No Agenda

Sometimes I get an idea, and I can’t let it go, and it ends up with me doing things like requesting to be friends with everyone on Facebook who has the same name that I do. There are about 20 of us Matt/Matthew/Mateo Ybañeze’s on Facebook. It’s my own name and I still don’t know…

Ordinary Time

Christmas is over. Lent doesn’t start for a few more weeks. We are in part of the church calendar that is called “Ordinary Time.” Ordinary Time occurs twice in the liturgical calendar–after Christmastide ends at Epiphany and after Eastertide ends at Pentecost. We tend to focus on the special times like Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter…

I’m Not Wishing You a Happy New Year

My son blessed me last night. Not in the typical, motherly, “Oh my child is such a blessing,” way. He literally blessed me. After he crawled into bed, he said, “Mommy, I want to give you a blessing.” He took my hand, made the sign of a cross on it and said, “Mommy, you are…

What Child Is This?

Have you ever realized that you are singing a song that you don’t actually know the lyrics to? This happens to me more often than I would like to admit. The last instance occurred the other week when I was singing Christmas carols with my friends. After listening my whole life to Christmas carols each…

Change at Christmas

This Christmas will be the first year in my entire life that I will not be with my older sister for Christmas. This year for the first time she will be going to Colorado for Christmas to be with her husband’s family. This year for the first time she won’t be at home with our…

FREE Adult Computer Classes for Immigrants

First United Methodist Church of Hurst has been offering free computer classes to immigrants (refugees, asylees, and residents aliens) from different nationalities residing in the Hurst Euless Bedford (HEB) area since 2013. The goal of these classes is to teach basic computer skills to immigrants to help them obtain jobs. One class participant tells the…

Doubt or Belief?

Luke 1:11-21 is the story of the priest, Zechariah, and his visit from the angel Gabriel. The angel comes to give Zechariah the good news that his wife, Elizabeth, will bear a son, whom they should name John. Because of his and Elizabeth’s advanced ages, Zechariah doubts the news that Gabriel has given him. Gabriel…

Eye Contact

Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World) is a painting of Christ attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. When I heard that it recently sold for $450 million at auction, I had to see it. Of course, viewing it on the internet leaves something to be desired, but even on my computer screen, it is something amazing…

“The Star” – Movie Review

Watching the preview for The Star movie, I thought “Finally! A new animated movie with an all-star cast about the birth of Jesus. How exciting!” I was even more excited to hear about the variety of well-known musical talents who recorded the soundtrack. I was hopeful that this was going to be a successful movie…

Thoughts and Prayers

Another week. Another tragedy. That has been the refrain many of us have been repeating for a while now. Another week. Another tragedy. Another day. Another news story that we just don’t want to see. And yet, the news does not stop for us. Life does not stop. As Aaron Burr sings in the musical…

Books

There are two books on the bookshelves in my office that I’ve had longer than any others. One of them is the Life Application Study Bible that my mom bought for me to read and use at youth group. The other is The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook. The corners and pages of this book are…

Sacred Chaos

In addition to the regular routine of getting everyone out the door, this morning also included getting a baby gift wrapped, a fruit tray put together for my son’s Halloween party at school, treats together for his teachers, and getting to work on time to get ready for a meeting and handout Halloween treats to…