An Experience of a Life Time

In 1998, I was pursuing my Masters in Christian Education at ITC/Johnson C. Theological Seminary in Atlanta, GA. For summer break I went home to Congo-Kinshasa to visit my family. The trip went well and I was very happy to see my family and friends for two months. Nevertheless, the worst happened at the end…

God’s Family

For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. Ephesians 2:14  When I read this scripture, I want to believe that it is true of us as a church family, a community, a country and a…

CONNECTIVITY of Technology

A while back, several years maybe, I had a conversation with a person who was probably 50 something. I had heard that in years past, this individual had been very active in the church, here every time the doors were open. This person said, “I feel so disconnected now—we’re gone so much—parents have been sick,…

My Happy Heart

While I always enjoy church-wide Art Night and church-wide Game Night, I’ve been craving a church-wide event that deepens our connections with God, our connections with one another and is meaningful for all involved. Therefore, you must know that my heart was SO happy on Sunday evening at Let Us Pray. I loved watching children,…

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…