Pastoral Series

Best Ideas of Methodism

eBestIdeasOfMethodism – We Begin Happy Easter! I hope you have found our recent eThingsChristiansDo series, and then the daily installments of eHolyWeek to be beneficial in some way. It is a privilege for me to share ideas with you in this way. Speaking of shared ideas: I would like, over the next month, to share with you what I…

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Lord, Have Mercy

Lord, Have Mercy: Ash Wednesday  Ash Wednesday seems like a day of morose guilt – but there is a hidden joy, hidden beneath the mark of the ashes we receive in worship.  Cain sinned terribly against Abel his brother, and God; God marked him on the forehead, partly indicating his guilt, but also to be…

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Mardi Gras and Mercy

You Shall Love: Mardi Gras…and Mercy It’s Mardi Gras!  In New Orleans it’s a time for costumes, masks, parades, balls, and some kooky debauchery in a carnival atmosphere.  At our church, it’s comparatively tranquil: we eat pancakes.Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday – so we overindulge a bit, perhaps in the very things we intend to…

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Your Neighbor As Yourself

You Shall Love: Your Neighbor as Yourself In Leviticus 19, God could have just said “Love your neighbor.”  But God added “…as yourself.”  I’ve heard it said that you can’t love others until you love yourself, and I have some sympathy with this idea:  if I’m mired in self-pity or if I’m glum about me,…

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Your Neighbor

You Shall Love: Your Neighbor When asked “What is the greatest commandment?” Jesus plucked a pair out of the Scriptures.  I suspect he didn’t think of them as two separate things, but as one, or the same thing from two perspectives.  We love God when we love the neighbor; we love the neighbor when we…

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Strength Perfected

You Shall Love: Strength Perfected When asked “What is the greatest commandment?” Jesus plucked a pair out of the Scriptures.  I suspect he didn’t think of them as two separate things, but as one, or the same thing from two perspectives.  We love God when we love the neighbor; we love the neighbor when we…

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Strength

You Shall Love: Strength When I was in high school, everyone had some vague impressions about one another.  He’s athletic.  She’s smart.  He’s clever.  She’s talented.  He’s… well, we just don’t see much in him.But everyone has strengths, and something as simple as “She’s smart” is more complex than we realize.  She’s smart in math…

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With Your Mind

You Shall Love: With Your Mind C.S. Lewis wrote that “the journey from head to heart is one of the longest and most difficult that we know.”  I wonder if, when it comes to God, we suspect Lewis was right, and so we just skip the head and go straight to the heart.Whoever said faith…

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Heart, Mind, Soul

You Shall Love: Heart, Soul, Mind When Jesus said “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength,” he wasn’t envisioning four distinct ways to love, as if you could devise a checklist.  “Okay, I love God with heart and soul, need to work a little more on mind,…

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Soul

You Shall Love: Soul Love God with all your soul.  What is this soul?  In our culture, there is this popular but terribly un-Biblical notion that the real you is an invisible “soul” housed temporarily in your body.  When you die, that “soul” lives on forever.  Not surprisingly, when we believe this, we divided the…

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