Jul 30 2014

General Board of Global Ministries: Help Support the Texas Border Crisis Response

Here’s what you can do to help United Methodist church efforts, from Laredo to Brownsville.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/07/help-support-the-texas-border-crisis-response/

Jul 30 2014

thoughtfulpastor: California Mystery Worship Two: The ROCK, No Babies or Children Allowed

“No children or babies are allowed in the sanctuary and the youth go to a different place.” With those words disturbingly ringing in my ears, since I think children should observe their parents engaged in worship, I was escorted into the cavernous “sanctuary” of The Rock, http://www.sdrock.com/, the gigachurch founded by Miles McPherson, former defensive…

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/07/california-mystery-worship-two-the-rock-no-babies-or-children-allowed/

Jul 30 2014

David F. Watson: Thoughts on Israel

I have been to Israel three times. I have stayed in the West Bank, and I have stayed in Israel. I have talked with Palestinians in a refugee camp, and I have spoken with Israeli settlers in the West Bank. I have met Palestinian Christians and Palestinian Muslims. I have heard from former Israeli soldiers…

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/07/thoughts-on-israel/

Jul 30 2014

Jedi Pastor Ken: Hike Your Own Hike: Giving Grace to Others on Their Spiritual Journey

Bly Gap at border of NC & GA
This summer, my daughter and I took our first steps toward reaching our goal of section hiking the Appalachian Trail.  We covered nearly 50 miles in 4.5 days.  There were many things she and I learned on the trail.  Some of it was about backpacking, some about life, some things about people, some things about ourselves and some things about God.

There is a popular phrase regarding the AT that goes, “Hike your own hike.”  Most of my years on the trail have been spent leading and being responsible for groups anywhere from 5 to 75.  This was the first time that I could remember in a number of years that I have done a long hike where my concern was just me and my daughter.  She and I gave each other permission to hike our own hikes, as we set boundaries and rules for staying in touch even when we lost sight of each other (pardon that pun).

Seriously though, my vision loss provided a unique challenge for me as I had to learn my limits and my abilities.  It was at times very difficult to navigate stone steps and inclines.  I did not always get to see the beauty around me as I had to pay attention to each step.  But in that process, I did get to see beauty under my feet that I would have missed in the past.

I had the chance to be more aware of myself which is something very difficult when leading a large group.  I also could be fully attentive to my daughter and I got to know her better as a very strong, very independent, amazingly creative and funny young woman.

Getting to hike my own hike made me more aware of our need to give others permission to hike their hike.  I think if I had tried to make my daughter hike “my hike,” it would have robbed her of what the AT experience can be.  If I had tried to hike “her hike,” I would have missed precious moments of hearing God and meditating on the experience.

One thing unique about our hike, was that we were going south and most everyone was going north.  A
Low Gap Shelter, Georgia

couple of times we met up with people at shelters on the top of a peak and share lunch and stories.  We were all on the same trail, the same mountain, or the same shelter but each of us had hiked a different hike to get there. 

I do not see this as an analogy for all religions.  What I “see” in my experience is that the Body of Christ is big enough and there is room for diversity and experience for everyone to hike their own hike.  I know for some, denominations are seen as a perversion of Jesus’ call for unity.  Within my own tradition of Methodism, we have a diversity and often do not reflect our heritage which the United Brethren offered us in their name: “United.”  We talk about grace but often fail in sharing it with one another.

There is within the Scriptures, a diversity of experiences regarding salvation and growth in grace.  Just look at Peter and Paul (though there are other comparisons)!  They experienced Jesus in two very different ways yet it was still the one Lord they followed and worshipped.  I think this final conversation with Jesus that Peter had, illustrates the point…

“Peter turned around and saw behind him that other disciple, whom Jesus loved—the one who had leaned close to Jesus at the meal and had asked, “Lord, who is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he asked Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus answered him, “If I want him to live until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!” (John 21:20-22 GNB)”

Jesus calls Peter to “hike his own hike,” and not to try and pull John into his model of following Jesus.  We are not created to be clones and puppets.  Jesus doesn’t say to us we need to be identical but to be unique, using our gifts and that means, we’ve got to take a different path up the mountain, the same mountain all followers of Jesus are on.

Be aware of God’s presence and the work of the Spirit guiding you into Christ-likeness. Beware that you do not hike someone else’s hike or insist other people hike your hike.  Be attentive to voice of the Savior calling you to follow!

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/07/hike-your-own-hike-giving-grace-to-others-on-their-spiritual-journey/

Jul 30 2014

christinejbaxter.net: The ABC’s Of Grief – C is for Clichés & Condolences | The Grief Toolbox

Shared with me via a friend the Author writes about the loss of her child and her experiences with friends, acquaintances, and family and what people say and don’t say when they are afraid that they have no idea what to say. Click the link below to read the Story: The ABC’s Of Grief – […]

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/07/the-abcs-of-grief-c-is-for-clichs-condolences-the-grief-toolbox/

Jul 30 2014

Andrew Conard: Blog Reboot: Influencers in My Niche (4 of 4)

One key to restarting this blog is to more actively listen to others who are writing to similar audiences. Since the death of Google Reader, I have not kept up with blogs. Last week I downloaded Leaf – The News Reader and have subscribed to the following blogs: Great Plains Conference Bloggers Adam Hamilton Now […]

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/07/blog-reboot-influencers-in-my-niche-4-of-4/

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