In Bethlehem’s Babe God Moves In

Five years ago, Lavone and I moved from Greenville, Illinois to Indianapolis, Indiana.  It was the smoothest and most care-free move we’ve ever had.  We are grateful beyond words, and more comfortable than we deserve in our home (which because of travel still seems quite new).  All the more so, when we acknowledge this Christmas time that more than 68 million people in today’s world are displaced from their home, among them in excess of 25 million refugees.  Make no mistake: The vast majority of the displaced would give anything to be home.  Similarly, the vast majority of refugees are the victims of injustice perpetrated against them and their loved ones.   Christmas is about Another who moved into places …

No, Mary Didn’t Know

Of course, that is the point of the song, isn’t it?  Mary could never have guessed all that her child, hers yet God’s, would do.  The exploits, the healing, the mastery of all powers earthly and heavenly, and the use of them all to love people whole and well.  Then again, had Mary thought about what we so easily take for granted she might have guessed.  After all, we’re talking about God—almighty, everlasting, creator, redeemer GOD.  Had she thought as we now assume, she might well have expected many coming attractions filled with jaw-dropping exploits.  She might even have expected more and different than the story actually reveals. But Mary’s mind, so far as we know, didn’t go there.  Instead, …

A PEOPLE POISED TO CHANGE THE WORLD

The 21st century world—what challenges and opportunities there are for a people of good news! I am convinced of three things I want to share with you:                                                                              First, our 21st century world desperately needs the good news of Jesus Christ; Second, the Methodist/Wesleyan movement is ideally suited to respond to the world’s need in a way that can transform persons, families, nations and world. Third, as at the beginning of Methodism, Spirit led and anointed use of AVAILABLE “means” or “strategies” will …

WHY WE MUST REFUSE TO BE ANGRY

  We live in an angry world, both inside and outside of the church.  Everywhere you look or listen people seethe and smolder over the many things that displease them.  Church people rage against the culture, of course.  But also against each other whose differing views of the culture and how to respond to its non-Christian values and practices cause bitter divisions.  Out in the world, away from the church, it is the same story.  Political and social divides cut across every segment of the population and every sphere of endeavor. In view of that context, let me tell you why I am refusing to be angry.  First, though, I admit that I am sometimes a little, and sometimes more …

The Word that Reads You

We who are learned in the ways of Scripture, whether by professional preparation or by personal devotion or both, are vulnerable to a grave danger.  We are vulnerable at the point of taking control of the Word for our own designs.  Pastors may do this by taking the Word as a tool of the trade by which to earn a living, while other followers of Jesus as a means of various forms of gain.  How to be happy, raise children, make a million dollars, overcome depression, affirm self-esteem and much more. Here, then, is a challenge: Let the Word work!  You may have much of the Word down, but does it have you down?   You own it, but does the …