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 …

STILL … a freedom people?

This week the Free Methodist Church celebrates its 158th birthday.  That we are still alive prompts us to celebrate.  That we remain on mission with Jesus does as well.  And that our mission with Jesus still bears fruit around the world, through an extended family in nearly 200 world areas strikes me as miraculous.  Of course, it is not our doing, but our walking and working together in the ongoing company of the Living Lord Jesus who loves all peoples and places. I am often asked what the difference is between Free Methodists and other Methodists.  I have a speech prepared for such occasions, but it rarely seems appropriate or even possible to make the full presentation in most situations.  …

How We Must Refuse to be Angry

We live in an angry world.  Many within and outside the church are angry.  If we were to ask them why they could often offer reasonable answers.  Much that is should never be; and much that ought to be never is.  Both are angering.  But to live in anger, to embrace our anger, to become angry persons can never be an option for followers of Jesus.  If for no other reason because Jesus was not an angry person.  His way is not the way of anger. Instead, Jesus teaches them and us another way to respond to the people and the circumstances that can make them/us angry people.  Consider the clear teaching that Jesus gave throughout his ministry.  Clearly and …