Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Asher Playing Some Defense!

Check out this video of Asher playing defense for the Colts. He is #6.

It was a great season; we had lots of fun and it was cool to see the progress the boys made.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Are You Feeling Bogged Down?

"David tried to walk but he could hardly budge. ¶ David told Saul, “I can’t even move with all this stuff on me. I’m not used to this.” And he took it all off" (1 Samuel 17:39).

At Trinity United Methodist Church we have been looking at putting our Faith in Action, and over the last couple weeks we have been discovering what keeps us from doing just that. This week's message addressed being bogged down by life. When we are bogged down with work, worry, pain, to do lists, business, stuff, money or lack of, bureaucracy, and stress, then we can become stuck. We then get in a rut which keeps us from acting out our faith in Jesus Christ. We look to David in 1 Samuel 17 and discover that he recognized the potential for being bogged down by armor and weapons and decided to have them all removed. He told King Saul that he could not fight with all of that weighing him down. Once the armor was removed, he could move again and take on the job at hand. David was then able to defeat Goliath. Can we do the same? Do we have the courage to release all that burdens us? Can we put off the to do list? Can we evaluate in a better way what is important for today, and what are the not so pressing matters that bog us down. Let us commit with God's help to take those things off and get moving again. Let us set our faith free and follow Christ without being bogged down.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

40 in 40

“Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!” Isaiah 6:8

Each morning we awake to the call of God. We respond with thanksgiving for another opportunity to live and breathe. As the new day unfolds we are constantly presented with opportunities to respond to God's goodness by serving others. I am reminded of the man at the pool in the Gospel of John. He had been in need for 38 years and laid by the pool waiting to be healed. When questioned by Jesus, he answered that nobody would help him. In fact, each time the water was stirred others would cut in front of him and leave him behind. At that moment, he was healed by Jesus. Jesus was there to lift him up. How many times a day do we step around, over or on people in need? We make great excuses. We convince ourselves that someone else will come along to help, or we think we can't solve their problem. Maybe we believe that the person needs to help themselves. These are inadequate responses to God's call; we need to answer, "here I am, send me!" I challenge all of you to 40 minutes of service in 40 days. For most of you, 40 minutes will seem like just a warm-up, for you are already engaged in regular Christian service. For others, it may just mean taking the time to reflect on the days work and actually keeping track; however, for some, it will be a challenge to slow down, and make time to listen for God's voice calling you to action. Wherever you may find yourself, answer the challenge to serve in the name of Christ. If you worship with us at Trinity, we look forward to having fun with this challenge. If you don't, I would love to hear comments from you too. The challenge ends July 16. God Bless.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lessons From Mom

"Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise" (Deut. 6:6-7).

My mother taught me many things growing up. She taught me how to cook, how to clean, and how to do dishes. She encouraged me to always put forth my best effort in school, activities and athletics. My mother led with words and by example to show me how to be a good neighbor and friend. It was also evident that my mom enlisted the help of others; many of the women of our village at times acted as a mother figure to me; therefore, I had many mothers caring, instructing and watching over me. Of all the teachings my mom bestowed upon me, the most important lesson was the commandment to love God. My mother made loving God a way of life. Every minute of the day was a testimony from her for loving God and her neighbor. She recited this love to me at home and when we were out, in the morning and when she put me to bed at night. "You shall love your God with all your heart, and mind and strength" is known as The "Shema" (Deut 6:5) to the Jewish people. When Shema is translated from Hebrew to English it is "Hear!" On this Mother's Day, I say to my mom "I 'heard' you loud and clear. I love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind and strength" and for that I say, "thank you."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Prayers for The Mount

O Living God, you share our griefs. Give a meaning to that which defies our understanding. Shine upon our night. You alone can show us that we are not abandoned to chance or fate, not even in what seems revolting or senseless to us, but that in all things you work for the good of those who love you. Grant that those who mourn may receive your message even through their sufferings. Through their sorrow challenge them to discover the help of your mercy, and to hope more fervently for your kingdom. Through their sadness, open them more to your compassion, and help them to live in your strength alone. Reveal your nearness to those who suffer this day. Surround them with the love that you have for your children, through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen. (Reformed Church in France, 1963).

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Most Beautiful Time of the Year

March Madness, warm weather, baseball, and Easter. Does it get any better? Shrieks and laughter have once again returned to the cul-de-sac, and what music to my ears? Our kids have rekindled the love of playing baseball in the street. Amazingly without umpires, rulebooks, or scoreboards, the kids managed to participate in America’s pastime this week. As I tossed the ball back to one of our neighborhood moms, I was quickly transported back to simpler times growing up in a small village where we knew how to play and entertain ourselves. I am thankful that God has brought my family to a community that not just plays, but plays outdoors. To hear the sounds, smell the smells, and see the sights where nature and progress blend to form the perfect place to hit homeruns, score goals, and make baskets. In a matter of minutes, my kids actually threw balls, swung bats, rode bikes, climbed trees and chased one another. As if they had built up energy and dreams all winter long waiting for the green light to run into the streets to find there way through play. Without texting or tweeting, the other kids mysteriously knew the time had come. All of them shedding winter for spring in a simultaneous instant. As this day came to an end, Asher began to whine and fuss saying, “he did not want to go in.” I attempted to comfort him with the promise of days to come, and no doubt there will be other days to play, but I empathize with him knowing that the enthusiasm and thrill of the first time out will be hard to duplicate. One thing is certain, however, it sure will be fun trying. On that note, I better go and finish filling out my bracket because tomorrow afternoon when the kids get home we will participate in Americas other great pastime – watching television, but not just any television - March Madness.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

For Immediate Assistance

"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" Mark 1:15

The world is primed to receive the good news of Jesus Christ. Turn on the television, open the newspaper, or talk to a neighbor and it becomes immediately clear that these are desperate times. People need to hear some good news. Even followers of Jesus Christ are longing for relief for our worlds are also infiltrated by depression, conflict, and ungodliness. The problem is we go as society goes as we look to self-help books, Oprah, television, alcohol or drug abuse and whatever else promises quick fixes. It is understandable because in the midst of chaos it is easy to lose sight of what brings us joy, peace, and holiness. According to John Wesley, joy, peace and holiness are the characteristics of the Kingdom of God. In other words, the kingdom of God is a condition of our soul. When we start to lose control, look first to Christ, and call him near. Let his kingdom reign in your soul. That is good news that we can live by. I pray that we all receive that urgent message and that we immediately share the good news with others. When we feel joy and peace, lift of Christ, and give access to the Gospel to someone new.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Radical Hospitality

"Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God" (Romans 15.7).

Do we love God with all our heart, mind and soul so much that we can't help but share that with others? That shall be our goal as Disciples of Jesus and as part of the Body of Christ. Trinity UMC has committed itself to show radical hospitality, in other words, to go above and beyond in the way that we invite, welcome, include and support our neighbors. I recently was encouraged by the enthusiasm of those gathered at our small group discussion on hospitality. People were so eager to examine what it is that we do in every ministry of the church, a willingness to put everything on the table to improve and strengthen our hospitality. I invite you to pray about what it is that you can do, or what our church can do to radically invite and welcome others to Christ. If you feel so moved, add your comments to this blog so others can begin to pray and share as well. May God Bless you on your Discipleship Journey.