“Plan Z From Inner Space”


I am not sure where Jeremy got the idea for the title of one of his recent blog posts but I have a feeling it was with a sense of two decidedly different science fiction films, hence my title.

With General Conference just about a year away, we will begin to see proposals, counter-proposals, and even perhaps some wild and crazy ideas about how the United Methodist Church will be run and run in the years to come.

I couldn’t re-blog UMJeremy’s blog so I will post a link to it here → PlanUMC – The Phantom Menace in the #UMC. Reverend Jeremy Smith offers some commentary about a reorganization plan that has been submitted for the 2016 General Conference. He points out there is a lot to question about what is being proposed.

Who Reads What Newspapers?


DrTony:

Here is something for your reading enjoyment. Have a good laugh today. :)

Originally posted on A Grace-Filled Life:

The following is a joke I received this morning and since I lived on the East Coast for a few years, this is even funnier to me and I’ll bet those of you who live in the Northeast will chuckle at this:

Who Reads What Newspapers?

1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.

3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country.

4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don’t really understand the Washington Post. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie chart format.

5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’t mind running the country, if they could spare the time, and if they didn’t have to…

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“Thoughts On Good Shepherd Sunday”


Some random thoughts on this the 4th Sunday of Easter, often called “Good Shepherd Sunday”.

I happened to, because of the way the day works, listen to two different messages that focused on today’s lectionary readings. In both cases, the speaker spoke of encountering a herd of sheep while traveling in Ireland.

In the Gospel reading for this morning, we hear Jesus say that all the sheep know His voice (echoing words from Isaiah where we are called by name). Now, there are some who are going to feel that God has somehow forgotten them, that they call out and no one answers.

For them, God does not exist. But is it that God doesn’t answer or that we don’t hear the answer? Could it be that we are so wrapped up in troubles that it creates a blanket of noise that keeps us from hearing the quiet, almost inaudible voice of God saying that He loves us and that He will never abandon us?

Both speakers that I listened to also spoke of the need to envision the Gospel reading, of Christ calling us by name, as something that we needed to do as a community. This call for a community offers a way to remove the noise that prevents us from hearing God and continuing God’s work.

Two closing thoughts – Back in 1995, when I was living in Pittsburg, Kansas, there was a cemetery across from my apartment complex. Within its boundaries were graves that may or may not have been the graves of family relatives. The sad part is that because of our family history, or rather the lack of records for the family history, we will never really know if there is a link between our present family and the family there.

I also saw several graves in this cemetery with lambs atop the grave stone. Such markers tell us that a child was buried there and it tells, in one way, the story of a community that struggle to make a go of it in southeastern Kansas. That particular part of Kansas used to be a mining area and families from the Balkans came to build a new life in the soil of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. The lambs tell us it was not an easy struggle to build that new community.

Finally, if one speaks of the Good Shepherd, one needs to remember the song that Jefferson Airplane and Crosby, Stills, and Nash sung back in the late ’60s – “Good Shepherd”. This song has its origins in the Gospel of John 21: 1 – 19 and was originally written by a Methodist minister in the 1840’s (see my notes on this song in “A Rock and Roll Revival”).

We have been called by the Good Shepherd and we have been asked to help others find the Good Shepherd.

Life, death, and the garden : Lifestyles


Life, death, and the garden : Lifestyles.

I just posted this article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Facebook with the following comment, “There are those who understand why I posted this. Of course, no one is ever going to believe that I am a gardener but gardeners need quartermasters to get the things they need and that is what I am. My congratulations to this church for producing as much produce as they did!”