Laying Out the Welcome Mat

This is an exciting day. Every day that we can sense the presence of God and worship together as a community is a wonderful day, but I think especially so on this particular Sunday. For today we find ourselves at the start of new season of life.

Today marks a new beginning for each of us. Together we embark on a new season of ministry and life. It is a season filled with possibilities, hopes, and dreams for you, for myself and my family, for ClayLick, and for our greater community. All of us are filled with anticipation and a desire to experience what God has in store for us in this season.

I am excited to be with you as we begin this new season together. It is a thrill for me, Abbi, and Noah to begin to walk with you towards what God desires has for us in this season of ministry and life. We want to thank you for how you have welcomed us and have made us feel at home. From praying for us, greeting us, and introducing yourselves to us, these signs of welcome and hospitality are much appreciated. They have made us feel like we are home. We look forward to further opportunities in the days to come to get to know one another and to learn more about this special place and community. Continue reading “Laying Out the Welcome Mat”

Nothing More Important

This is a familiar passage for us. Many of us might be able to recite these words, especially Matthew 28:19, from heart.

It is a “go to” passage for us Methodists. This is a passage we frequently turn to as one of our favorite passages. We Methodists like it so much we made it our mission statement. At the 2008 General Conference, delegates approved making a version of this passage the definitive statement about our mission and ministry. Look at the front of your bulletin and you will see this. Our desire is to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

These words, this mission, are to define our work. Everything about us as a church is to be centered on our hope of making disciples of Jesus Christ who are sent out to make a difference in our world by how they love others. We are called to make disciples of Jesus. Continue reading “Nothing More Important”

Never Thirst Again

When I make my way into the kitchen, every morning, to start the day one of the first things I do is to go to the refrigerator. It is there I begin my quest to find the energy to make it through the day by grabbing a nice, cold, refreshing Diet Coke. While some may need the warmth of a cup of coffee to get through the morning, I need the sweet and calorie free taste of a Diet Coke to get things going. It is “Just for the taste of it,” right?”

To be honest, it’s not just in the mornings when I grab a Diet Coke. It seems like I always have a Diet Coke by my side. Come to the office, see me on Sunday mornings before worship, or see me moments before a meeting and chances are I am sipping on a Diet Coke or Diet Dr Pepper. In my mind, I need the caffeine from Diet Coke to get through the day, which ultimately leads me to having more soft drinks than a person should consume in one 24-hour period.

If we were honest with ourselves we all have things that we turn to in order to provide energy or momentum through the day. It could be a morning cup of coffee. It might be a favorite snack in the middle of the day. It might even be a favorite song or album that we listen to through the day. All these things, and many others, we turn to in order to “get us through the day.” Continue reading “Never Thirst Again”

Living the Mission

What is on your mind?

That is one of those questions we seem to ask a lot. I know it is one that I ask Abbi, in some form, several times a day. It is a question of curiosity about someone else. With this question, we are asking someone what they are thinking about in that moment.

You may not think about this immediately, but I think there may also be a theological aspect to this question. I think it gets to a deeper meaning that brings to mind what is driving our interests. Sometimes, I think this question can be asked in such a way that it allows us to talk about what we are focused on. By this, we are asking someone about what captivates, motivates, or has their attention.

It is important that we pay attention to what our focus is. I say that because often our focus, or what holds our attention, is what we share with others. Think about this in the simplest of terms: if we are having a bad day, try as hard as we might, we might not give our best to someone else. That is because the fact we are having a bad day, or whatever else might be grabbing our attention, is often what affects our relationships with others. Continue reading “Living the Mission”