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changing lives faith Sharing Christ

A Response to the Charleston Church Shootings

Over the past few days, I have continued in prayer for Charleston. I want to share a portion of my response to the Charleston Church Shootings which I preached this morning at First United Methodist Church. I believe it is important and inadequate. You can find the entire sermon and manuscript online here. Let me […]

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changing lives faith life

The Biggest Bulldozer in the World (or I Can Do All Things)

At a recent bedtime, I read Bulldozers (Mighty Machines) to our children as one of our stories. After reading, my son stood up and said excitedly, “One day, I going to drive the biggest bulldozer in the world!” I replied with a smile, “You sure could.” In those brief moments, I was struck at how wide the […]

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blog changing lives

Blog Reboot: How to Succeed at Everything (1 of 4)

I am a fan of technology. Technology can be used in a variety of ways that vary from mundane, productive, entertaining and more. I have recently started using an app that has made a tangible difference in my behavior in the real world. An app that is helping me make progress on things that I care about […]

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changing lives ministry renewing the church united methodist church

Metrics for the UMC: Comparing Stories (2 of 3)

Clearly numbers do not tell the whole story of a local church, annual conference or denomination. There are stories of life change that are more important than raw data. One of the challenges of collecting stories is how to report them. It is far easier to look at a graph of worship attendance at our […]

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Bible changing lives

One Day

“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” Psalm 84:10, NIV This verse reminds me of two things, which happen to be connected together. The first is an experience that I had in college at One […]

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changing lives life

Start and Stop in the Appointive Year

This appointive year I am going to work on starting and stopping things to be more healthy, faithful and balanced. Start Creating deeper connections with colleagues in the United Methodist Church More regular exercise Gardening Puttering about the house a bit more Stop Worrying about things that I cannot decide about or avoid Caffeine (This […]

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changing lives church

Snippets and Smidgens of Faith

“The problem is: We just don’t do whole things anymore. We don’t read complete books — just excerpts. We don’t listen to whole CDs — just samplings. We don’t sit through whole baseball games — just a few innings. Don’t even write whole sentences. Or read whole stories like this one. We care more about the […]

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changing lives transforming the community

Can a Pastor Build a Friendship with a Congregant?

I hope to build deep social connections with others. I know that deep friendships have a great deal of positive benefit in my life. Friends are people with whom I can share encouragement, accountability, fun, conversation, support and a wide variety of interactions. As a pastor, there are times when I feel the distinction when […]

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Bible changing lives

Scripture Monday – 1 John 4:10-11

10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another (1 John 4:10-11, NIV). I don’t have much of a question about these verses. They are a beautiful […]

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Bible changing lives

Scripture Monday: 2 Kings 1:10

There are some strange and wonderful stories about the prophet Elijah. Here is one example from 2 Kings. “Elijah answered the captain, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men” (2 […]

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changing lives renewing the church transforming the community

Fruitfulness: Distinguishing Busyness (2 of 4)

How do we separate busyness and fruitfulness? Fruitfulness leads to the fruit of the spirit are evidenced among the people. Another way to consider this is to see lives changed, communities transformed and the church renewed. Busyness does not lead to evidence of the fruit of the spirit. Busyness does not lead to changed lives, […]

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changing lives faith

Why? Making Sense of God’s Will

This week, I read Why?: Making Sense of God’s Will by Adam Hamilton. In this short book, Hamilton addresses three questions of theodicy, God’s justice in the face of suffering, Why do the innocent suffer? Why do my prayers go unanswered? Why can’t I see God’s will for my life? He concludes with a few words about Why God’s […]