Finding the Annus Mirabilis

The world has faced many disease pandemics from the earliest civilizations to our present day. While most of these have brought chaos and uncertainty, something interesting happened during England’s last modern experience with plague. London’s plague of 1665-16666 was potentially shipped there on cotton barges from Amsterdam in the Netherlands sometime in 1665. As itContinue reading “Finding the Annus Mirabilis”

Help! My Reptile Brain is Eating My Mammal Brain!

Occassionally, but not often, I am a glutton for punishment. There may be some disagreement on this from people who know me who may say I’m always a glutton for punishment, but I try to think and act otherwise. In this case there was no argument; I was asking for it. It was last Friday.Continue reading “Help! My Reptile Brain is Eating My Mammal Brain!”

Improvisational Christianity

If you were going to choose a musical metaphor for Christianity, most people would say that Christianity is like an orchestra: the church is the players; the scripture, tradition, reason, and experience are the score; God is the conductor. For many people this works well because it is orderly and neat and wraps things upContinue reading “Improvisational Christianity”

Questions

This past Sunday, I started our Confirmation classes for the year with six students. As an introductory exercise, I had them write down some things they thought people in the church believed on a small piece of poster board. Then, I had them write down what they believed on a piece of paper. I pickedContinue reading “Questions”

The Gifts of Christmas – Trust

Believing the unbelievable A good story will draw you in, hold you inside it, and keep you hooked until the end. The story doesn’t even have to be believable; it just has to make sense within the story. But some stories you hear, and you shake your head at them. You think, Yeah, right. Sure.Continue reading “The Gifts of Christmas – Trust”

What is a Methodist II

Not Quite Alike Thousands of people in the world share both a birthday and birth parents. We refer to these people as twins, children born at basically the same time to the same parents. Most all of us know a set of twins from our family, from school, or at the very least, from popularContinue reading “What is a Methodist II”

What is a Methodist I

I. What We Share with Others Share and Share Alike As human beings, we know something of who we are by where we came from. Many of us identify ourselves by both the place we were born and the family we were born into. Being a Jarrell from Marietta, Georgia is very different than beingContinue reading “What is a Methodist I”

Living V: Love One Another

The year was 1966. The war in Vietnam was being ratcheted up by Washington with President Johnson vowing that the 250,000 troops in South Vietnam would stay until the aggression was ended, a move that countered the Soviet Union’s insistence that the US leave. We soldiered on with the Cold War, The Space Race, andContinue reading “Living V: Love One Another”

Living II – Believe in Me

Language is a funny thing. We use words constantly to express ourselves and assume that the words we use will be understood as we mean them. For instance, if I were to say to someone here, “That’s a nice tie you’re wearing” or “That’s a nice dress you have on”; we would most likely hearContinue reading “Living II – Believe in Me”

The Ministry III

Part Three: The Proper Mindset Art has a way of looking at life and asking questions that sometimes are uncomfortable to ask. In 2002, a movie asked this question, what does a father who needs to get help for his son do when there is nothing else to do? The answer, according to the tagline:Continue reading “The Ministry III”