The New Economy

Today’s posting is non-scientific.  Today’s posting does not have a lot editorial flashes attached.  Today’s posting is just my ramblings about the Church, something almost as near and dear to my heart as God (mind you that the Church is not God nor does it even come close to God – but I love as much as anyone).

At this time in the Church’s history we stand on the brink of a shift that, based upon history, is due to happen.  Every 500 or so years our church moves forward with reformation.  Creeds have caused shifting.  Luther’s 95 theses tipped the world’s hat to the last major one.  But in 2010, we are due for one. 

While at 2010 Georgia Pastor’s School this week, I heard a lot of discussion about the imago dei and about pastoral self-care (very important shop-talk).  In all of the discussions I heard one sentence from Steve Harper of Asbury Seminary that put all of the puzzle pieces together for me – “The Church is in the beginning moments of a new reformation and what it looks like nobody is yet quite certain.”  So what is this new reformation and what will it look like? Here are my thoughts…

Continue reading The New Economy

…and it was beautiful

...remember your baptism....

There was a time that I thought commissioning was a just another gimme in the long list of promises coming my way.  Like a child, spoiled by the privileges of indulgence, I was sure that this was but a right for which I was to be handed.  That was of course until I came before the NGUMC Board of Ordained Ministry.

It was on that Monday during mid-March 2008 when I was humbled (Jesus says “the exalted will be humbled”).  I MEAN HUMBLED!  Then came mid-March 2009 when, yet again, I was deferred.  Seeing no way through at the moment, I told my wife, my family and my friends that “if there had ever been a needle’s eye, this was it.”

It was in my helplessness, my nothingness, my emptiness that Christ made a way by offering me a place to serve despite my inability to move forward.  During the third year leading up to Annual Conference for North Georgia this past week, everything seemed to change in my heart.  God moved in spite of me.  Despite my failures, God blessed.  Regardless of my stumbles with the Board, Christ showed up and ministered.  When I was not sure what would happened or where I (and my wife) may end up, God’s blessings poured out from seemingly thin air.  Time after time after time, God was revealed.  God was revealed…..GOD was REVEALED! Continue reading …and it was beautiful

Re-membering; Re-presenting: The Bucket List

Recently I’ve heard a lot of theology about all things “Jesus” and like most things good, I am finding that the simple things are quite often the most profound.  The more I complicate things the more convoluted they seems to become in my mind. I’m a details guy.  I get caught up in them, I dwell in them; quite often I falter because of them.

So this Maundy Thursday I am choosing to return things back to simple.  Rather than dwelling upon the minutiae surrounding me, I’m going to do my best to turn to the a more simple analogy for Jesus.  Sure, the vastness of God; the extraordinary nature of God may boggle our minds if we try too hard to understand what He is doing.  I for one can’t comprehend it.  But today, as I descend with Jesus to the Cross I’m keeping it simple. Continue reading Re-membering; Re-presenting: The Bucket List

Christ’s Story…

Not too many more words needed to introduce this clip except that it was originally posted by JD Walt, Dean of Chapel at Asbury Seminary and that this is Matt Clark performing at (I believe) Wesley Foundation at Univ. of Arkansas.

May my story and your story descend with the story of Jesus!

Dignity

The last several days have been all over the place!  I am preparing for my return to the Board of Ordained Ministry (BoOM) of the North Georgia Conference on Monday at 11:10 a.m. (please be in prayer for that interview).  I am also vigorously hard at work with several responsibilities here at St. James UMC (as are most pastors).  As a preface amid the distractions, God continues to pearce my soul with far deeper truth regarding human dignity and his love for humanity both collectively and individually.

In my preparations for the BoOM I have been reading a lot!  Specifically I’ve read lots of books on theology and doctrine.  Books like N.T. Wright’s “Evil and the Justice of God,” John Wesley’s “The Holy Spirit and Power,” and M. Scott Peck’s “People of the Lie.”  One of the most impacting reads yet (including these more mainstream reads) were three lesser read books in the Jesus genre, Brennan Manning’s “The Ragamuffin Gospel,” Shane Claiborne’s “The Irresistible Revolution,” and “Same Kind of Different As Me,” by Denver Moore and Ron Hall.  The message I keep hearing in my prayers is that EVERYONE DESERVES THE DIGNITY OF CHRIST. Continue reading Dignity

Freedom

This morning as I was drinking my morning coffee Sarah, while preparing to leave for preschool, remembered to hand me a mailer that I’d received in the mail at my parents’ home.  The note was short and to the point as it ended with these words, “We help people like you everyday.  Let us help you too…” and closing by saying these profound words, We look forward to helping you rediscover your freedom and independence.”

What my parents would normally discard as old junk mail was saved to be sent to me via my younger sister, Alyson through Sarah.  Intending this note to be sent in jest, the joke rang true…for whatever reason, somebody had attached me to phone calls and, yes, constant mailings from The SCOOTER Store! (Are any of you reading this the culprit?)

At any rate, I have quietly received these phone calls and messages without telling a soul.  In fact I’ve been getting these calls from The SCOOTER Store for about a year now and have told nobody!  Its been a sore spot with me!  I haven’t wanted to tell anyone.  In my desire to control the conversation, I have remained silent.  In my selfish need to not be the butt of others’ jokes I’ve told nobody.  In the midst of my pride, I have wanted to keep the upper hand by not revealing my embarrassing secret calls from this store for the disabled!

Continue reading Freedom