Helping the Refugee

A few months ago I preached a sermon following the Paris attacks that terrorized the world with murders committed in the name of a twisted version of Islam. The massacre saturated the media, and prompted some politicians to ban the relocation of...

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Life and Honor

Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life and honor. Proverbs 21:21     This Spring has been a difficult one of loss for my family.  This past week, Lara’s grandfather, Harvey Smith (whom she called “Papa,” passed away with...

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No Fruit on the Vine

My heart went out to Dr. Rebekah Miles, a professor at SMU who was a delegate from the Arkansas Conference to General Conference, (and who also happens to be a cohort of mine in that we were both “P.K.s” at Arkadelphia FUMC). On the last evening...

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The Dynamic Kiting Spiderling

How about a poem for a change? I wrote this a couple years ago as I sat watching a spider fly into the porch on its little web parachute. Wondering what this was called, I looked it up on Wikipedia and found that they are actually scientifically...

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Who is General Conference?

By the time you are reading this, General Conference (April 24-May 4) will have begun in Tampa, Florida (that is, unless you are reading the “early edition” published on the “pastor’s blog” on the church website, and then sent to the Facebook...

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Earth Sunday

Connecting the calling of faith-life to the development of an “Earth Ethic” has been a major theme in my own religious life, and thus for my leadership in the church as well. I’ve had many wonderful opportunities to learn from other people...

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The First Day of the Week

Since we Christians have thoroughly removed ourselves from the calendar and therefore the mindset of the Jewish roots of our faith, something about Easter may evade our notice. In fact, it has evaded my notice until right now as I sit in my...

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Among the Living

“Why do you look for the living among the dead?”  (Luke 24:5) These words, spoken by an angel at the empty tomb on Easter morning, haunt us—don’t they?  They are words of hope but also of chastisement.  We are people of the empty cross—we claim...

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Counter-Cultural Worship

It’s this time of year when in this part of the country, you may feel like a bit of a weirdo. It was obvious to me yesterday when finding out we would start off my son’s baseball season by having scrimmage games with each of the other...

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Witness and Loyalty

I always hate it when I forget to mention something pertinent in my sermons, particularly when it is what in the world I mean by a particular sermon title. Fortunately, the newsletter gives me an opportunity to “tip it in.” (a little shout out to...

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Iron Sharpens Iron

Though none of you had the opportunity to meet my grandpa, I have received many condolences from you over the past week, and my family and I appreciate the outpouring of kindness. Though he had been living with a particularly difficult cancer...

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Plucked from the Fire.

Methodists and fire have a storied relationship. John Wesley started his life by being “plucked” from a house fire moments before the roof came crashing down when he was six years old. (pictured in The Rescue of John Wesley from the Epworth...

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