How Do You Handle “Fun Sponge” Moments?

As we walked down the large, open hallway toward the classroom, the children were playing a game of tag. It was fun and energetic and we were all enjoying it. As we got ready to turn the corner to the narrower hallway (and neared the classroom), I let the children know it was time for…

Sore

It all started well enough, but after what felt like three or four hours (actually 15 minutes) the woman on the megaphone said “great warm up! Now let’s get started.”

Building the Kingdom

Looking at our world today—I can’t imagine how God’s kingdom can be built out of this mess, this chaos. But, when I think of what God and faithful people have done and are continuing to do in Punta Delgadito—maybe anything’s possible…

Finding God in the Midst of Transition

In 1986, calls were made to the leadership of Cloud’s Bend United Methodist Church in Kingsport, Tennessee. It was truly a devastating day in their history. That snowy day, a few young men gained access to the church building. They piled the church pews in the corner and lit them on fire. The blaze changed…

Investment Returns

This week my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Batte, “friended” me on Facebook. I will be honest. It made my day! She was one of my favorite teachers and I was immediately thrown back in time, remembering that classroom. It was the year that I misspelled “restaurant” in the spelling bee – a mistake I never…

Jesus Meets Mary of Magdala

Jesus met Mary of Magdala twice. The first time was before his death in the house of Simon the Pharisee. Jesus was eating with his disciples when Mary of Magdala entered the house.  Mary threw herself at Jesus’ feet, wept, wiped his feet with her hair and then poured a bottle of rare and very…

Familiar Stories

If I had to guess, I would guess that my family is not the only one that has stories. You know those stories, the ones that almost always get told whenever the family gets together. We’ve all heard them time after time after time. I’ve heard them so many times that I could tell them myself….

A Child’s Faith

I write this as I am preparing to attend Rev. Leanne Hadley’s Holy Listening Training. I previously attended a five-day Holy Listening event a number of years ago when I was working in Children’s Ministry with Rev. Holly. Those five days confirmed what I have always believed about children and their faith. Rev. Hadley teaches that…

What Would It Look Like If . . .?

A college student spoke to me this past Sunday. She said, “I really want to serve with the kids this summer at VBS, but I can’t because I’ll be working. I really want to serve so I can give the parents a break (they sure deserve one). So, I thought about another way I can…

Sacred Family Time

At 5 and 7, my daughters know that I don’t have a “normal” job. Their mom goes to work in the morning and makes it home before dinner every Monday-Friday. For the most part, when she’s not at work, she really doesn’t have to do anything for work because at 5 p.m. the business ceases…

Bathrobe Friend

During my freshman year in college, my high school youth director asked me to be a sponsor on a junior high youth retreat. Because it looked to me like the sponsors in my youth group always had WAY more fun than the kids, I jumped at the chance. When we got to the camp—can’t remember…

An Unexpected Graveyard Visit

Being a pastor married to pastor, my wife and I work hard at balancing our ministries and the variety of opportunities to serve. We are respectful of each other’s responsibilities and rarely do work related things together. This is what works best for us. However, on this day, I find myself sitting in the car at…