Failure to Launch: OKUMC’s history of church planting

It is an oft-stated fact that since the merger in 1968, the United Methodist Church in America has had a decrease in membership every year.  There is this sobering, yet hopeful video that probably many of you have seen that can share that information better than I can, and there are many reasons for our steady decline, but let me talk about one of them here: our failure to plant churches. Continue reading

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The Preacher as Character

This past Sunday I had the wonderful opportunity to preach on Noah. So what did I use as my illustrations? I read one of Micah’s storybooks on Noah, I talked about playing Madden on my various gaming systems, and I had to mention Field of Dreams. This was one of my favorite combinations of illustrations though I still prefer the Sunday that I compared Jesus to Michael Scott from the The Office and professed my tremendous love for bacon. Now these are not necessarily your common illustrations, and I doubt that you will find many of these in your standard books of illustrations. They are, however, for me vehicles that carry on the narrative theme of the sermon, (You’ll have to trust me about that.) while also providing an important aspect to preaching: the preacher as character. Continue reading

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An Open Letter to Christians on the Occassion of the Death of Osama Bin Laden

Today is a great day to be an American, and a confusing day to be a Christian.  In the immediate aftermath of the death of Osama Bin Laden, I think us who are Christians and Americans find ourselves with many emotions.  We are proud of our military, our intelligent agency, and our government for their continued pursuits of justice for September 11, 2001 that resulted in a successful military operation.  We feel relieved that a man who has done an unfathomable amount of evil is no longer able to do that evil.  We mourn as we are reminded about the loss of life from September 11th, and our hearts hurt for those families who live with the painful reality of loss every day.  And some of us feel joy that Bin Laden has been killed, and we wonder if we should feel that way. Continue reading

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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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2010 Christmas Blog

 

We are trying to conserve our green and be green in this tight economy, so we thought we would do a Christmas Card Blog.  Hope you enjoy, and please pass the link along!

It has been quite a year for the Tigers!  We had a bittersweet departure from Kentucky this May.  Aaron graduated with his Masters of Divinity from Asbury Seminary and our 3 year adventure was over.  We loved our time in the Bluegrass state and made some amazing and very dear friends, whom we miss like crazy!  Micah’s very first friends, Connor and Eben, are often a topic in the house.  We don’t know what we would do without Facebook and Skype, which we need to use more often!  Our homecoming to Oklahoma was wonderful!  We missed our friends and family and are so grateful to be near them again.  The grandparents are especially happy to have Micah in Oklahoma!

Aaron was appointed to the communities of Roland and Muldrow and is the Senior Pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church.  We are enjoying our new church family immensely and learning the ins and outs of being a clergy family.  We have been blessed with a nice parsonage and are still in the process of making it our own.  Aaron is truly living out his calling and has quickly stepped in to his new role and is loving every minute of it!  The church is exploring who God is calling Trinity to be and celebrating all the good we currently do.  Since we have been there, 21 people have become new members, and average attendance has risen from around 70 to almost 100!  God is good and we are looking forward to all He has in store!

The transition to a new town and journey has been a little more difficult for me, but I am listening for God’s voice and looking for His guidance.  I have made a few new friends, but know that is always a process!  I am still lucky enough to stay home with Micah and enjoy watching him explore new things every day.  I have been looking for a job, but have not had much success yet!  I have substituted once for 7th graders at Muldrow Middle School, and had a few silly boys growl at me when I introduced myself as Mrs. Tiger.  Boys will be boys!  I am also considering applying to the Masters program for Creative Writing at Oklahoma City University, our Alma Mater.  We’ll see what the New Year brings!

Micah is growing, growing, growing.  We adore him so much and he is a constant source of joy, laughter, and love.  Sometimes he exhibits his stubborn streak and asserts his developing independence.  We won’t tell who he gets that from!  Micah started walking at the end of nine months and hasn’t slowed down since.  He is running these days, even if he still has some balance issues!  We celebrated his 1st birthday October 5th.  He was a blessed little boy who got two parties; one at Trinity with his own little cake, and his monkey-themed party at Owasso FUMC.  He played in their Pumpkin Patch, had lots of presents, and enjoyed having so many family and friends there.  We enjoyed watching him glow in the attention!  He is quite the people person.  One of his favorite things is to entertain with tricks and then make sure everyone claps!  Micah loves to talk, and talk, even if we don’t always know what he’s saying.  He can say quite a few words, like Daddy, Mama, done, dog, okay, yeah, no, Beau, and amen!  He loves to sign ‘thank you’ and we are working on a version of  ‘love you.’  His favorite “sign” is one I taught him; Touchdown!  He holds his arms up like he has gone to ref school.  His daddy is very proud of this trick!  Micah is a very happy boy and we thank God for him every day.

We are looking forward to seeing where our journey goes in 2011 and hope to see you all along the way!

Thank you to all our wonderful family and friends who mean so much to us.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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3rd Annual Fantasy Football Running Blog

Welcome to the 3rd Annual Fantasy Football Running blog for the Central States Football Association or as I like to call it the “Friends of Keith Cooper Fantasy League.”  Last year, my team the Fuzzy Bears won the championship, so what do I do, but uproot my team from Kentucky to Oklahoma and change the names to the Trinity Tigers.

Growing up I would play Madden year after year, and needless to say I led the 49ers to a few championships in my time.  I remember all the hours that I would spend getting my team ready for the Super Bowl, and after winning the Super Bowl they would have a brief celebration on screen and that was it.   All those hours for a few seconds of reward, and you couldn’t talk to anybody and brag about it, because nobody cared.  Winning a Fantasy Football Championship is just a little bit better.  Basically the other people in the league care a little bit, but only because they want you to care when they win.  So, what do you do with all this excitement and joy that you have from winning?  My suggestion is that every community should have a designated celebration place, so that champions from all over town can go and celebrate together and talk about how your plan of picking up “whatever defense was playing the Rams” led to your victory.

Nevertheless onto the Running Blog.  I am blogging live from my house.  Micah is asleep.  My wife is reading, and we are watching 24 season 3.  So, spoiler alert. Continue reading

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Some Suggestions for the 2010 Oklahoma Annual Conference

I have a few suggestions to make  Annual Conference a little more interesting.  Feel free to add your own in the comments sections.

1. Use a scoreboard clock that counts down the allotted time for each report with a loud buzzer marking the end of the report, whether or not they were done or not. Continue reading

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