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Good Question, part 2 of 2.

Imagine my surprise when this appeared on my car’s dashboard —

— I was like, “Cool! Great new way to reach out! So is it who wants to meet for coffee?”

Then I realized it was yet another automotive safety feature.

But it’s still a good question to ask regularly.

And here’s an even better offer:

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me.

Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it.

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

That’s Christ Jesus, in Matthew 11:28-30, The Message version.

If only it appeared on places like our dashboards as needed, right?

 

It’s a Monday: Good Question

While driving last week, this suddenly flashed at me from my car’s dashboard —-

 

Let’s See How Inventive We Can Be in Encouraging

Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. God always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.

That’s Hebrews 10:22-25 in The Message version of the Bible.

Sounds fabulous, doesn’t it?

It is!

So this weekend, are you worshiping together with others online, or at a drive-in setting, or in an appropriately-restricted-by-COVID-19 sanctuary?

Rainbow

Carlos was a high school student from Los Angeles. I was a pastor from rural, southern Illinois. We met when we were both on the National Youth Ministry Organization of the United Methodist Church. (Who but us comes up with names like that?!)

We got to know each other well when I became the Adult Coordinator of the Ethnic Minority Youth Council of the National Youth Ministry Organization of the United Methodist Church. (Again: who but us comes up with names like that?!)

In defense of both groups, “E-Mick” and “KNEE-Mo” is how we pronounced our acronyms EMYC and NYMO. Both of which sound fun. Because they were. (That might be where and when I first learned it’s quite possible to “have fun and get stuff done.”)

Carlos and I served on the Design Team for an international youth event. At the opening ceremony, we were sitting together at the side of the stage with thousands of people in the arena.

The song “We Are a Rainbow” caught our attention. Next thing I new, there was a group of about ten of us dancing together in the aisle to lyrics that included these lines —

There are many colors in a rainbow

all bound together as one

They are the promise of tomorrow

A hope for all the days to come.

We are a rainbow

Together we are a sign

To life for all human kind

We are a rainbow,

It’s time for us to shine

We are a rainbow

— That was longer ago than I’ll admit.

The theme of that song needs to be jump-started.

Today.

If not now, when?

And if not by us, by whom?

Church, are we listening?

BONUS BLOG: Hello, Unstoppable Church….

Tremble and do not sin;

when you are on your beds,

search your hearts and be silent.

Psalm 4:4

Woulda

Coulda

Shoulda

 

Should

Could

Would

…Shall?

Your Posture

Our own former Bishop Sharon A. Brown Christopher frequently invites people to “join the rest of us in the posture of prayer.”

Seth Godin writes of living with “the posture of possibility.”

Weave those together and it starts to look like this —

“Rejoice always,

pray without ceasing,

give thanks in all circumstances;

for this is the will of God

in Christ Jesus for you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

 

— How’s your posture today?

Losing Our Balance

“I’m a Calvinist and Reformed,” writes Presbyterian Steve Brown, “and we Calvinists do things ‘decently and in order.’ We don’t speak in tongues, tell jokes, or dance. But if we do, we don’t do any of that very well.

“We believe that if you get the facts right, then it’s enough. It’s not. It’s not nearly enough.

“So often we (and a lot of serious Christians who aren’t Reformed) ‘know the words, but miss the melody.'”

May this never be said of those of us who claim the first name Wesleyan and the last name Christian.

And then there’s another potential problem.

There was a time when we Methodists were criticized for being too emotional…and for singing too much…and for singing too loudly…and a couple of decades ago I was told by a brother pastor in a Ministerial Alliance that Methodists smile too much.

“The people of the middle way” is how Adam Hamilton and others describe us when we’re healthiest.

Join me in praying for the ability to use the good sense God gave us.

Same Advice, Even Through Her Fog

Rejoice in the Lord always.

I will say it again:

Rejoice!

(Philippians 4:4)

My mom was born on this date in 1912, and lived every one of her 105 years to their fullest, no matter how much effort it took.

Among her many observations and pieces of advice, the one that she continued saying the longest, even through her fog of dementia, was simply, “Enjoy every moment.”

Let’s do.

Consummate teacher that she was, she’d be happy knowing you live that lesson. 

What will you do today to purposefully live into it?

They’re Watching

Kirk Franklin shares this classic story —

There are enough lessons in there for a long time.

And most start with this reality: Train up a child in the way they should go: and when they are old, they will not depart from it. — Proverbs 22:6

Sure is true for me (and yup, I’m in that classic story) (more than once), how about you?

It’s a Monday: Prayer Requests

“Pray. Don’t pry.”