Sep 22 2014

Rev. Brent L. White: Does Ruth have sex with Boaz on the threshing floor?

In an early draft of my sermon yesterday, I compared the Book of Ruth to a romantic comedy. It wasn’t my original thought: it came from John Goldingay. But true enough, the book does have the hallmarks of one: the meet-cute of chapter 2, the falling in love of chapter 3, the threat to the couple’s love […]

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Sep 22 2014

Adventures In Revland: 7 Things to Do to Improve Your Old Church

At my appointment, Indian Trail UMC, we just celebrated 112 years of ministry this past week.  We are an old church, meaning years of existence.  We have old buildings.  The church buildings were built in the 1940-1950s.  There is a…

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Sep 22 2014

Threads from Henry's Web: Ten Years Ago

John and James – My favorite picture that I keep on my desk.

September 22 is a difficult day for me and my family. Ten years ago, on September 22, our son/brother James went home. I cannot describe it as anything else. While it left us with a deep sense of loss, there was [...]

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Sep 22 2014

The Inside Out Life: September 21 Sermon

Matthew 20:1-16

“For
the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to
hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the
usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about
nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace;and he said to
them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.

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Sep 22 2014

the unlikely orange: big win in charlotte

well, that’s more like it.the steelers put on a great show in charlotte last night in front of a national audience.  they shut down superman and his supporting cast, and completely owned the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.  if th…

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Sep 22 2014

Jedi Pastor Ken: For Lack of Better Words?

I would love to write every day and I know I am not alone in that desire.  Most days I do write something though it is rare, at this time, that I feel the need to share it. 

But I feel there is a pressure to respond immediately these days.  I’ve been asked to respond to tragedies in public forums at times.  I get it, those are times people are looking for a comforting words and counsel from a clergy.  But that is not what I am talking about.

Maybe I am wrong about it but my feeds keep blowing up with everyone feeling their need to give an opinion.  


Immediately. 


About anything. 


About everything.

Maybe the solution is getting off social media completely, or just learn to cope.  But I wonder if it is doing something to us, to our relationships, our lives, our society, and our friendships.  And here I am now, giving my opinion.

We need to find better words.  We need better words to describe those who we disagree with on important issues.  We need to choose better words before we condemn an entire race, religion, and gender.  We need better words to speak about those experiencing injustice, poverty, and unemployment.  We need to better words to speak about the rich, the 1%, our leaders.  We need better words to speak about those of a different political perspective than our own.  We need better words to talk to our children, our friend’s children, or a stranger’s child.  We need better words when we speak to our partner.

And we need better words when we speak about and to our enemies.

I don’t think we lack better words, I just think we are too lazy to use them.  It is so much easier (and far more fun) to build a silo, an ivory tower, a fortress of solitude, and cast verbal grenades and condemn others for what?  They vote differently?  They believe differently?  They speak different?  They act on different convictions?

Here is where I am.  I am stuck in the middle (though I’ve been told there is no middle).  My conviction is that I can’t be like Jesus if I take sides without hearing another point of view.  I don’t mean READING another point of view, God knows, I think, that we’re failing at that as a practice of faith or friendship or dialogue.  In the written word, we only seem to demagogue.

We are a lot like Hugh Laurie’s character, “House.”  He avoids dealing with patients believing he’ll be a better doctor to them.  The problem is, he does the same with everyone in his life.  It is really hard to love people at a distance who you’ve never known up close.  That is what I get out of Jesus’ words,

Rather, love your enemies, help them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then you will have a great reward. You will be the children of the Most High God. After all, he is kind to unthankful and evil people. (Luke 6:35 GW)

It is hard lend to someone you’ve not met.  It is hard to help those you’ve not ever known.  If you lack better words, then just be quiet for a while.  Just love others for a while.  Just listen to other people for a while.  Stop writing for a while.  And be glad that the Most High God does in fact keep his word and is kind to unthankful and evil people.

Have mercy on me Lord, a sinner, another unthankful and evil person.  Amen.



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