Home Rules

Last Sunday my sermon was based on the book of Galatians where Paul’s main point is that we don’t live by rules anymore. If we rely upon the law then we rob the cross of its power. We rely solely upon God’s grace. But Paul also says that this does not lead to lawlessness, but … Read more

“Three Simple Rules”

So … have you made any New Year’s resolutions? I am grateful for the new beginnings in life. Most often beginnings come with endings. The endings, I don’t like. But the endings are inevitable. The year of 2008 is over. It is done. We cannot go back and undo or redo. We now look forward … Read more

God is Crazy About You!

On Sunday, during the closing song and just before time to offer the benediction, I remembered a quote by Max Lucado. I incorporated what I remembered (the first two lines and the last two lines, as it turns out) into my benediction. Here’s the full quote … If God had a refrigerator, your picture would … Read more

Naughty or Nice?

At a “breakfast with Santa” this morning, we overheard someone jokingly ask their child what they were going to say when Santa asked if they’ve been good this year. Moments later, Joleen and I discovered that we both were thinking about that exchange. The lyrics of the song, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, warn … Read more

Keep Alert

Toward the end of a long day of travel on Friday, I reflected on something I’ve heard before, that most auto accidents occur in the last few miles of a trip (i.e. near home). After driving about 8 hours, and nearing our destination, it struck me that one reason that may be the case is … Read more

God-Followers Helping the Poor

Today is Blog Action Day. Thousands of bloggers are focusing on the issue of poverty from many different angles perspectives. In this post, I want to highlight a few words from the Scriptures that indicate that helping the poor was a core value in the first century church (the decades following the death and resurrection … Read more

Come to Jesus

A second thing struck me while listening to Mark on the road yesterday (read about the first thing in my last post). Also in Mark 10, there’s a story about Jesus healing a blind man, Bartimaeus (Mark 10.46-52). The phrase that especially caught my attention was Jesus’ statement upon hearing the blind man begging for … Read more

Entering God’s Kingdom is Very Hard

Joleen and I are splitting shifts this week between caring for, and spending time with, Ethan and working on our dissertations (defenses are just over three weeks away). I took yesterday afternoon and went to use the Wi-Fi Internet access at Wegmans. On the road to and from State College I listened to the last … Read more


The topic of my devotional reading yesterday was about remembering God’s grace in my life and being humbled in the midst of that thought. Sometimes I revolt at such words, thinking they are close to self-debasement, but this devotional does not read like that to me today. I know I owe everything to God. I … Read more

Mountaintop Experiences

Life in places other than the mountaintop. The FOCs (Followers of Christ), the youth group of the Manor Hill United Methodist Church that I serve, joined other area youth for a hike at Trough Creek State Park. We ended up in three groups: those who did the mountain at a good pace, those who did … Read more

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