TRUST


DrTony:

Tom, thanks for posting this prayer. I found this to be highly appropriate for what is going on in my life right now.

Originally posted on Hopeful:

I shared this prayer by Thomas Merton last year. But isn’t this great?

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe 601655_169972666467393_1690513489_nthat the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death…

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Looking in from the outside — a pastor visits another church


DrTony:

I am doing like several others on the Methoblog have done and reblogging this piece by Jay Voorhees. It is worth reading and, more importantly, the basis for examining how your church reacts to visitors. I would also point out that I mentioned some of the problems with web pages in my own piece last August, “Can You Find Your Church?” – http://heartontheleft.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/can-you-find-your-church/

Originally posted on Only Wonder Understands:

As most of my Facebook friends know by now, I’m currently in Los Angeles having helped my eldest drive from Nashville to establish a new home. Needing to recover from the drive and needing some time off, I chose to stay over a few extra days to enjoy the sunshine, connect with some old friends, and generally relax. That is how I found myself this morning going through the task that many do each week — trying to find a church to attend, and walking into a new place of worship unannounced.

I do have pastor friends here in the area, and I gave serious thought to visiting their churches. But it as I thought about it, I decided it would be interesting to not lean on my previous relationships but to go somewhere cold — just like most of the visitors to our churches. For most of us in…

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This Is Our Witness?


DrTony:

We sing that people will know that we are Christians by our love but somehow I don’t think that is what people sometimes here. We have to begin thinking about what we are doint.

Originally posted on ancoraimparo87:

My oldest grandchild texted me this link a couple of days ago. “Take a look at this,” she wrote, “and tell me what you think when you get a chance.” The link opens an article about the church trial of United Methodist pastor  Frank Schaefer for officiating at his gay son’s wedding six years ago. His action violated the denomination’s clear prohibition of clergy performing same-sex marriages.  Rev. Schaefer was found guilty of violating the policy and suspended for thirty days. At the end of his suspension he must either agree to follow all provisions of the United Methodist Book of Discipline (the denomination’s law book) or surrender his ministerial orders.

This whole affair was news to my granddaughter. She’s not a United Methodist, so she hasn’t followed our internal conflict closely. She’s been raised Catholic, and has grown into an intelligent, curious young adult with intense curiosity about a…

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What Is A Methodist?


DrTony:

Considering that I have to take courses in the history and polity of the United Methodist Church, this is a pretty good list to have available.

Originally posted on irreverendmike:

I’m a Meth-head

Wait. That doesn’t sound right….

I’m a Methodist nerd, how about that? Specifically, I’m a John Wesley nerd. I think that Methodism, at its very core, has incredible things to offer this world. Our way of understanding the gospel, and sharing the love of God, is incredibly applicable to the world we find ourselves in.

Alas, so many Methodists do not know what it means to have inherited this rich heritage, passed onto to us through the past 229 plus years.

I’ve begun a new members class at my church and have opened it to current members as well. The whole point is to teach people about what Methodist Christians believe and how we live this out, or at least how we should.

To help spread my methodistness (methodisticity? methodistasticness?) I wrote a newsletter article that went through the sixteen points John Wesley made about Methodist identity…

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When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned


DrTony:

As Bob writes, you may not be a follower of the Cardinals like Bob and I are but this is something that goes beyond sports.

Originally posted on A Grace-Filled Life:

Every one of my readers has been in the situation of things not going as planned. Maybe it was a sweetheart in high school who didn’t see life as we did and went another way. Or a job that didn’t pan out as we expected. Or health concerns rearing their ugly head at the absolutely worst time of our lives. I could go on–the list is endless.

I realize the majority of you don’t care for baseball, especially the St. Louis Cardinals but I am asking you to put that aside for a few minutes and read this story about one of the Cardinals’ player, Jason Motte. Back in spring training this year, Motte injured his elbow and needed season ending surgery.

The shelf life of a professional athlete is very short, so for Motte sitting out this year has been difficult. It could have been the most depressing time…

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Cakes and Quacks: Do Evangelicals Worship Democracy More Than Christ?


DrTony:

This is a very interesting piece to read and then, perhaps more importantly, think about. Dr. T

Originally posted on Mercy not Sacrifice:

Wedding-cake-two-brides[Guest-post from fellow Virginia UMC pastor Jason Micheli: please check out his blog Tamed Cynic!]

Trolling the news, two separate but related stories have stuck in my theological craw of late.

Two stories that strike me as adventures in missing the plot. The Gospel plot.

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Further Thoughts on the Texas Abortion Decision: Framing the Question


DrTony:

I like this post, simply because it addresses the issues that are often not addressed in the debate.

Originally posted on thoughtfulpastor:

Ultrasound of a female fetus

Ultrasound of a female fetus

An Ideal World

I’m with Rick Perry, Governor of Texas (whom I personally find embarrassing in his egomaniacal drive to become President of the US) on one thing only:  in an ideal world, there would be no abortions.

But also in an ideal world there would be cohesive families, no rape or incest, no fetal deformities incompatible with life,  no spousal/girlfriend abuse, no abandoned mothers/children, affordable health care and insurance, high quality subsidized day-care available to all who need it, an economy that makes meaningful work available to all, an educational system that does not shortchange the poorest of the poor, and religious practices that show the world what real, sacrificial love looks like.

Last time I checked, we don’t live in a world like that. It is right for us as a society to see how we can do that. The government must be…

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