramp She was a floozy, the kind of girl your mother warned you about and your dad might take a sneak peek at. She wore purple eye shadow, thick mascara and lipstick so red that hummingbirds buzzed around her. Her dresses were always a size or...

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A Skeptic’s Question

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13, NIV) Today, on this National Day of Prayer, my mind went back to an email conversation that I had with a skeptical friend many years ago. He had sent me a link to a...

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A Christian By Any Other Name

“The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch,” Acts 11:26 tells us–but musician Marcus Mumford declines the name, thank you very much. In an interview last month with Rolling Stone, the 26-year old leader of the British band Mumford & Sons and the child of Vineyard pastors, declined to apply the name of...

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Are You In It for the Long Haul?

The Boston Marathon bombings on Monday remind us that the fight against evil is ongoing. We are, indeed, in an endurance run to protect our freedoms and build a safe world for future generations. Hours after the attack, a Facebook friend posted, “What is wrong with our species?” I replied, “Sin.” I didn’t...

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Net Gains

  A Fish Story Have you heard the one about the pastor who confronted a church member one Sunday morning? He said, “George, I heard you were out golfing last Sunday during worship.” George snapped, “Pastor, that’s a dirty lie…and I’ve got the fish to prove it!” Peter and his buddies had no...

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The Grave With You is no Grave!

“With You, Lord, I will flee, that I may gain in You Life in every place. The prison with You is no prison, for in You man goes up into Heaven: the grave with You is no grave, for You are the Resurrection!” (Jn 11:25) St. Ephraim the Syrian, 4th century...

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Saturday Mourning

  Now’s the time for mirth and play,Saturday’s an holiday;Praise to heaven unceasing yield,I’ve found a lark’s nest in the field.  Christopher Smart, Hymns for the Amusement of Children  A Bird’s-Nest-On-the-Ground Kind of Day I don’t know about you, but finding a bird’s nest on the ground wouldn’t excite me...

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