Today, I had the privilege and honor to officiate my grandfather’s funeral. My grandfather, Papaw, passed away on July 28. We’ve known this day was coming, but it still does not make it easy.
As I have done on several other occasions, I was asked to officiate the service and offer a few words of reflection upon this man we miss so dearly. What follows after the jump is the homily from today’s funeral. I provide it for you so that you may get to know this man who will live on through the legacy that he leaves behind. Continue reading “Some Words about My Grandfather”
This was one of those weeks that brought forth all the emotions of life out of me. I’ve been sad. I’ve been happy. I’ve been nervous. I’ve been pleased. I’ve been anxious. And I’ve been relaxed. That seems to be the state of a Methodist pastor during General Conference season.
If you followed my posts or seen the news, this week, our tradition of faith has seen better days. The world unfortunately saw us at our worst. We focused on our divisions between conservatives and progressives. We became disinterested in doing ministry together. We lost our way. Yet, in the news of the discord over issues that have defined our nation – such as human sexuality, which we will talk in more detail about on Wednesday – came word that approximately 70 percent of our congregations did not have a profession of faith or a baptism in recent years.
We are a church that is struggling. We are a church that has lost its purpose. We are a church that is dying. Continue reading “Sermon: True Christian Community”
I’m not much of a gardener. I do not have a green thumb. I do not have a good agricultural sense. In fact, if someone asked me how to produce a good fruit or vegetable my response would not be about how one would grow the desired plant. Instead, I would likely tell them to get up early on a Saturday morning, take some money out of the bank, and head to the nearest farmer’s market. The fruits and vegetables would be there for the picking!
To be honest, Abbi and I did try our hand at growing our own vegetables once. A couple of years ago, in the days before Noah, we decided we wanted a garden. We enlisted the help of some friends who helped us to prepare a plot of land. Now, what we had in mind was a small garden where we could plant a few things. Our friend had a different idea. We ended up with a 30-yard long and 10-yard deep garden.
It was probably too big for two amateur gardeners, but we did our best to produce what vegetables we could. We cleared the weeds and prepared the rows. We planted the seeds and watered the land. We sowed some seed in some good places and some, honestly, in some bad places. Before too long, to my own shock, we ended up with a good crop of three-foot long squash, some tomatoes, and a few beans. Continue reading “The Gardener Never Gives Up”
Adoration. Confession. Thanksgiving. Supplication. Can you guess what these four words have in common? Besides being five-dollar words to start … Continue reading Sunday Sermon: A Kingdom Prayer
This past week, the Commonwealth realm celebrated the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne. She became … Continue reading Sunday’s Sermon: The Kingdom of God is Here!
Tonight, I had the opportunity to preach at Licensing School, which is where I am this week as a participant. It was a humbling honor to preach to the servants who will go into the mission field shortly. The sermon comes from John 2:1-11 and is entitled “Sharing the Wine.” Continue reading “Sharing the Wine”
This morning, we are all doing something that is important to our physical lives. We probably do not realize we … Continue reading Sunday’s Sermon: Breathe in Life. Breathe Out Mission