Talbot Davis

Author's details

Name: Talbot Davis
Date registered: October 23, 2012
URL: http://www.blogger.com/profile/03339332032208930957

Latest posts

  1. The Heart Of The Matter: #Trending, Week 4 — #Declaration — August 29, 2014
  2. The Heart Of The Matter: Why A "Justice Of The Peace" Wedding Is More Sacred Than A "Spiritual" One — August 28, 2014
  3. The Heart Of The Matter: Kandhamal Day — August 27, 2014
  4. The Heart Of The Matter: Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Rock Songs Featuring Violins — August 26, 2014
  5. Seedbed: 5 Things We Do To Help Families In Grief — August 26, 2014

Most commented posts

  1. The Heart Of The Matter: Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Frustrations With Being A Don Henley Fan — 24 comments
  2. The Heart Of The Matter: Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Things I Learned From Matt O’Reilly — 1 comment
  3. The Heart Of The Matter: Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Reasons Why "Charismatic Methodist" Is Not An Oxymoron — 1 comment
  4. The Heart Of The Matter: The Intolerance Of The Tolerant — 1 comment
  5. The Heart Of The Matter: A Sermon Killer — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Aug 29 2014

The Heart Of The Matter: #Trending, Week 4 — #Declaration

Original post at http://talbotdavis.blogspot.com/2014/08/trending-week-4-declaration.html

Pilate asks Jesus, "what is truth?"

But I ask another question today:  "How do we internalize truth?"  How do we digest it?  How does truth move from something we hear to something we believe and then to something that defines us?

Those are some of the questions we'll address and then answer in Week 4 of Trending, #Declaration.

Do not expect a "normal" service.  At all.  I will be leading, but come to church aware that this Sunday will look quite different from the other 51 this year.


8:30. 10.  11:30.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/08/trending-week-4-declaration/

Aug 28 2014

The Heart Of The Matter: Why A "Justice Of The Peace" Wedding Is More Sacred Than A "Spiritual" One

Original post at http://talbotdavis.blogspot.com/2014/08/why-justice-of-peace-wedding-is-more.html

While in a pre-marital counseling session earlier this week, I came to what I thought to be an interesting realization.

Incidentally, it was also one of those rare times when I "talked to think" rather than "think to talk" . . . in this case, I was yammering on with the prospective bride and groom and something good emerged from my words that had never before been in my mind.

Here goes: we got on the topic of a "justice of the peace" wedding happening in advance of a "church wedding" (not their plan, just a hypothetical).

And so I mentioned that the first wedding in that scenario is actually the more significant one because it is legally binding.  The second one -- the one in church -- then adds a spiritual overlay to what is already in the governmental system.

Which is why most pastors I know will not be party to a so-called "spiritual" wedding in which the bride and groom want to be married in the eyes of God only without going through the messiness of making it legal.

Anyway, I said at the conclusion of my off-the-cuff remarks, "It's the legal entanglements of getting married by the courts that makes a justice of the peace wedding more sacred.  Because of those entanglements, it's harder to get out of  than a 'spiritual' one."  

And so it is.  Think about it:  a wedding is the one area of pastoral ministry in which the pastor acts as a representative of the state.  That's what we do; we authenticate for the local jurisdictions that a valid marriage as in fact taken place.  It's why we sign Marriage Licenses and mail them in.

I believe that is how it should be.   All the mundane matters which entangle husbands and wives together -- such as the arduous process of getting the Marriage License, the establishing of joint residency, joint banking , and joint tax status -- are what make a marriage sacred.

A spiritual wedding with no legal muscle behind it makes marriage little more than a saccharine sweet memento you can buy at Lifeway Bookstore.

It's remarkable when you think about it.  It's sacred because it's secular.  Understood this way, marriage takes the raw material of life and mixes it together into something with the divine imprint upon it.

After all, what else would we expect from a God who took on flesh and tabernacled among us?

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/08/why-a-justice-of-the-peace-wedding-is-more-sacred-than-a-spiritual-one/

Aug 27 2014

The Heart Of The Matter: Kandhamal Day

Original post at http://talbotdavis.blogspot.com/2014/08/kandhamal-day.html

Monday was Kandhamal Day for Christians in Odisha State, India.

 The day commemorates the six year anniversary of communal violence against Christians in the Kandhamal District of Odisha state.

During that particular uprising, 100 Christians were killed, 56,000 were displaced from their homes, and 295 church buildings were destroyed.

This is the region of India that Good Shepherd teams regularly visit.

Why am I telling you this now?

Because in September our church has the privilege of hosting one of the leading pastors from Kandhamal District.  I have spent time with him every year during my India trips and I guarantee you will be blessed by his candor and his courage.

And I think he might be blessed by Good Shepherd's focus on inviting all people into a living relationship with Jesus Christ.


Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/08/kandhamal-day/

Aug 26 2014

The Heart Of The Matter: Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Rock Songs Featuring Violins

Original post at http://talbotdavis.blogspot.com/2014/08/top-five-tuesday-top-five-rock-songs.html

When you think of the elements that make up a great rock song, the violin is hardly the first instrument that comes to mind.

At first glance, it's altogether too refined and too gentle to fit well into a genre dominated by drums, bass, and lead guitar.

Nevertheless, in the rock story of the last 50 years or so, certain artists have been able to add a bit of "classic" to the medium of "rock." And, in my view, add a layer of haunting emotion to songs that would be incomplete with out it.

So here goes: my top five rock songs featuring violin:

5.  Electric Light Orchestra, Roll Over Beethoven.  The cover of Chuck Berry puts the "classic" in classic rock.  Even though the violin part is tongue-in-cheek as much as anything else, it has to be on this list.

4.  The Who, Baba O'Reilly (Teenage Wasteland).  The Who is not my favorite band -- that's why I've never had a Top Five Who Songs list.  This tune also has one of the most objectionable lines in rock -- "I don't need to be forgiven."  (Really?)  Yet I couldn't leave this one off if for no other reason than that it was the topic of conversation on the first date I ever had with Julie Davis.

3.  The Verve, Bittersweet Symphony.  I'm down with what's today, people.

2.  Electric Light Orchestra, Livin' Thing.  Confession: one time in high school a friend told me that he had gone to an ELO concert the night before.  Only I heard him say "Yellow."  So I thought there was a new band out there capable of filling 10,000 seat arenas named "Yellow."  Guess I was wrong.  Guess this song is still great.

1.  John Mellencamp, Your Life Is Now.  Actually, this list could have been all John Mellencamp all the time.  His violin parts tend to be subtle, textured, and beautiful.  The part in Your Life Is Now brings an urgency to the lyric that I would not have felt otherwise.  We did this on in church as part of the Heroes series in 2008.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/08/top-five-tuesday-top-five-rock-songs-featuring-violins/

Aug 26 2014

Seedbed: 5 Things We Do To Help Families In Grief

Original post at http://seedbed.com/feed/5-things-help-families-grief/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-things-help-families-grief

In my first year of my first appointment, an elderly woman in the church by the name of Bernice lost her 50-year-old son named Sam to cancer.  Sam’s funeral was the first one I ever did in that small church and, drawing from I Thessalonians 4, I reminded Bernice and the congregation surrounding her that we could grieve as people who HAVE hope and that there will in fact be a reunion in the sky when Christ returns.

Yet as a young pastor I knew: Bernice is going to need on-going pastoral care as she copes with every parent’s deepest trauma: attending the funeral of their own child.

So I resolved to have weekly visits at Bernice’s modest home for the next year.  She didn’t know of the plan; she just graciously said “yes” every time I called to ask if I might come over and have a visit.  More than saying “yes,” she provided me with weekly delicacies:  a Dr. Pepper and a Bugle’s Snacks.  (What is a Bugle, anyway?  A chip? A cracker? Or an entirely separate species of salty deliciousness?)

And in these weekly visits, surrounded by carbonation and salination, we talked about Sam: his quirks, his passions, his accomplishments, and his regrets.  And we talked about what it was like for Bernice to go on in life without him.  In short, we did grief work together.

Well, a quarter-century later, I am in a much different ministry setting and not in a position to make weekly home visits to anyone.  Yet some of the principles from that foundational experience still apply to how  we at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church help families navigate the on-going journey of grief.

1) Recording the memorial service

In immediate aftermath of the funeral/memorial, we provide six complimentary CDs of the service to the family.  In that way, they can re-visit the memories, laughter, songs that were shared and tears that were shed in that appointed time for community grief we call a funeral.

2) Sending notes of encouragement

We sent notes of encouragement and reflection at the one month, three month, six month, and one year anniversary of the loved one’s death.

3) Saying the name of the deceased

In our grief counseling (whether in home or in the office), we make a point to say the name of the one who has died.  Many people in the culture at large are fearful of speaking the name of the deceased in the presence of survivors, not knowing how much healing power that practice contains.

4) Asking open-ended questions

Our interaction with survivors also involves a series of open-ended questions:  “What time of day is hardest for you?”  “Are there places you avoid these days?”  “What was he like?”  “What makes you laugh when you think about her?”

5) Offering Grief Share groups

Twice a year, we offer Grief Share groups led by lay people who have walked the journey themselves.

All of these “large church” practices were honed in a small church setting and inspired by a grieving mother with the gift of Dr. Pepper flavored hospitality.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/08/5-things-we-do-to-help-families-in-grief/

Aug 25 2014

The Heart Of The Matter: Why Ministry Is Worth It

Original post at http://talbotdavis.blogspot.com/2014/08/why-ministry-is-worth-it.html

Most pastors wonder on occasion if ministry is actually worth it.

And then along comes a story like the one below featuring Ace, and the answer unfolds before your eyes:

Yup.  Worth it.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/08/why-ministry-is-worth-it/

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