Wednesday, March 30, 2011

There's a Spirit in the Air

There is a song in the United Methodist Hymnal that I really like, but we don't sing it very much.  In fact, I have only heard a few times.  What I really like about it is the words.  Here is verse 5.

"When a stranger's not alone, when the homeless find a home, praise the love that Christ revealed, living, working in our world."

Amen!

Verse 6-
"May the Spirit fill our praise, guide our thoughts and change our ways; God in Christ has come to stay.  Live tomorrow's life today!"

Amen.  Hallelujah!

Those are some good words to hear.  Excellent words.  Beautiful words.

Let your faith today be one of hope, love and joy.  May your words, thoughts and deeds reflect the Grace and Love God has given us all.

Go in peace and go with God.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

United Methodist Pastor Fired for Not Believing In Hell

Alright, so that is not entirely what happened.  If you look at the secular press you do not hear the whole story, which does not surprise any of us.  The United Methodist News Service shared a full picture of what happened to a pastor who challenged traditional views on hell.  And the blogpost on hell was another in a series of controversial statements and views from a student pastor.
You can find the full story HERE
I have no problem with people learning, discussing and sharing.  It's good to talk about heaven and hell, especially when less and less people even think about the afterlife.  The problem I do have is when one's beliefs are forced upon others in a way that does not allow for discussion.  The really sad thing is that many on both sides of the hell discussion as of recent were making comments about Rob Bell's book (Love Wins) way before it was published!  They had not even read the book.  Is hell real?  Yes.  Will people end up there?  Yes.  Do I want to be there?  NO!
There are many people right now who are revitalizing a discussion of heaven and hell.  Several pastor friends are preaching on these topics.  Check out Eric Huffman's sermons at Revolution.  Good stuff.
To be completely honest, I don't think about hell too much.  I think we should all be more focused on what we do here and now.  Love God.  Love your neighbor.  And by no means ever think you are "good soil" or have everything figured out.  We don't.
And I am tired of people promoting themselves instead of the Gospel.  I'm also tired of people speaking poorly of UMC when they are trying to become part of it?!?
I love the UMC.  Yes we have our struggles, but we are one of, if not the best places to help a hurting and broken world find their way to God.
Go in peace and go with God.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Worry, Worry, Worry

A few scriptures we shared on Sunday in our "We Believe, but Still Worry" sermon.


Remember- FEAR- False Evidence Appearing Real


Fight Worry with Trust, Prayer, Focus and Direction


“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?                                                                   Matthew 6:25-27

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.              
                                                                                            Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.          Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

Oh yeah, and God delivers better than the Pizza guy!!!  Put your faith in God, not the Pizza guy ;0)

Go in peace and go with God.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Confirmation Class- Mission Project

Grace UMC in Lee's Summit
PARENTS NIGHT OUT
Confirmation Babysitting
Only $10
5 pm to 9 pm
Babies to 9 years old
They are raising money for socks for the homeless.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday 2011

Today is Ash Wednesday.  Christians all over the world begin their 40 day journey toward Easter.  Known as Lent, this journey is marked by fasting and prayer.  For some it's marked by penance.  The Palm Leaves from last Palm Sunday have been burned to create ashes.  Those ashes mixed with oils will be placed on our foreheads in the shape of a cross.  This is to remind us of our mortality, and also seal our Lenten commitment.
The big question we hear is, "What are you giving up for Lent?"
Or, "what are you taking on for Lent?"
For me this year, I heard a good friend ask us all-
"What does God want you to do this year for Lent?"
Ponder that with me as we begin this prayerful time of fasting and penance.
Go in peace and go with God.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Crazy Love- Session 1 Follow Up (Tuesday Night Men's Group)

Last night we discussed the first part of the book.  There were several reflections I thought I would lift up for those unable to attend.

1. pg. 22- The "problem isn't the fact that we're lukewarm, halfhearted, or stagnant Christians.  The crux of it all is why we are this way, and it is because we have an inaccurate view of God." emphasis added by me ;0)

2. pg. 29- "Most of us know that we are supposed to love and fear God; that we are supposed to read our Bible and pray so that we can get to know Him better; that we are supposed to worship Him with our lives.  But actually living it out is challenging."  again, emphasis mine

3. pg 31- "A lot of people say that whatever you believe about God is fine, so long as you are sincere.  But that is comparable to describing your friend in one instance as a three-hundred pound sumo wrestler and in another as a five foot two, ninety pound gymnast.  No matter how sincere you are in your explanations, both descriptions of your friend simply cannot be true."  em

4. pg 33- "Can you worship a God who isn't obligated to explain His actions to you?"

We talked about a bunch of other stuff, but those were the things that I wanted to share again.  See you next week.

Here is the sign up list-
March 8th- Chapters 2-3 - Dave and Ric
March 15th- NO CLASS SPRING BREAK!
March 22nd- Chapters 4-5 - Sean and Jeremey
March 29th- Chapters 6-7 - Denny and Tom
April 5th- Chapters 8-9 - Joe and James
April 12th- Chapter 10, Notes and Conversation - Kramer and Russ

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Crazy Love- Foreword, Preface, Chapter 1

Hey guys, we begin our study this week and I thought I would post the video for you.