Call to Worship: Listening to God

The theme for this week’s service is listening to God.

There is a story told of President Franklin Roosevelt, who often endured long receiving lines at the White House. He complained that no one really paid any attention to what he said. One day, during a reception, he decided to try an experiment. To each person who passed down the line and shook his hand, he murmured, “I murdered my grandmother this morning.”jan3044

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The USA’s Epic Poem

This post is for all my friends who studied the Humanities.

If I could teach a college course, I think it would be fun to teach a course on epic poetry. It would probably be similar to a world mythology course, but for the final paper the student would have to choose an epic poem for the United States, and defend that choice based upon U.S. history, American values, and what we have learned about epic poems over the course of the semester. Continue reading The USA’s Epic Poem

Call to Worship: Self Control

The theme for this Sunday’s service is self control.

willpower040407When my wife and I went to our first OBGYN appointment, the nurse practitioner informed my wife of what she should expect for weight gain over the course of her pregnancy. Then the nurse practitioner turned to me and sternly said, “You should not gain any weight.” I did not quite follow her admonition. If not for giving up desserts for Lent, I might be looking eight months pregnant as well. I did not use much will power over the past few months.

Continue reading Call to Worship: Self Control

Call to Worship: Gentleness

The theme for this Sunday’s service is Gentleness.

Grant Golliher is a cowboy who has been breaking horses since he was a child, but about twenty-five years ago, he changed his method. His old method was tried and true. “Make ’em do it, show ’em who’s boss. If they give you any grief, whack ’em with a two-by-four.” He admits to ruining many talented horses with that method, and one horse even strangled himself trying to escape from Golliher’s breaking method. Continue reading Call to Worship: Gentleness

Missing the Cultural Shifts

As I have been considering topics and methodology for teaching Generation Y, I have come to the conclusion that the church, in general, and I specifically, have often been a step behind culturally.

I remember as a child of the 1970s hearing the conflict between older teachers of the church with the youth over rock music, as Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) was invented through groups such as Petra, Love Song and 2nd Chapter of Acts. The problem, as I see it, was that the musical shift had already taken place, otherwise those groups would not have existed. The church was fighting a battle that was already lost. In the 1980s, when I became a teenager, CCM was what our Christian parents preferred we listen to. Continue reading Missing the Cultural Shifts

New Style Seminary, New Style Pay Offs

February is going to be a busy month. I have 3.5 preaching Sundays. (The .5 sermon is our church anniversary, where all of the staff contributes somewhere, but I may get out of that one. I mean, what I supposed to do to follow last year’s Mr. Roger’s Tillman’s Neighborhood?) I think some pastors would be glad to only have three preaching days, but with the spring semester of seminary underway and being bi-vocational, February is going to be a tough month. This may be the last post for a little while, but I thought in might be interesting to hear how Wesley Seminary‘s innovative M.Div. approach, which received some criticism before the first syllabus was even written, is benefiting my ministry. Continue reading New Style Seminary, New Style Pay Offs

The Right and Wrong Use of Myth

When I heard that Pat Robertson attributed the earthquake in Haiti to a curse because they swore a pack with the devil, I was, mildly stated, frustrated. I wondered, on what basis could he make such a statement. In his broadcast he based his opinion upon the following:

  1. Haiti is a poor country, while the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola, is prosperous.
  2. Voodoo is practiced in Haiti.
  3. In Haitian mythology, the leader Boukman called out to help from a god to free them from “the white man.” Continue reading The Right and Wrong Use of Myth

Thoughts on Personal and Corporate Spiritual Formation

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