Category Archives: Life Lessons

The Real Losers of the NFL Lockout

Well it’s official.  In a battle between millionaires and billionaires, the real losers are thousandaires.  I’m not talking about the causal fan though if any games are missed, Sunday afternoons will certainly be different.  I’m talking about the thousands of employees who have lost or will lose their jobs because, once again, the only real winner in this fight is greed. Continue reading

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Some thoughts on moving

I thought that I would have a list of things that I am looking forward to in our appointment to the communities of Roland and Muldrow through Trinity UMC.  These are in no particular order.

1. Finally being able to live out my call from High School.  People at my work have asked me if I am excited about going to be a pastor, and I tell them this: If you had a goal in front of you for 9 years (I accepted my call in the Summer of 2001), and you have spent the past 9 years pursuing that goal.  And now it is almost here, then yes, I am pretty excited.

2. Preaching every week.  I love preaching, and it is truly one of the gifts that God has given me.  Even though I have preached probably over 60 sermons, and I have preached a revival and at Youth Force.  I am greatly excited about preaching to a particular community week after week, and journeying with a congregation.

3. Reading books that I want to read.  Continue reading

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What more do we need to do? A question on Race and the Church

“What more do we need to do?”  That was the question that the white-haired, white-skinned gentleman asked our dark-haired, dark-skinned professor.  We had been talking about Sunday morning at 11:00 being still the most segregated hour on Sunday Morning, and the hands and the blood pressures in the room went up.  There were a variety of thoughts, opinions, and questions but this dark-haired, dark-skinned professor’s answer to his question is what stood out most to me. Continue reading

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Harry Potter and the Half-Awake Blogger: My Midnight Experience

So, my wife Heather and my friends Chris and Emily Burkhart are huge Harry Potter fans.  They’ve read the books, watched the movies multiple times, and can talk about the minuscule differences between the two.  So, there was no question that they were going to the Midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  Not being one to be left out, I decided to join in the fun and go to my 1st midnight movie.  Yes, Harry Potter is my 1st midnight movie, and I am 25.  I’m coming to terms with that. 

One of the reasons why this is my first midnight movie is that I am not very good after midnight, and I am especially not good watching movies after midnight.  In fact, when I can’t fall asleep at night, I will go to the living room and… watch a movie to fall asleep.  So, alas my confidence in my ability to stay awake was lacking.  Without further ado…

4:07- Lay down next to Heather for a long pre-movie nap.  If I am going to stay awake through the movies, then 2 1/2 hrs is a minimum. 

7:33- Wake up from nap, 3 1/2 hours pretty solid nap.  Long enough to give me a nap.

9:43- Heather and I prepare to go to the theatre.  Call our friends Chris and Emily Burkhart, who are a little ahead of us on the road with their brother Aaron. 

9:55- We arrived at the theatre, probably about 30 people in front of us about a dozen in costume.

10:00- Went to get lawn chairs from Chris’ car.  Nice to have some experienced midnighters in the group.

10:03- Best costume so far- Hagrid by far.  Big guy, huge beard and hair.  Other highlights, a Voldemort with a white swimming head-thing and white face paint, a couple Harry Potters though the only similarities would be the glasses and the scar, and some random brown bee-looking costume, not sure what it is.

10:10- Making a kroger run to pick up a deck of cards and some other “equipment” for the movie.  I normally don’t do this, but I really need some gummy worms to help me stay awake. 

10:13- Walk into Kroger and hear two teenager girls talking about how guys are “too stupid to say it first.”  We’re sorry, ladies.

10:16- Candle aisle is curiously full.  Deck of card choices: ec0-friendly, High School Musical, or creepy glow-in-the-dark.  Went with the creepy ones, they were the cheapest.

10:23- Arrived back at the movies with cards.  Place is filling up.

10:26- After I dealed out the first hand of 5 Card Draw, they let us in the theatre.  Awesome. 

10:30- After taking the chairs back to Chris’ car, we realize that they only opened up the first theatre, so we got to walk past a whole bunch of people in line.  One of the highlights so far, the envious glare of people as Chris and I stroll past them.

10:34- Quote from one of the High School girls behind us, “I left my wand in my purse.”

10:35- Curiously enough, their wands look like sticks, but what do I know.

10:36- Heather got to take a picture of Voldemort and Hermione together, smiling.  I can’t help but chant “Voldemort, Voldemort, Voldemort” very softly in honor of Jim from the Dinner Party episode of The Office.

10:42- Chris begins planting the seed of a costume contest in our theatre, me I’m hopefully.

10:47- First hints of tiredness hit me.  Must press through.

10:52- Figure out the weird bee costume is actually the golden snitch.  My friends are mad that they didn’t figure this out.  It took me a sec to remember what the golden snitch was. 

10:56- We are sitting right in front of a youth group that is all dressed up.  Voldemort is sitting right behind Heather.  This does not make me feel safe.  Voldemort has already cast the death spell on Chris multiple times. 

11:05- Make a run to the concession stand.  Pickle and cherry slush for the pregnant wife and a coke for me that I plan to drink throughout the movie.  Aaron needs his caffeine.

11:11- Apparently, I missed a heated discussion between Aaron, who teaches music, and some High School girls about the viability of Kelly Clarkson as an artist.  I don’t know whether to be sad or excited I miss this.  Nevertheless, they are still going at it.

11:12- Chris is refusing to lead a costume contest despite my urgings, but he is willing to drink the pickle juice.  Not an even trade, but entertaining.  I quote, “It’s not nearly as intense as you might think, though I can tell where I didn’t brush my teeth.”

11:13- Gotta love concession stand food.  Written on the pickle wrapper:  Net wt. 1 pickle.  Thanks a lot.

11:19- Chris and Emily are bragging to their friend in Indiana because her movie does not start till 12:06.  Yep, these are my friends.

11:24- Contemplating closing my eyes.  Heather is discouraging me, saying I won’t wake up well.  She’s probably right.

11:28- The conversation about Kelly Clarkson has moved to the Wonder Years.  Chris goes on a rant about Winnie playing with his heart, cheating on him, and so-on.  Jeremy, a seminary student from Oklahoma, who is sitting by us, says, “So, she was the normal High School Girl.”

11:30- 30 minutes left.  You can feel the buzz in the air.

11:32- Best “over-the-top” outfit, Guy who dressed up as a Hogwarts student has doctoral stripes on his robe.  Gotta love it.

11:35- The pre-movie stuff finally came on the screen.  We applauded, but alas this guarantees that there is no costume contest.

11:36- Just learned that Snoop Dog rapped “Ain’t Nothing but a G Thang” for the first time into a jail phone to Dr. Dre.  Anyone that surprised?

11:39- Voldemort and Hermione are very excited about some boy band on the screen.  I am not. 

11:43- Heather and Emily make the pre-movie bathroom trip.  Both are optimistic, they can make it through the movie.  I am not so optimistic for them.

11:48- Shirt of the day: Black shirt, 1 Word: Muggle.

11:50- Just learned this is The Empire Strikes Back of the Harry Potter Series.  If you have seen it you know what I mean.

11:52-Voldemort has just returned from what I am assuming with the bathroom, because she no longer has her Voldemort face on. 

11:56- You can feel the anticipation in the room.

11:58- Chris just got back from the men’s room.  Said he watched 4 grown men not wash their hands in the bathroom.  His theory is that because they came to the midnight showing of Harry Potter, they are attempting to gain their man card back by not washing their hands.  My theory they are lazy, dirty, and don’t want to miss the previews.

11:59- Chris just burped pickle juice.  Know what we can learn from this, if you would just lead a costume contest, then you wouldn’t have the sting of burping pickle juice.

12:00- The lights go off and the crowd goes wild.

I did not take any notes during the movie, but I will tell you this.  This was such a focused crowd.  Though they were fun pre-movie, once the lights went out.  Everybody was silent, looked forward, and was deeply involved in the story.  I did manage to stay awake throughout the movie.  My gummy worms, coke, and pre-movie nap were effective.  I ended up getting about 6 hours of sleep that night.  All-in-all, it was a good night.

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Quotes that Pierce the Heart: part 1

I know I haven’t blogged in a while, but I have read, so I thought I would share with you some quotes that I have read recently that have pierced my heart, and while I am glad they did, when the Word speaks truth into your brokenness, it stings a while, as my heart gets molded into the child of God that I was created to be.  I hope they pierce you, like they have pierced me.  Without further ado… Continue reading

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My Mocking Voice: Participating in the Crucifixion

Occasionally, God gives me a song. The song varies, but God gives me a verse or a chorus that continually fills my mind and soul. One time the song was “From Sunrise to Sunset.” It’s is a catchy tune, “From sunrise to sunset help me not forget all that you do for me. From sunset to sunrise help me keep my eyes upon your glory.” What a good song to have in your head! God has placed a different song in my head during these final days of Lent: “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.” The title of the song sounds like a fun song to have in your head, but this is the verse that God has graciously given me, “Behold the man upon a cross, my sin upon his shoulders, ashamed I hear my mocking voice, call out among the scoffers.” Continue reading

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Advice for Those Seeking Commissioning in the UM Church

Now that I am a Reverend-Elect, I thought I would give some advice to all those candidates for ministry in the UM church who are going through the process to commissioning.

1. Plan ahead.  It is easy to put your commissioning off.  You are busy with Seminary.  You have a family that needs your attention.  You might be working one or two jobs.  If you plan ahead though you can be disciplined with your time.  Some conferences allow you to be commissioned half-way through, but they require you to have completed certain classes, know those classes and plan your schedule around them.  Also, communicate with your DCOM and let them know your intentions.  I met with them over the phone last Spring with the goal in mind to be commissioned this Spring.  They would not had suggested it had I not initiated the idea.  So, look over the process, put goals in mind and plan ahead.  Same thing with finishing up your candidacy stuff.  It could take a while to get in for the psychological testing.  So plan ahead. Continue reading

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