Posted on March 26, 2018

In a sermon he preached at Riverside Church in 1945, Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick said: “Without prayer there are some things God cannot say to us, for prayer is the listening ear. Without prayer there are some things God cannot give to us, for prayer is the hospitable heart. Without prayer there are some things God cannot do through us, for prayer is the cooperative will.” (The Kind Of Prayer These Times Call For, November 8, 1945)

Lenten Disciplines
Posted on March 19, 2018

As we have been sorting through things accumulated over 9+ years in NYC and determining what to take back to NC and what to leave here, I have been examining a lot of clothing. In fact, I have been donating a lot of clothing to a local helping agency that provides garments to those in need. The clothes I have donated is in good repair. Some of it has barely been worn at all. I would love to claim that I am giving it away simply due to a generous spirit (and I hope that is at least part of the reason I’m doing so). However, part of why I am donating so much clothing is because I simply can’t wear it anymore – too little fabric, too much midsection. I am living proof of what we often hear: New York really is the greatest food city in the world!

Key Phrases
Posted on March 12, 2018

Are you familiar with the computer program called Wordle? I had never heard of it till a few years ago when some of our staff at Marble introduced it to me. Wordle is a program that goes through written documents, surveys, or presentations and finds the most frequently used terms or phrases. That gives us insights into what our spoken priorities actually are.

Good and Bad
Posted on March 5, 2018

Will Willimon told the story of a Youth Event he attended once when he was the United Methodist Bishop in Alabama. The leader of the service called several young people up to the stage. He designated one of them as Mother Theresa and told her to stand at one far end of the stage. He designated another as Judas and asked him to stand at the other end. Then he named a few people from history (some good, some not so good) and positioned them between the young people on the extreme ends. He then said to the remaining youth in the audience: “I want all of you to come up to the stage now. Take your place where you think you ought to be. On one end is a person who seemed just about perfect. On the other is someone we consider almost totally evil. Along the scale in the middle it goes from good to pretty good to average to not-so-good to pretty bad. Just take your place where you think you ought to be.” The young people migrated to the stage and began positioning themselves. No one went all the way to either end (Mother Theresa or Judas). Most stood with the symbols of “good to pretty good to average.” Hardly anyone went to the symbols of “not-so-good” or “pretty bad.” Once everyone was in place, the youth leader asked the question: “Now, where do you think Jesus would stand?” Quickly most of the kids rushed to be with Mother Theresa, whereupon the youth leader said, “But didn’t Jesus come to die for sinners?”