Challenges Like This

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking… The iconic legend Arnold Palmer died recently and for many there has been grief over losing one of the best golfers and even better persons to have lived and played the game.  I remember a story told by Arnold Palmer on himself that was told to be a true occurrence. Arnold Palmer was invited to speak before a convention of blind golfers.  He asked the golfers how they were able to determine in which direction to hit the golf ball.  One of the golfers explained that his caddy ...

Just Thinking... Outreach and Teach?

Dana Everhart


It is almost Halloween. I am reading that many of our churches are planning outreach to the community by way of a "Trunk or Treat" or other other similiar event. What a great tool for ministry this is! How grateful I am to those who are seeking ways to reach the community where they are at and not where we think they should be. I really miss being a part of such ministry events, and I miss watching the faces of children and their parents as they particpate.  I also miss that we have almost ...

What Would Happen

Terry Walton


There I sat in our family room glued to the television watching another Presidential Debate. All of a sudden I felt my body language begin to twist and turn.  I noticed that I could hardly make eye contact with the TV screen. I was so disappointed in what I was seeing and hearing.  I was experiencing embarrassment and shame at what was occurring in homes all across this nation. The vitriol and blaming and accusations and, well, it was disturbing to me. What has happened to us as an American ...

Just Thinking... The New Look of Ministry

Dana Everhart


I was privileged to attend the Board of Ordained Ministry Quadrennial Training in Chicago this past week. I serve on our Board of Ministry as the Cabinet Representative for the Bishop. My colleagues in similiar positions and executive members of other Boards of Ordained Ministry joined together to study changes in the Book of Discipline and to look at the future of ministry in The United Methodist Church. The meeting was informative, and the changes to the Book of Discipline seemed fairly ...

Just Thinking... about Room at the Table

Dana Everhart


Just Thinking ...   Recently one of the great United Methodist theologians, Dr. Ted Campbell, spoke at the World Methodist Conference in Houston.  “The question at this point is not whether we divide or not,” said Campbell, standing under a “One” sign that signified the unity theme of the conference. “That I fear is a given now.” To say the least, I was once again dumbfounded that we allow the negitivity of our world influence our life together as United Methodists. "Spliting" is the easy way ...

Just Thinking... Continuing to Learn

Dana Everhart


  Just Thinking ...   We never stop learning, and, if we do, it means we are dead. I have heard that tale most of my life. I heard it as my parents pushed me not to give up but to finish the homework. I heard it as I was crying over a scraped knee or cut hand from the one bandaging me up meaning, "Next time you won't do that, will you?!" I heard it from Brent Strawn when he tried to sell me on the idea of the Doctor of Ministry program. Some days I feel dead, but, hey, only a few more months, ...

A Serious Call

David Naglee


In his Plain Account of Christian Perfection, John Wesley wrote that early in his Oxford years as a student, “Mr. Law’s Christian Perfection and Serious Call were put into my hands.  These convinced me, more than ever, of the absolute impossibility of being half a Christian; and I determined, through His grace…to be all devoted to God, to give Him all my soul, my body and my substance.”  William Law’s contention in A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life was that “devotion…is a way of life ...

Just Thinking... About Our Labor

Dana Everhart


So you just came through another low Sunday in worship. Don't be discouraged or downcast. Don't let this get the better of you as a pastor. I invite you to reflect on this past holiday and to consider why it is we work so hard as well as why it is we need to have a day to honor the works of our hands?  Labor Day in the United States is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength,...

Just Thinking... Life Verses

Dana Everhart


There was a period of time, not to long ago, that everyone was discovering their "life verses" from the scriptures. Everyone I knew in the church, both clergy and laity, were coming up with a verse of scripture that directed their life or talked about their life.  I jumped on the band wagon and searched the scriptures, andI came up with mine so as to not be left out. Joshua 29:11 became the verse I hung my life upon. It fit me well, and it did express my understanding of God's love, direction, ...

Just Thinking... Big Hearts


Just Thinking ... "A man with a big heart!" I heard this phrase over and over from those who came to witness to the life and ministry of Jeff Johnson. No, Jeff was not clergy, even though he studied at Candler School of Theology. Jeff was a lawyer and an excellent layperson at Briarcliff United Methodist Church. He was the person I was priviliged to work closest to as we continued to look for a future for Briarcliff. I can confirm for you that his heart was large and full of love for ...

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