Praying by doing the things Jesus did

“Lord, teach us to pray!”  This week, I somehow locked onto the disciples needing to ask Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” In Matthew, Jesus teaches the basics of prayer right after calling the disciples. Luke goes through 11 of 24 chapters before a disciple asks Jesus to teach them about prayer. Luke’s order is […]

Hearing the harder Word that can heal us

30 years ago, about two years into our 34 years of marriage, Connie, the dog, and I were watching football on TV.  I enjoy hollering at the players, the referees, and the commentators. Connie and our dogs have found this ridiculous. Nevertheless, Connie is fun to watch football with. During college, Connie taught cheerleading at […]

Moving through difficult seasons

On Friday,  the sermon I sent to the staff did not begin with my sharing our United Methodist principals around abortion. It does today. In seminary a professor counseled us to read the church’s official statements during difficult seasons, because these statements offer collective wisdom often born by difficult deliberations, something we can never do […]

Radiate Unity

Once upon a time, a pastor was trying to describe the Mystery of the Trinity to a group of children in the three minute window her church allotted for a children’s moment. Our United Methodist Discipline describes the Holy Trinity in our Articles of Religion saying:  Article I — Of Faith in the Holy Trinity […]

Pentecost: seeing halos around us

God Emboldens Us June 5, 2022             Paul Purdue The second chapter of Acts reads like a creed or is it a poem?  When Pentecost arrived, the church was together. and they saw something like tongues of fire.  A tongue of fire alighted and rested over each one of them. […]

Do not be afraid to not Know

Imagine yourself as Simon Peter about ready to lead the church. Peter may be the first Christian. The Gospels tell us Peter leaves behind his boats, nets, and fishing business to follow Jesus. For three years, Peter traveled from village to village with Jesus hearing Jesus preach. Like most first century believers Peter committed most […]

Suddenly we stare silently at the cross

The Palm and Passion Sunday lectionary texts can almost jolt us. We start singing loud Hosannas and suddenly we gaze upon the cross.  This week, the mystery of Jesus Christ’s humanity and divinity comes into focus: God is crucified.  Charles Wesley asked, how can that be? “Tis mystery all! The Immortal dies! Who can explore […]