Jan 26 2015

Pastorbluejeans Ramblings: Day 26 – And then there was snow!

Today’s Reading 1 Kings 16:21 – 1 Kings 4:37 This picture is my view from the balcony of my room in Long Branch this morning. I am gathered with many colleagues for the Bishop’s convocation for the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference. This will be a time of learning and fellowship for us over the next […]

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Jan 26 2015

Virtual Methodist: Prophetic Imagination…

Another 4 Corners prompted post before I go back to my reflections on Living under Empire, although like that series this draws on the wisdom of Walter Brueggemann… After my slightly frustrated read of his book “Out of Babylon” and because of the the…

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2015/01/prophetic-imagination/

Jan 26 2015

The Inside Out Life: January 25 Sermon

(To hear a version of this sermon as preached, click here.)


The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time,
saying, “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the
message that I tell you.”So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the
word of the Lord. Now Nineveh
was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across.Jonah began to go into
the city,

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Jan 26 2015

Sandpiper's Thoughts: God speaking

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.   And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’  (Mark 1:9-11)

Mark compares the Spirit descending to a dove. Luke says that the Spirit descended in a bodily form like a dove.  Imagine for a moment a dove descending onto Jesus.  What would that have been like?  Would it have been a quiet, soft glide of the bird as it gently approached Jesus?  Would it have been more noticeable, like a dive bombing bird after french fries?  Either way, I imagine those around paid attention.  It was not an ordinary action.  The voice from heaven probably added some punch to the message, too.  Could anyone have gone away that day doubting that something extraordinary had happened?

Then the Lord called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ and he said, ‘Here I am!’ and ran to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call; lie down again.’ So he went and lay down.   (1 Samuel 3:4-5)

In this passage, we see that Samuel is hearing the Lord, but his mentor, Eli, doesn’t recognize who is calling to Samuel (at least at first).  It takes three times for Eli, the Priest, to clue into what is happening.

In both incidents, God isn’t being subtle.  It’s the listeners who need to listen and see.

The beginning of chapter 3 in 1 Samuel says, “The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.”  How often do we say something similar?  How often do we doubt that God is communicating with us?  Maybe God is, and we just aren’t listening.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2015/01/god-speaking/

Jan 26 2015

UMC Lead: Why I’m United Methodist: Don’t Check Yourself At The Door

Today we have a guest post by Sarah Heath (bio below). If you would like to be considered for a guest post, please feel free to email us at leadumc@gmail.com. ————————— “If your parents make you go to church after this decision, then I will speak up in your defense.”  Shockingly, that came out of the mouth of […]

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Jan 26 2015

Laurie Haller: Beyond the Gerry Special

My dad and I arrive for lunch at the café in his continuing care community. My father eats there every day, most of the time riding his bike from his “cottage” or taking the shuttle bus if the weather is … Continue reading

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