Our Story, and Song!

As we approach an historic gathering of our church from across the nation, I’ve been reminded of Fannie Crosby’s classic gospel song, “Blessed Assurance,” especially its chorus, which I would adjust slightly, as follows: This is our story, this is our song, praising our savior all the day long! I suggest that this chorus is so apt, as we recall and live into who we are, what our story is and the song we’ve always sung at our best. Ours is the story of a great God who is supremely good, creating in love a world very-good, and placing it in the care of beloved image-bearers.  And though the story got hijacked and diverted, our great God did not give …

In Bethlehem’s Babe God Moves In

Five years ago, Lavone and I moved from Greenville, Illinois to Indianapolis, Indiana.  It was the smoothest and most care-free move we’ve ever had.  We are grateful beyond words, and more comfortable than we deserve in our home (which because of travel still seems quite new).  All the more so, when we acknowledge this Christmas time that more than 68 million people in today’s world are displaced from their home, among them in excess of 25 million refugees.  Make no mistake: The vast majority of the displaced would give anything to be home.  Similarly, the vast majority of refugees are the victims of injustice perpetrated against them and their loved ones.   Christmas is about Another who moved into places …

No, Mary Didn’t Know

Of course, that is the point of the song, isn’t it?  Mary could never have guessed all that her child, hers yet God’s, would do.  The exploits, the healing, the mastery of all powers earthly and heavenly, and the use of them all to love people whole and well.  Then again, had Mary thought about what we so easily take for granted she might have guessed.  After all, we’re talking about God—almighty, everlasting, creator, redeemer GOD.  Had she thought as we now assume, she might well have expected many coming attractions filled with jaw-dropping exploits.  She might even have expected more and different than the story actually reveals. But Mary’s mind, so far as we know, didn’t go there.  Instead, …

A PEOPLE POISED TO CHANGE THE WORLD

The 21st century world—what challenges and opportunities there are for a people of good news! I am convinced of three things I want to share with you:                                                                              First, our 21st century world desperately needs the good news of Jesus Christ; Second, the Methodist/Wesleyan movement is ideally suited to respond to the world’s need in a way that can transform persons, families, nations and world. Third, as at the beginning of Methodism, Spirit led and anointed use of AVAILABLE “means” or “strategies” will …

WHY WE MUST REFUSE TO BE ANGRY

  We live in an angry world, both inside and outside of the church.  Everywhere you look or listen people seethe and smolder over the many things that displease them.  Church people rage against the culture, of course.  But also against each other whose differing views of the culture and how to respond to its non-Christian values and practices cause bitter divisions.  Out in the world, away from the church, it is the same story.  Political and social divides cut across every segment of the population and every sphere of endeavor. In view of that context, let me tell you why I am refusing to be angry.  First, though, I admit that I am sometimes a little, and sometimes more …