Monday, March 31, 2008

The Command to Parents

The Contemporary English Version of Ephesians chapter 6 says
1Children, you belong to the Lord, and you do the right thing when you obey your parents. The first commandment with a promise says, 2"Obey your father and your mother, 3and you will have a long and happy life."4Parents, don't be hard on your children. Raise them properly. Teach them and instruct them about the Lord.
Loving parents do their best to teach their children Christian values, ethics and how to live with integrity. Children grow from dependence into independence. Tension arises when young people confuse independence with control. As long as parents are responsible for their young people, parents will always have the last word.

The real question for both parents and young people is this: How much of the growing up for children and the letting go for parents has to be a battle? Mutual respect, mutual honor, loving obedience, loving discipline can all coexist in peace.
Young people decide the amount of rebellion; parents determine the severity of discipline. May both children and parents seek to honor Christ in all their relationships.

Legend of the Dogwood

There is a legend that, at the time of the crucifixion, the dogwood tree was the size of the oak and other forest trees. So firm and strong was the tree that it was chosen as timber for the cross.

The dogwood was greatly distressed to be used for such a cruel purpose. The legend goes that Jesus sensed the dogwood's distress and said to the tree, "Because of your regret and pity for my suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross. Henceforth, it shall be slender and bent and twisted and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross—two long and two short petals. And in the center of the outer edge of each petal there shall be nail prints, brown with rust and stained red and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all those who see it will remember. The
dogwoods will be blooming soon, when you see one...think on this.


Easter has come and gone again, but thanks be to God the power of Christ's resurrection stays with us always. His resurrection and victory over death is the ultimate comeback story. In resurrection, God shows us that there is nothing more powerful than God--not even death. Through Christ, resurrection is also available to us.

Rather than looking in the media at celebrity comebacks for inspiration, we can draw strength from the truth of Easter in any and every circumstance.

Please remember that this power is greater than any mistake you can make or any problem that you encounter. Although you have heard time and again that Jesus loves you, keep in mind that Jesus defeated death...for you. You can rely on Christ and find hope in His resurrection when relationships fail, when you suffer the consequences of poor decisions or when life seems overwhelming. Faith in Christ will not eliminate suffering but it will give us strength, comfort and hope during times of trial. It enables us to come back from even the most distressing situations.

Honoring Parents

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right" (Ephesians 6:1).

Your parents' opinions matter to God. Showing your father and mother respect and consideration in the decisions you make is important. Parents aren't perfect, of course. Sometimes giving them honor and obeying them is difficult. However, obedience is the greater good. While you're under the authority and provision of your parents, you honor God by doing what they ask.

I'm often asked, "What if my parents ask me to do something illegal or something that will harm me?" In that situation, your job is to seek help from someone who has authority over your parents. Remember, it's not God's will for you to endure abuse.

With each decision that you make you should ask yourself, will my parents be pleased with my decision?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Think about this...

THE MOST AUDACIOUS enlivening, freeing, joy-creating, humbling, life-transforming reality of the Christian faith is not that God will be with us, but that God is here, right now. God is here in the midst of suffering, in the midst of short-coming, in the midst of triumph, in the midst of our greatest fulfillment, and in the midst of our broken-heartedness.

- Gregory S. Clapper
When the World Breaks Your Heart

From p. 105 of When the World Breaks Your Heart by Gregory S. Clapper. Copyright © 1999 by the author. Published by Upper Room Books. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Secret Word, 3/28/08

This weeks word is Notoriety (the state, quality or character of being well known). Be sure and tell me so others can't hear!

Ten Facts about Catacombs

The final posting

1. Catacombs are a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers that run for miles under cities of the ancient Roman Empire.
They still exist today.
2. They were also used as underground cemeteries. Bodies were placed in niches hollowed out in the side walls.
Usually 2 or 3 bodies would be placed in the opening and then sealed.
3. Christians had 2 reasons for burying their dead in catacombs:
Land was expensive and most Christians were poor.
Cremation was an option but they wanted to bury their dead as a reminder of Christ's death and resurrection.
4. Because they were used for burials, all people considered the Catacombs sacred. They were a place of
sanctuary which meant that fugitives could not be pursued or arrested. There were exceptions but the
labyrinth of tunnels gave the pursued an advantage.
5. The Roman Empire had numerous gods, Caesar being number one. The Christians refused to worship them. This was a problem for Caesar, he didn't like that some of his subjects would not bow down and made life very
6. Because of their lack of scientific knowledge, Christians were blamed for natural disasters like fires, floods,
plagues and famines. They were also accused of everything from treason to atheism (because they wouldn't
worship the emperor).
7. Rome passed a law that gave the land of a convicted traitor to the person who turned them in to the authorities.
8. To be a Christian was dangerous, not only for the individual but also for his or her family. To choose to follow
Christ had a cost! Persecution included economic and social discrimination as well as physical harm.
9. Christians of the time needed to be very careful. They developed secret signs and met in secret places. One of
Those places was the catacombs.
10. They found them to be a safe place to be together as a community. They worshiped here and celebrated
the Lord's Supper. They could come together to support one another during difficult times.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A way to Give

I found this info about "Miriam's Promise"...we'll schedule something soon to help!

How You Can Help Miriam’s Promise

Children’s games at the annual Miriam’s Promise Fall Picnic. Special thanks to Girl Scout Troop #417 for providing games and activities at the picnic.

Miriam’s Promise continues to be blessed with many wonderful volunteers who give their time, talents, and gifts to the agency. Many United Methodist congregations designate Communion offerings and special collections for the work of Miriam’s Promise in Middle Tennessee. A monetary donation of any amount would assist in purchasing necessary tools for our work with children.

Many United Methodists offer the gift of their service to Miriam’s Promise. Recently, a group of Girl Scouts from a Franklin church refurbished the children’s area in our office with a new television and toys and provided games and activities at our annual picnic. Many churches make winter hats and scarves for our clients, and several United Methodists volunteer in our offices regularly.

Miriam’s Promise is always in need of the following items. Please call 615-292-3500 with questions.

Biggest Needs:
Kroger and Wal-Mart gift cards, Gas cards, ($5, $10, $25) for our birthmothers
.Diapers and wipes - Newborn to size 4
.Certificates to Book stores (i.e., Barnes & Noble) to order educational material
.Disposable cameras

Infant Needs:
.Crib Sheets / Blankets
.Baby formula/bottles or gift cards to purchase as needed
.Baby toiletries
.Baby clothing – size Premie to 24 months

Read more!


Continuing the series concerning Catacombs.

Can you relate to people being persecuted for their faith nearly 2,000 years ago? I'm sure some can but many cannot. Do you feel persecuted for being a Christian? There are youth in other parts of the world and in the "safe" United States who indeed face imprisonment, torture and even death for being Christian. Do you remember stories from Columbine?

While most of us do not experience a gun pointed at our face, some youth experience discrimination and harassment regularly. The abuse may come from school mates, even family members. For some, the prejudice against youth who are religious is subtle but strong, causing a lot of young people to hide their faith for fear of rejection. These youth are especially vulnerable. Their fear may override their faith.

Fortunately, there are many who have had no such experiences. For them, the stories of the catacombs may simply be interesting, perhaps intriguing. So be it. By learning of the witness of these faithful ancient Christians if and when you are ever faced with making a choice, you may take this instruction to help you choose faith in the face of adversity or persecution.

Bible Study Questions

Several of you had to miss last nights meeting...I will be e-mailing next weeks questions this evening. Be sure and bring both sets of questions next week.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Safe--For Now

This is the first in a series about the Catacombs used by early Christians...

For a moment, place yourself in the sandals of a Christian in early Rome:

You finally feel safe here in the catacomb. As you wait for the others to come, you think about the blame, the threats and the fear you experience outside this place. But here, things are different. You look around in the dim light. On the walls your friends have written reminders of what Jesus said. There are drawings too. You smile to yourself. Those same drawings are outside too, but the persecutors don't know what they mean---just you and the others who will gather here. A song comes to mind. You hear it and recall times of singing as people come forward for Communion. In these holy moments, with your Christian friends, you renew your courage. You know you must leave this safe place, but you also know in your heart that God is with you.

How do others see you?

When people find that you're a Christian, are they surprised? Can they tell by your words and deeds that you have found joy in your life or do you follow the "I'm a Christian so I can't have fun" stereotype? Do you spend all your time thinking of the things you cannot do?

The happiest people on earth ought to be those of us in God's service. And we ought to look like it. We have every reason to smile more than anyone else. Even though our work is terribly serious, we ought to have more fun and have a better time doing it than anybody. Why would we not enjoy life? For whom do we live it?

Those who look as if they've just finished their last piece of bread do not minister very effectively. We really don't need to spend all our time on the negatives of life; there are enough heart-breaking experiences to go around for all of us. Who wants to follow a God who is perceived to be standing over us hand on His hip, shaking His finger? If God does not want us to be happy creatures, why would He have provided us with food, drink, books, music, friends and all the beauty in the world? On top of all the wonderful things to be found in our world He also offers us the opportunity to be in communion with Him? One on one. We can't allow ourselves to get so wrapped up in daily life that we forget the gifts.

I don't mean to sound like life is always easy if you're a Christian...we do not have an easy calling. God holds us to a higher standard but He is also a loving guide who is always there to help us through the hard times and offer us joy, His joy. What more could we want?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Moment of Truth

I have never been one to watch "reality" TV shows. Seems each new show that surfaces moves farther and farther from reality (definition is "state or quality of being real; a real thing or fact"). Not to mention that they keep sinking to lower and more tasteless depths. But the commercial I saw recently for one called "Moment of Truth" takes the cake.

During this "game show" contestants are hooked up to lie detectors and then asked intensely personal and potentially devestating questions. All the questions seem designed to wreak destruction on all that seems to be decent in the contestants lives. Of course the goal of the program is MONEY, at the expense of your personal relationships. How uplifting...

Is this entertainment? Have we become so insensitive, indifferent and unsympathetic that we see this as funny? Is there a better way to spend our time? Next time this or any of the other "reality" shows come on...think about it, is there something more worthwhile you could be doing? Is this a way to spread the love of Christ in our world? Obviously if this is talked about at school or work the next day, you won't know the answers but do you really want to?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sacrifical Love


The year was 1968. As a young MP I was sent to Korea that November. Most people have forgotten what happened earlier that year in Korea. The North Koreans captured one of our ships. It was called the "Pueblo Incident." After the U.S.S. Pueblo was captured by the North Koreans, the eighty-two surviving crew members were thrown into a brutal captivity. In one particular instance thirteen of the men were required to sit in a rigid manner around a table for hours at a time.

After several hours the door was violently flung open and a North Korean guard brutally beat the man in the first chair with the butt of his rifle. The next day, as each man sat at his assigned place, again the door was thrown open and the man in the first chair was
beaten again. On the third day the same thing happened again to the same man.

Knowing the man could not survive another beating, a young sailor took his place. When the door was flung open the guard automatically beat the new man senseless. For weeks, each day a new man stepped forward to sit in that horrible chair, knowing full well what would happen. At last the guards gave up in exasperation. They were unable to beat that kind of sacrificial love.

--Andy Grossman

Definitions You Need!

AMEN: The only part of a prayer that everyone knows.
BULLETIN: Your receipt for attending the Service.
CHOIR: A group of people whose singing allows the rest of the Congregation to lip-sync.
HOLY WATER: A liquid whose chemical formula is H2OLY.
HYMN: A song of praise usually sung in a key three octaves higher than that of the congregation's range.
RECESSIONAL HYMN: The last song at the Service often sung a little more quietly, since most of the people have
already left.

INCENSE: Holy Smoke!
JONAH: The original "Jaws" story.
JUSTICE: When kids have kids of their own.
KYRIE ELEISON: The only Greek words that most can recognize besides gyros and baklava.
MAGI: The most famous trio to attend a baby shower.
MANGER: Where Mary gave birth to Jesus because Joseph wasn't covered by an HMO. The Bible's way of showing
us that holiday travel has always been rough.
PEW: A medieval torture device still found in churches.
PROCESSION: The ceremonial formation at the beginning of the Service consisting of cross bearer, acolytes and
late members looking for seats.
RELICS: People who have been going to Church so long they actually know when to sit and stand.
TEN COMMANDMENTS: The most important Top Ten list not given by David Letterman.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Station 11

Jesus is Nailed to the Cross:
Huge nails are hammered through His hands and feet to fix Him on the cross. He is bleeding much more seriously now. As the cross is lifted up, the weight of His life hands on those nails. Every time He struggles to pull Himself up to breathe, His ability to cling to life slips away. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Station 12

Jesus Dies on the Cross:
Between two criminals, a mocking title above His head, with only Mary and John and Mary Magdalene to support Him. Jesus surrenders His last breath: "Into your hands I commend my spirit." We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Station 13

Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross:
What tender mourning! Jesus' lifeless body lies in His mother's arms. He has truly died. A profound sacrifice, complete. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Station 14

Jesus is Laid in the Tomb:
They take the body of Jesus to its resting place. The huge stone over the tomb is the final sign of the permanence of death. In this final act of surrender, who would have imagined this tomb would soon be empty or that Jesus would show himself alive to His disciples, or that they would recognize Him in the breaking of bread? Oh, that our hearts might burn within us, as we realize how He had to suffer and die so as to enter into His glory, for us. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Station 10

Jesus is stripped:
Part of the indignity is to be crucified naked. Jesus is completely stripped of any pride. The wounds on His back are torn open again. He experiences the ultimate vulnerability of the defenseless. No shield or security protects Him. As they stare at Him, His eyes turn to heaven. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Station 9

Jesus Falls the Third Time:
This fall is devastating. Jesus can barely proceed to the end. Summoning all His remaining strength, support by His inner trust in God, Jesus collapses under the weight of the cross. His executioners look at Him as a broken man, pathetic yet paying a price He deserves. They help Him up so He can make it up the hill of crucifixion. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Station 8

Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem:
The women of Jerusalem, and their children, come out to comfort and thank Him. They had seen His compassion and welcomed His words of healing and freedom. He had broken all kinds of social and religious conventions to connect with them. Now they are here to support Him. He feels their grief. He suffers, knowing He can't remain to help them more in this life. He knows the mystery of facing the separation of death. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Station 7 (Stations start on Tuesday 3/18)

Jesus Falls the Second Time:
Even with help, Jesus stumbles and falls to the ground. In deep exhaustion he stares at the earth beneath him. "Remember you are dust and to dust you will return." He has seen death before. Now He can feel the profound weakness of disability and disease and aging itself, there on His knees, under the weight of His cross. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Station 6 (Stations begin on Tuesday, 3/18)

Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus:
Jesus' journey is at times brutal. He has entered into the terrible experiences of rejection and injustice. He has been whipped and beaten. His face shows the signs of His solidarity with all who have ever suffered injustice and vile, abusive treatment. He encounters a compassionate, loving disciple who wipes the vulgar spit and mocking blood from His face. On her veil, she discovers the image of His face--His gift to her. And, for us to contemplate forever. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Station 5 (stations begin on Tuesday, 3/18)

Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross:
Jesus even experiences our struggle to receive help. He is made to experience the poverty of not being able to carry His burden alone. He enters into the experience of all who must depend upon others to survive. He is deprived of the satisfaction of carrying this burden on His own. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Station 4 (Stations begin on Tuesday, 3/18)

Jesus Meets His Mother:
Jesus' path takes him to a powerful source of His strength to continue. All His life, His mother had taught Him the meaning of the words, "Behold, the handmaid of the Lord." Now they look into each other's eyes. How pierced-through her heart must be! How pained He must be to see her tears! Now, her grace-filled smile blesses His mission and stirs His heart to its depth. Love and trust in God bind them together. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Servant Leadership

Ambition, power and control are probably the three most descriptive words concerning leadership in our world today. If we contrast that description vs. Christ's description, there would be little to no similarity. Jesus sets the perfect example of servant leadership. His model embraces deep humility, disregards personal gain and ambition and puts the needs of others first.

In Mark 10:42-45 Jesus was speaking to his disciples knowing their desire for glory for themselves and their readiness to fight for position. He made himself very clear and was anxious for them to understand that "serving one another in love" was the heart of His Kingdom. Servant leadership is about attitude not power, title or position. A true leader devotes himself to service that focuses on the needs, personal growth and well-being of others.

Except for His death on the cross, washing the feet of the disciples is one of the greatest examples of Christ's servant heart. While He was only hours from His execution, this one act sealed the meaning of servant leadership in the minds of the disciples and it was life changing for them. As a means of setting a standard, he took upon himself a task normally reserved for the lowliest of household servants and did so willingly.

The Book of Acts reveals a church where leaders showed a profound understanding of Christ's teachings. They demonstrated their dedication through lives of sacrificial service and a willingness to suffer hardship for the sake of Christ.

From the beginning of His ministry until His death, servant hood characterized Jesus' life. We all need this message today. As Christians, we must serve those who are discouraged, confused, frustrated, lonely, unloved, hurting, alienated, lost, addicted, purposeless and in desperate need of people who will invest time in them. Will you wash the feet of your brother?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Stations of the Cross

Each day between now and Saturday, I will post 2 or 3 of the Stations until we have 14 in all. It is my prayer that you will spend time with each of these as we come to the end of our Lenten journey. Open yourselves body and soul, heart and mind to the leadings of our Saviour and what His Passion and Ressurection have to say to you.
The stations were found on the Creighton University page.

The First Station

Jesus is Condemned to Die:
Jesus stands in the most human of places. He has already experienced profound solidarity with so many on this earth, by being beaten and tortured. Now he is wrongfully condemned to punishment by death. His commitment to entering our lives completely begins its final steps. He has said "yes" to God and placed his life in God's hands. We follow him in this final surrender and contemplate with reverence each place along the way, as he is broken and given for us. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

The Second Station

Jesus Carries His Cross:
Jesus is made to carry the cross on which he will die. It represents the weight of all our crosses. What he must have felt as he first took it upon his shoulders! With each step he enters more deeply into our human experience. He walks in the path of human misery and suffering and experiences its crushing weight. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

The Third Station

Jesus Falls the First Time:
The weight is unbearable. Jesus falls under it. How could he enter our lives completely without surrendering to the crushing weight of the life of so many on this earth! He lies on the ground and knows the experience of weakness beneath unfair burdens. He feels the powerlessness of wondering if he will ever be able to continue. He is pulled up and made to continue. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your cross you have redeemed the world.

Tightrope Walker

Jean Francois Gravelet-Blondin was one of the world's greatest tightrope walkers, acrobats and circus performers. On September 15, 1860 he performed one of the most amazing stunts the world had ever seen. Blondin, before a great crowd, walked a tightrope stretched across Niagara Falls in Canada. The tightrope, made of strong steel cable, was over 164 feet above the falls and it stretched for 1,148 feet across the falls. One slip and he would have plunged to his death. After he had walked across he shouted to the crowd if they believed he could carry a person back across the falls. They all shouted "Yes!" and cheered because they all believed he could do it! So then he asked for a volunteer-but no one spoke up. Everyone was silent. Not one person was prepared to trust Blondin and put what they said they believed into practice. Eventually one person did agree to go. His name was Henry Colcord, Blondin's manager. He alone had real confidence and trust in Blondin's skill as a tightrope walker.

Many people say that they believe in God, but the Bible also talks about having faith in God. Being a Christian is more than just believing in God, it is trusting him with the whole of your life. True faith transforms our conduct as well as our thoughts.
Quoted From: Insight

A History Lesson

I know you are all too young to remember these but see if you can find someone who can...If you can't, ask me...I'm that old!

01. After the Lone Ranger saved the day and rode off into the sunset, the grateful citizens would ask, Who was that masked man? Invariably, someone would answer, I don't know, but he left this behind. What did he leave behind?________________.
02. When the Beatles first came to the U.S. In early 1964, we all watched them on The _______________ Show.
03 'Get your kicks, __________________.'
04. 'The story you are about to see is true. The names have been changed to ___________________.'
05. 'In the jungle, the mighty jungle, ________________.'
06. After the Twist, The Mashed Potato, and the Watusi, we 'danced' under a stick that was lowered as low as we could go in a dance called the '_____________.'
07. 'N_E_S_T_L_E_S', Nestle's makes the very best . . . . ._______________.'
08. Satchmo was America's 'Ambassador of Goodwill.' Our parents shared this great jazz trumpet player with us. His name was _________________.
09. What takes a licking and keeps on ticking? _______________.
1 0. Red Skelton's hobo character was named __________________ and Red always ended his television show by saying, 'Good Night, and '________ ________'.
11. Some Americans who protested the Vietnam War did so by burning their______________.
12. The cute little car with the engine in the back an d the trunk in the front was called the VW . What other names did it go by? ____________ & _______________.
13. In 1971, singer Don MacLean sang a song about, 'the day the music died. 'This was a tribute to ___________________.
14 . We can remember the first satellite placed into orbit. The Russians did it. It was called ___________________.
15. One of the big fads of the late 50's and 60's was a large plastic ring that we twirled around our waist. It was called the ________________.

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patrick and his day!

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity's most widely known figures. But for all his celebrity, his life remains somewhat of a mystery. Many of the stories traditionally associated with St. Patrick, including the famous account of his banishing all the snakes from Ireland, are false, the products of hundreds of years of exaggerated storytelling.

It is known that St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been suggested that he probably took on the role because of tax incentives and there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family. At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family's estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. (It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.)

After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice-which he believed to be God's-spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland. To do so, Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the Irish coast. After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation-an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than fifteen years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission-to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish.

Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish. (Although there were a small number of Christians on the island when Patrick arrived, most Irish practiced a nature-based pagan religion.) He used the shamrock, which resembles a three-leafed clover, as a metaphor to explain the Christian concept of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17, his religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for thousands of years.

On St. Patrick's Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink, and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place not in Ireland, but in the United States. Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City on March 17, 1762. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers to reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.


How much time have you ever spent thinking of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus? Have you ever wondered what kind of man would stand by his betrothed knowing she is with child and it is not his? Being ready and willing to take on the responsibility to raise this son, not of his body. What wonder must he have felt when he found that it was truly the Son of God. Mary was called to deliver our savior, but what of Joseph's calling? How would one manage to live day to day with a growing boy knowing who and what He was. You feed him, clothe him, love him, discipline him just like your own but what of the added responsibility?

The last we hear of Joseph is when he and Mary take Jesus to Jerusalem when Jesus is 12. Did Joseph die before Jesus began his adult ministry? We'll never know, but we can look to who Jesus was as an adult to know the influence his father had on him. They would have attended temple together, worked in the carpenter's shop, spent father-son time together. Just as Jesus was like God, he would also have exhibited attributes like his earthly father.

Friday, March 14, 2008

John Wesley's Covenant Prayer

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.

Palm Sunday

They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" (Matthew 21:7-9)

The familiar words of Matthew, our visions from childhood of Jesus riding amidst the palms. We wave our branches on Sunday morning and sing "Hosanna in the Highest". He has come back to us again this year as He does every year. He begins the familiar journey from the entry into Jerusalem to His resurrection on Easter Sunday. We know the story, we know His deeds and His love wraps around us like a warm blanket on a cold evening. We can be confident as we begin our Holy Week celebrations that He will be with us always, our Rock and our Redeemer. He loves us and no one can ever take that away. What a promise!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Amazing Bible Race

We have completed Leviticus! I know it was a tough book to study but we learned so much about where we come from and why some things are done the way they are. If you weren't able to make Bible Study last night, bring your questions to Sunday School, you'll still get credit for completing them. Right now Ms. Becky and James Guth are in the lead! Keep up the good work guys...

Teen’s testimony shines under ‘Jeopardy!’ spotlight

She is 17, was a contestant on Jeopardy and managed to speak of her faith to Alex Trebek on air. She also pledged a tenth of her earnings to her local United Methodist Church. Read the article ...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Pledge

I'm not using this blog to endorse any political candidate. Just read this today and thought it was worth sharing. A reminder of how blessed we are as a nation.

John McCain's remarks about the Pledge of Allegiance

In light of the recent appeals court ruling in California , with respect to the Pledge of Allegiance, the following recollection from Senator John McCain is very appropriate:

'The Pledge of Allegiance' - by Senator John McCain?

"As you may know, I spent five and one half years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. In the early years of our imprisonment, the NVA kept us in solitary confinement or two or three to a cell. In 1971 the NVA moved us from these conditions of isolation into large rooms with as many as 30 to 40 men to a room.

This was, as you can imagine, a wonderful change and was a direct result of the efforts of millions of Americans on behalf of a few hundred POWs 10,000 miles from home.

One of the men who moved into my room was a young man named Mike Christian. Mike came from a small town near Selma , Alabama . He didn't wear a pair of shoes until he was 13 years old. At 17, he enlisted in the US Navy He later earned a commission by going to Officer Training School Then he became a Naval Flight Officer and was shot down and captured in 1967. Mike had a keen and deep appreciation of the opportunities this country and our military provide for people who want to work and want to succeed.

As part of the change in treatment, the Vietnamese allowed some prisoners to receive packages from home. In some of these packages were handkerchiefs, scarves and other items of clothing. Mike got himself a bamboo needle. Over a period of a couple of months, he created an American flag and sewed on the inside of his shirt. Every afternoon, before we had a bowl of soup, we would hang Mike's shirt on the wall of the cell and say the Pledge of Allegiance.

I know the Pledge of Allegiance may not seem the most important part of our day now, but I can assure you that in that stark cell it was indeed the most important and meaningful event.

One day the Vietnamese searched our cell, as they did periodically, and
discovered Mike's shirt with the flag sewn inside, and removed it. That evening they returned, opened the door of the cell, and for the benefit of all of us, beat Mike Christian severely for the next couple of hours. Then, they opened the door of the cell and threw him in. We cleaned him up as well as we could.The cell in which we lived had a concrete slab in the middle on which we slept. Four naked light bulbs hung in each corner of the room.

As I said, we tried to clean up Mike as well as we could. After the excitement died down, I looked in the corner of the room, and sitting there beneath that dim light bulb with a piece of red cloth, another shirt and his bamboo needle, was my friend, Mike Christian. He was sitting there with his eyes almost shut from the beating he had received, making another American flag. He was not making the flag because it made Mike Christian feel better. He was making that flag because he knew how important it was to us to be able to Pledge our allegiance to our flag and country. So the next time you say the Pledge of Allegiance, you must never forget the sacrifice and courage that thousands of Americans have made to build
our nation and promote freedom around the world. You must remember our duty, our honor, and our country."

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisable, with liberty and justice for all."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Secret Word

Ok guys,
If I ask for the secret word, it is:


Can Christians be Pirates?

I recently read an article by John Gocke about the subject and he asks "Can one be a "Christian Pirate" on the cyberspace seas?" When someone downloads music or videos are they stealing something that they would have bought?

Many secular "pirates" think its ok because the info is easy to access and the big companies have tons of money and don't deserve our hard earned cash. Excuses you might hear from "Christian" pirates are...It's ok, I'm using it to work for God; I don't charge people to see or hear it and on and on.

Think about these excuses while you read Mark 2:23-24, John 2:1-11 or Matthew 22:17. Downloading copyrighted material is against the law and we are called to respect the laws of the land. God is God in cyberspace just as in the physical world, being on the internet doesn't change who we are. If you have to convince yourself that something is right, then it usually isn't. Remember...when in doubt, don't!

Rule Review

Once or twice a year I like to remind everyone of the rules concerning youth trips.
1. Parent/Guardian must attend info meeting and sign permission forms.
2. Prior to the event, all youth/friends must attend at least 3 youth meetings and serve
Communion to the shut in members at least once (The 3 & 1 rule).
3. New youth/visitors get one freebie (can attend 1 event without doing Rule #2). After that
they must meet the 3 & 1.
4. Once in a while, there will be a meeting for just Youth members. If you are not allowed to
bring friends, we'll let you know ahead of time.

I need your help...

My next project for YMI requires me to watch a television program geared for youth. Send me a text, an e-mail or add a comment below and let me know your favorite program (time, day and channel would be helpful too). I'll be watching several episodes so make it something you really like!

Monday, March 10, 2008


Time to get in touch with your inner Easter Bunny...seriously, we need your help with the Children's Easter Egg Hunt, 3/21 at 10am...we promise you don't have to dress up like bunnies...unless you really want to! If so, we need to have a talk! hahaha

19 year old earns a Silver Star!

Found this posting on another blog (Ace of Spades)...she's only 19!

Spc. Monica Lin Brown Earns a Silver Star

The nation's third-highest medal for valor. Texas girl (Lake Jackson, near Houston). A nineteen year old kid (I'm allowed to say this at my age and I am not objectifying her).

Under gunfire and mortar fire, she helped move wounded comrades to safety, at times shielding them with her own body.

Brown, of Lake Jackson, Texas, is scheduled to receive the Silver Star later this month. She was part of a four-vehicle convoy patrolling near Jani Kheil in the eastern province of Paktia on April 25, 2007, when a bomb struck one of the Humvees.

"We stopped the convoy. I opened up my door and grabbed my aid bag," Brown said.

She started running toward the burning vehicle as insurgents opened fire. All five wounded soldiers had scrambled out.

"I assessed the patients to see how bad they were. We tried to move them to a safer location because we were still receiving incoming fire," Brown said.

She helped move them out of harm's way, eventually some 500 yards, and then treated their wounds and saw them off to safety.

She saved their lives.

The military said Brown's "bravery, unselfish actions and medical aid rendered under fire saved the lives of her comrades and represents the finest traditions of heroism in combat."

Spc. Brown serves in the 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team.

She did them proud.

Hope this makes you all remember the Bible verse on the back on your newest T shirts...Just because you're young...


Thanks guys! I hope your Labyrinth experience stays with you. I find each time I walk it, I learn something new about myself and God. If we keep ourselves open to Him, He will continue to work His wonders within us. We couldn't have done this without your help and participation. Thanks for being so willing to step out into unknown places...If you'd like to visit it can go online anytime:

Friday, March 7, 2008


In China, before Mao Tse Tung came to power there were 22 million Christians. After the communist revolution, all religion was officially outlawed and the government ordered Christians to be killed. For decades their lives were threatened, seminaries were closed, Bibles became illegal and meeting together was dangerous. The West had been kept out of China and we had no idea what happened to the Church. When people were finally allowed into China they found the church had grown to 60 million! In the midst of all that pressure and persecution, how?

It is so easy to worship in our part of the world. All that is required is the act of going and many excuses can we come up with to do something else? I'm tired, it's the only day I can sleep in; It's a beautiful day, lets go to the lake; I have so much work to do along with a million others. How would we feel if we weren't allowed to go? Would it mean more to us then? Would we face the possibility of punishment (or worse)? Take a few moments and think about what you would do if worshiping were hard...

Bible Study

Hope you all are working on your Bible Study questions...if you weren't with us last Wednesday, I'll give you your questions Sunday. I know Leviticus has been a hard book to get your heads around but we're almost finished...there's a reason it's called the Amazing Bible Race...keep running!

Thursday, March 6, 2008


We'll be hosting "The Prayer Path" this Sunday (3/9/08) from 1pm to 5pm in Fellowship Hall. This is an interactive Christ Centered Labyrinth Experience. CD players are used to listen to the commentary as you walk the path and there are stations along the way that will enrich your experience and understanding. It usually takes about 45 minutes (or longer if you wish) to complete and includes a time of Communion when you reach the center.

Youth...we'll have Pizza right after morning worship so we can be prepared to open at 1pm. Don't forget to bring your CD players....hopefully we'll need them all!

It's New...

We all know how hard it is to communicate with today's youth. Given that we don't live in a large metropolis, I may be a little behind the times but I'm trying to catch up!

I've created this blog to stay in touch with our young people and hopefully open their eyes to a few things. It won't hurt that the adults of our church can look around too...who knows where it can go from here!