Oct 21 2014

Begin Again: Journey, A Guided Meditation – Prayerful Tuesday

Galatians 3:26-29 The Message (MSG) 25-27 But now you have arrived at your destination: By faith in Christ you are in direct relationship with God. Your baptism in Christ was not just washing you up for a fresh start. It also involved dressing you in an adult faith wardrobe—Christ’s life, the fulfillment of God’s original promise.…

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Oct 21 2014

The Heart Of The Matter: Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Factoids About Having The Name Talbot

Last week I met a woman who told me she has a son named, of all things, Talbot.(I posted a snapshot of our conversation yesterday on Facebook here.)So that encounter prompts me to re-visit a blog from a couple of years having to do with my name.  …

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Oct 21 2014

Thoughts of a Naked Alien: Psalmic Poetry – The Forever God.

Lord, our forever Home:


Before the beginning;


After the ending, Lord.


You return us to our composite molecules:

All our eons are but brief moments to You;


The past is washed away and it’s always now.


How long will You ignore our suffering?

Be a compassionate Master to Your slaves!


Show us Your love so that we may be happy!


Give us as many days of joy as you have given us days of suffering.

Let us see Your invisible works and let us bask in Your radiant smile.


Let us prosper in our deeds Lord – Lord, let us prosper in our deeds.


 

(Psalm 90:1-6 & 13-17 as envisioned by Tiwago)

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/The-Naked-Alien/352389110349?ref=ts

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Oct 20 2014

Preceding Grace: He Was Provokin’ Me

Recently we’ve seen a rise in the number of children being diagnosed with autism.  While this might be loosely tied to older men fathering children or environmental toxins, the actual truth seems to be that we really don’t know why this is the case.

Many children diagnosed have high I.Q.’s and function well in mainstream classrooms academically.  The problems for these children are more social.  They often do not respond as well to regular interactive cues.  Many don’t smile very often.  They are often bullied by other children because they don’t pick up on the subtle nuances that occur in everyday communication.

Children who don’t get a response to their overtures from an autistic child may feel somewhat slighted.  If they have poor self-esteem themselves, they may pick on the autistic child because they don’t understand why they are being ignored.

Most people appreciate some type of reaction or response from others.  One of the worst things in life is to be ignored (anyone remember Ally Sheedy’s character from The Breakfast Club?).

One of my faults is the ability to find the sore spots on people that trigger a reaction. Finding and exposing a person’s vulnerability was a gift (curse?) that I try not to use anymore.  Some people call this “pushing the right buttons”.  It is likely a defense mechanism along the lines of the best defense is a good offense.

Regardless, responses are important as part of the social covenant.

I believe that even though we are influenced, we are still free to decide our response in any situation.

When I tried to give Sheryl her ring during our wedding,
she dropped it.  It was probably self-preservation trying
to kick in on her part!

When two people enter the marriage covenant, they respond to the query of whether they will be
faithful to one another with the affirmative (usually “I will” or “I do”).  If their response is negative (this hasn’t ever happened to me in all my years of officiating), this would be a good sign that their commitment level is not at the appropriate level for a life-long marriage!

When it comes to God, many people respond to the forgiveness and grace we’ve received by making a commitment of faith.  Within United Methodism, we pledge to support Christ through the church with our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service and our witness.  It is no small thing.

This Sunday, I’ll be preaching on the parable of the two brothers – one is faithful and one is not – contained in Matthew 21:28-32.  Their response shows that human beings really haven’t changed much in 2000 years.

If your own response to God has been lacking lately, I hope you’ll remedy this on Sunday.  I promise I won’t try to intentionally push your buttons but I may accidentally trod on your toes!

In Christ,

Sam
 

Photo by Petar Milošević via Wikimedia Commons

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Oct 20 2014

Lake Neuron » Lake Neuron: the disappearing child

I have been in kind of a funk the past few days, but I knew my weekly volunteer hour at Learning Way Elementary would get my mind off things. This week, Regan had me with the same group of kids – three of them – for the whole hour. We played two different games and […]

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/10/the-disappearing-child/

Oct 20 2014

Greater Things Are Yet To Be Done: My Congo Pilgrimage

By Rev. Randy Cooper, Martin First UMC, Martin, Tenn. TOP PHOTO: Rev. Randy Cooper (right) and his United Methodist clergy friend, John Paul, at the East Congo Episcopal Area Conference Round Table. BOTTOM PHOTO: Cooper (left) and Kinshasa, daughter of Bishop Unda Yemba Gabriel. Two Martin First UMC youth heard Bishop Bill McAlilly of the Nashville […]

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