The lectionary texts over the Easter season this year included selections from the Book of Revelation. This complex book opens one’s imagination and invites the reader to peer into a vivid vision of John of Patmos. John is exiled on the Greek Island of Patmos during the persecution of Christ…

This summer, I am preaching a sermon series that I have titled, “Working through Weeping Wounds.” Each Sunday I am addressing those festering, oozing and painful wounds that we each carry deep down in the depths of our soul. Last week we addressed the weeping wound of bitterness. I have disc…

As Christians, we are in the midst of the 50 days between Easter and Pentecost. which this year falls on June 9. More than anything else, we remember Pentecost as the occasion when the Holy Spirit fell upon the first believers, resulting in the closest ever relationship between God and human…

My faith has been a source of strength, transformation, life and hope for me (James). As Christians, it is difficult to imagine a life without Christ in our lives. We long to help others come to know the same grace that we have experienced. I am often asked, “how can we make our faith meanin…

Pastor’s love books. Most of us have vast libraries, and yes, we have read all of the books you find there. Well, maybe most of them. In my church study, I have a book that another pastor gave me 20 years ago titled, “The Hard Sayings of Jesus.” Written by F.F. Bruce, it is tucked in between…

In an article by Gallup last week, Jeffrey M. Jones reported U.S. Church membership is down sharply in the past two decades. Church membership has dropped 20 percentage points since 1999.

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two m…

During these 40 days of Lent, Christians often reflect on Jesus’ death, including the seven sayings that he spoke from the cross. The shortest (and perhaps the most overlooked) saying is found in John 19:28, “I thirst.” On one level it seems hardly worth mentioning. We take for granted that …

At the January meeting of my United Methodist Women’s group, one of our ladies gave us randomly selected stars with a word. The words were the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control.

Throughout his ministry, Jesus made it a practice to actively recruit and gather people. He called the disciples from different regions. He called Zacchaeus down from a tree. Several stories speak of the crowd being so big it was hard to move and address. In Greek, the term often used is koi…

I offer this information, which is taken from several Christian sources that I am happy to share with anyone who cares to know more about these important celebrations of the Christian year.

A hospital chaplain attended the burial of a young man who was very antagonistic toward Christianity and the church. The only other person at the graveside was a friend of the deceased whom the chaplain knew to also be antagonistic toward Christianity. Prior to the cemetery crew lowering his…

Today I am writing to people who have been part of the Body of Christ for decades. As I write, I want to make it clear that I fall into this group. I have been an active part of the church for over four decades. My words are not written from the outside looking in, but from the inside lookin…

“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. . . .” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

“Do you love me?” We love questions, don’t we? We use them for advertising: “Can You Hear Me Now? Got Milk?” We use questions to understand the needs of others: “Would you like cream or sugar with your coffee?” We use them to make covenants: “Do you take this man to be your wedded husband? D…

“The Devil made me do it” was the line Flip Wilson used to explain why he acted a certain way. People would laugh but probably think: “If only I could blame my decisions on someone else.” But we can not do that because, we have free will to make all of our own decisions, right?

In a few weeks, many people in this community and country will celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was a great Christian and American leader who made a difference in the lives of so many people during his life through his actions and words. His words still have a major impac…

It is believed that Joshua, Moses’ successor who led Israel into the promised land, in his final address to the children of Israel, challenged them to make the most important decision of their lives. He charged them to forsake all other gods and serve Yahweh, the true and living God. His cha…

I grew up in a church that virtually ignored the role of Mary in the Christmas story (and in the rest of Jesus’ life). The more I have studied the New Testament, however, the more have I seen how important she is — her trust in God, her obedience, her willingness to participate in God’s plan…

There are about 10 days of shopping for Christmas left. Want to know what to get everyone on your Christmas list this year? Instead of looking to Santa, let’s look to the Christ child to see what gifts he brought.

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