Get Over it, Christian Pastors: You are NOT Being Persecuted


I think that we all need to read this. Thanks, Christy!

Originally posted on The Thoughtful Pastor:

By 1st United States Congress [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons By 1st United States Congress [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons The first amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads this way: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

We commonly refer to this amendment  as “separation of church and state” or “separation of church from state.” Either way, the intent is clear: the US shall not have a required church where all citizens must maintain membership. We are astoundingly free to practice our religion the way we want.

Which is why I don’t understand the conservative church outrage over the June 26, 2015 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. That decision granted to all adults the right…

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Three Flags


In addition to what I have already posted for this Memorial Day (, I wanted to bring this one back. I was in a conversation the other day with some veterans who were raising funds for the local VA hospital in our area. We seem so ready to send our young off to war but then we forget them when they came home.

Originally posted on Thoughts From The Heart On The Left:

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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


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?” –

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?


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?


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


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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