‘Moccasin Wearing’

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking… Earlier in life I sarcastically rolled my eyes at the popular bumper sticker of years ago that read “Ask Me About My Grand Children”.  There was a day when someone would begin to tell a ‘grandchild story’ when I would take a deep breath and pray for my ‘Pastoral Patience’ to kick in not really desiring to hear such a story.  However, I have seen the light.  I now see grandchildren from a completely different point of view.  I now understand why grandparents are giddy with ...

Grits and Grace for the Journey

Quincy Brown


Once a month, when I attend cabinet meetings at the Conference Office, several of the cabinet members have breakfast at Waffle House.  Our monthly Waffle House breakfast is something that I look forward to attending. For many, Waffle House is comfort breakfast food. For me, it reminds me of my Daddy who loved Waffle House!    Before he had severe health challenges and confined to a nursing home, he went there every day.  He was a local celebrity to the Waffle House and had his booth and his ...

‘Stinking Thinking’

Terry Walton


  I Was Thinking… The people of the Atlanta-Marietta District are wonderfully gracious in so many ways.  I love it when they share with me a good movie, good book or good play they recently found insightful and/or inspiring.  One book recently recommended is entitled God, Improv, and The Art of Living by MaryAnn McKibben Dana.  I have enjoyed reading this fascinating book on improvisation.  “We’re all improvisers”, says Dana, “whether we realize it or not.”  Dana writes “…life hands us our ...

Full STEAM Ahead



By Rev. Jenny Anderson Hopewell UMC in Tyrone has a great philosophy about how to be in partnership with our nearby schools. The church simply asks what we can do to be good neighbors.  This summer the principal of Burch Elementary and I sat down to discuss ways the school and church can work together in the upcoming school year. I asked her if the school needed traditional school supplies for the beginning of the year. She quickly answered, "No! We need STEAM Supplies."   STEAM stands for ...

‘Listen to Yourself’

Terry Walton


  I Was Thinking… My baby book records that my first word was ‘ball’.  Shortly after that I learned to say ‘dada’.  I’m certain by this time my mother was in a state of sheer frustration.  She, who fed me and changed most of my diapers; she who was the first to hit the floor in the middle of the night when I grunted a whine or cry…where was she in my earliest of words?  ‘Momma’ had to have come shortly thereafter ‘dada’ but certainly all would now agree that ‘momma’, above all other words, ...

The Shape of the River

Quincy Brown


  A longtime colleague of mine frequently reminds me of a reflection on leadership that impacted him when he first heard it nearly 20 years ago.  I’m grateful to John for keeping the message in front of me since I’m prone to forgetting letters over the years. Here’s what influenced John.   In Life on the Mississippi, Mark Twain reports the navigational instructions he received from an experienced Mississippi riverboat captain.  The captain explained that the look of the river constantly changes...

‘My Goodness’

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking… A gracious soul sent me a note of encouragement last week.  It lifted my spirit.  On the front of the card was the famous quote by John Wesley, our Methodist fore father.  It read… “Do all the good you can.  By all the means you can.  In all the ways you can.  At all times you can.  To all the people you can.  As long as ever you can.” It was an inspiring reminder of what was at the spirit-root of what it means to be a Methodist.  “Doing Good” sounds so simple and yet like ‘...

‘On Purpose’

Terry Walton


  I Was Thinking… Purpose is mighty important piece of any plan.  “What is the purpose?” becomes a critical question to any adventure desiring success.  When purpose is lost, forgotten or changed then the plan is lost, forgotten and changed. Recently I have found myself concerned with ‘churches losing their purpose’.  This is not only dangerous to the churches who wander away but to those broken and lost lives God is calling those churches to help, reach and offer Good News.  Staying ‘On ...

‘Blessed to be a Blessing’

Terry Walton


  I Was Thinking… I remember the first time I heard it.  I was stunned, but in a very good way.  I had finished the phone conversation when she said as we were about to say ‘good bye’, “Be Blessed!”  All I knew to say in that brief moment was “Thank You!”  That phrase “Be Blessed!” stuck in my mind and penetrated my thoughts for the rest of that day.  What a gift she gave me…a blessing.   I have since heard that response on several occasions and it is still wonderful to hear and receive.  And ...

Culture Eats Strategy

Quincy Brown


Culture Eats Strategy Have you heard the phrase “culture eats strategy for breakfast?” It’s the phrase that allegedly originated with management guru Peter Drucker. Mark Fields, who later became President of Ford Motor Company, made the phrase famous in 2006. While there’s an ongoing debate about whether Drucker ever really said the sentence, it's accurate that culture is typically dominant than any strategy. The importance of culture holds true for the church too.   Last Monday, when ...

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