The One Solution Out of Our Reach

Posted by on Oct 1, 2014 in Leading the Local Congregation, Main, Society at Large, Theological Thinking | 0 comments

My blogfeed fills with solutions every morning, all from smart people. But no one seems to have an answer to the one solution out of our reach. What do you do when the efforts you are making stop working? What do you do when people don’t seem to want to do much of anything? Techniques The Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church, my home conference, pursues solutions with a great deal of zest. Ministry in varied locations evolved...

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Compassion: The Tool of Choice for the Discerning Christian

Posted by on Aug 16, 2013 in Christian Beliefs, Discipleship, General Rant, Main, Society at Large, Theological Thinking | 4 comments

I was always taught to use the right tool for the job. Now, that doesn’t mean that my dad, who was a contractor for much of his life, was above using the backside of a big old wrench to knock down a nail that was sticking up. But it does mean that I rarely force a flat bladed screwdriver into a phillips head screw. So when I see Christians wielding “righteous indignation” at the sins of their neighbors, I cringe. There are...

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Posted by on Jun 26, 2013 in General Rant, Main, Methodism, Society at Large, US Politics | 7 comments

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) declared unconstitutional sections of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). You likely have an opinion. I do, too. I’d like our opinions to meet, have coffee, and learn from each other. Here’s mine. The ruling of the Supreme Court makes perfect sense if you understand that the Constitution is the operative document. The ruling of the Supreme Court makes no sense if you think that...

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A Different Future from a Difficult Past

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Leading the Church, Leading the Local Congregation, Main, Memphis Conference, Methodism, Sermons | 2 comments

Let’s cover some known facts. I’m a United Methodist pastor. The United Methodist Church is a Christian denomination. Christians follow the teachings of Christ. Christ was big on forgiveness. Based on this, we should be able to draw some conclusions about a system of United Methodist pastors and United Methodist churches — and the way they interact. Let me offer you a few more known facts. Most clergy I know have encountered...

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So What DO You Mean By “Grow?”

Posted by on Feb 14, 2013 in Blogroll, General Rant, Leading the Church, Leading the Local Congregation, Main, Memphis Conference, Methodism, Pop Culture, Sermons, Society at Large | 3 comments

Once, as a child, I played sick to avoid a particular confrontation that I knew was going to take place at school. My plan was foolproof: Moan a little bit, wait for the thermometer to show up, and then fake a fever using my desklamp to inflate the reading. I may or may not have recently watched “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” In either case, I would have been more successful in my devious effort if I had followed his advice and...

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