June 19, 2022

The Book for Monday

Sometimes the answers are too heavy for us to understand. Sometimes we have to put our trust in God who promised to never leave us. Sometimes we have to be patient and accepting - we may not know the why, but we do know the creator of the universe. The Proverbs were written for the young who needed guidance toward God, but also for, the older "mature" who can still be guided to grow in wisdom and relationship with God. Proverbs still matters today. Everything we need to know in life is not found on the Internet. We need to open the Bible, and trust in the inspired word of God.
Scripture: Proverbs 1:2-7
June 12, 2022

The Gift of Wisdom

Because I believe we are all in the need of wisdom as the issue of disaffiliation and moving forward is something every Methodist Church has been confronted with today. Some of the wisest folks I have known in life were my grandmother and some very special teachers in my life. I also consider my wife, Katherine, to be one of the wisest people in my circle. Remembering this was more than 900 years before the birth of Jesus, what Soloman was telling us was both a prophesy about the Messiah, but also an explanation of the back story of who the Messiah was, or is, in relation to God. We search the world over for wisdom today. I believe in the last 30 or 40 years we have begun to realize we cannot expect wisdom from our politicians or our news media. Still many of us are longing for true wisdom to help us along life's journey.
Scripture: Proverbs 8:1-4,22-31
June 05, 2022

Pentecost Sunday

At creation there was no need for the United Nations. There was no need for NATO. The world was one perfect community. You've got to admit that sounds pretty good. There was a perfect world - until we got a hold of it and began to mess things up. What that our destiny? Is that a human excuse for understanding why the world is the way it is? If we believe the words of the Bible, in it not an excuse, but an explanation of how we got to where we are today. In God's perfect creation all the world spoke one language and communicated directly with Him. This was God's plan, being lived out in grace until sin walked in. Sin has left us with nothing but remnants of that past life at creation.
Scripture: Genesis 11:1-9
May 29, 2022

But Now I See

It is too late for this shooter, and too late to do anything but mourn his victims. But it is never too late to pray for others who need the power of Jesus to touch their lives. There has been a great deal of pain and anger expressed in the media. The politicians and blaming each other as they normally do. But there has been a rising tide of such phrases as, "I am tired of your thoughts and prayers, we need to do something." Some anti prayer comments were quite graphic and not something I am going to repeat in polite company. Let me say categorically that prayer IS doing something. Pray that our hearts will never be hardened by the violence epidemic that is upon us. Pray for those who will face years and years of grief. Pray for the first responders and others who must directly face such nightmare situations. Pray that this world will be renewed in the love of Jesus Christ.
Scripture: John 9:1-11
May 22, 2022

Light, Love, Truth & Glory

Truth because truth seems to be at a subjective premium today. Today I want to look back on what Jesus considers the truth. That truth is Jesus. No one else. May we continue to know the truth of Jesus Christ as savior of the world. The truth is also realizing the glory of God is so much greater than any one church, any expression of Christian faith, or anything created by people. Glory becuase those who love God can no longer simply be about what is best for each of us. Or even what is best for the United Methodist Church or St. Paul Church.
Scripture: John 14:23-29, Matthew 18
April 17, 2022

Prepare the Way of the Lord

He took us all on his back, every one of us. He put our salvation and restoration to a right relationship with God as the call that was more important than his own life. Today, we have the benefit of looking back to what happened on that first Holy Week. Even as the crowd turned against Jesus, we know that he did not desert us. Even though he asked God to take the cup away from him, he gave us his will for the path of following God's will. The path to the cross becomes real with Palm Sunday. We know what is coming. On Maundy THursday there is the Passover MEal which became "the last supper" and the first communion. Then the arrest. The trial. The walk to Golgatha. The nails. The cross. Jesus' final words. Then the three days of darkness until the women arrive at the tomb on Sunday morning and find, it's empty. Praise God!
Scripture: Luke 19:28-40
April 10, 2022

The Anointing

Put yourself is Mary's shoes for a second. This guy brought your brother back from the dead. He supported you when your sister got bent out of shape when you didn't want to help her serve dinner. This guy was special. She was beginning to see how special. She realized Jesus was the son of God. This devotion is contrasted with the greed and selfishness of Judas Iscariot. While he said he wanted to give more to the poor, what he really wanted was to get his hands on the cash that would be generated from selling the perfume. Two extremes demonstrated in one simple story about a dinner party.
Scripture: John 12:1-8
March 27, 2022


When we don't know how to lean of God, or lean on each other in times of need, we are opening the door to so much negative stuff. When we don't ask God to save us, we neglect the fact that only through the saving grace of Jesus Christ are we spared from the sins that stain our lives and burden our hearts. I am just as guilty of this as anybody else. But I have got to ask does it really have to be this way? No. We are created to worship God. We are built to be in community. Even the most introverted among us needs a hug or a helping hand now and then.
Scripture: Matthew 7:7-12
February 27, 2022

This Little Light / Transfiguration Sunday

Transfiguration Sunday is about recognizing the LIttle Light inside every Christian. The light that changes each of us. The light that needs to shine all over Temple, Texas, and across the world. The light that gives us peace and promise every day. I want to share that light with you. I want you to realize you have the power to share that light with others too.
Scripture: Luke 9:28-36
February 20, 2022


That is how Joseph viewed years of captivity. The hand of God preparing him to do a mighty work. That is why Joseph could forgive. Did he forget? No, he knew his own history, but he looked beyond the short term pain and looked broader than what the suffering meant to him. He looked at God's plan. He trusted God to use all things for good.
Scripture: Genesis 45:3-11
February 06, 2022

The Gift of Love - part two

There is nothing any pastor can say or do that is more important than the words of Holy Scripture. So, if you are not reading the Bible with some regularity that you are missing out. You are walking through life without a roadmap. If you are feeling lost and alone, without God in your life you need to pick up that road map and follow it a little closer. Religion and faith don't happen to us, or for us. They happen when we are active and part of it. Our faith grows through reading the word. Through prayer. Through living out faith in action. All things include ALL the things that we can, should, let's make that, MUST do to be in communion with God.
Scripture: Romans 8:28
January 30, 2022

The Gift of Love - pt 1

The words of John 3:16 were first spoken to a guy named Nicodemus. I'll call him "Nick" for short. Nick was a Pharisee and member of the ruling council called the Sanhedrin. He was a big shot in other words. After doing miracles and drawing big crowds wherever he went, Jesus was getting noticed. Nicodemus was no exception. He had heard some of the public clamor, and he wanted to know more. But he had to be careful. He went to see Jesus at night because he was curious about what was happening all around him. He also thought it would be trouble if he was seen visiting with Jesus.
Scripture: John 3:14-17
January 23, 2022

Living in Harmony

Is our church face the same face we present when a salesman knocks at the door while we are trying to eat dinner? Are we trying to fool God? Ourselves? Or the other folks sitting in church? It's a tough call, but Paul's directions are clear, Don't think so highly of ourselves. Associate with the lowly, weep with those who are weeping.
Scripture: Romans 12:14-18
January 09, 2022

Your Epiphany

IT was a little over ten years ago, God was telling me to bring my family to Texas. I don't know if it was an Epiphany, but I believed strongly that it was God's will. Things were not going well in Washington State, and there were things about life in Washington State that neither my wife or I found to be anywhere near tolerable. We came to the conclusion we weren't leaving Washington as much as Washington had left us. So, I had job interviews in San Antonio and here in Temple. After a couple weeks it was clear that Temple wanted us more than San Antonio, so here we came. But I know not all Epiphany moments may be good news. Or at least the good news may not be immediately apparent. Change is hard.
Scripture: Matthew 2:13-15
December 26, 2021

A New Day

So what’s next for each of us? It’s really pretty clear in today’s scripture. We are directed to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. Let’s look at this call upon our lives and see what each one means today. Compassion sounds easy, but I think that is a pretty tall order some days. All these things that represent the fruit of the Holy Spirit are feelings, attitudes and actions that we need to cultivate in our lives. What does compassion mean to you? How do you deal with little ones and big ones who can’t find their shoes, or get their boots on without your help? I know I cannot get by a day without the compassion of my wife when I can’t find my shoes, my truck keys, my cell phone and a host of other things. But some times I struggle when a coworker needs me to do something I’ve done for them before. In the business world it is called re-work, and it’s to be avoided at all costs. When I think of compassion, one of the first things I think about is Compassion International. This is a group that works all over the world bringing the message of Jesus Christ to families and children in emerging world countries. I am sure some of you are probably Compassion International supporters. But if you’re not, perhaps we, as a church, could adopt a Compassion Child. The cost is about $40 a month. But it is a long term commitment. Compassion tells the story of Jesus to youngsters who’ve never been ministered to before. They reach entire families and gradually bring them to understand the love of Christ. We’re called to kindness, too. That seems like an easy one. For some of you kindness does come naturally - some of us need to exercise and grow our kindness muscle. Kindness can mean giving of your time and energy to help others. Giving someone a ride to church is kindness. Making a phone call to one of our members who just cannot get out that often is kindness. Bringing our food bank donations is kindness. Anything putting the needs of someone else before our own is a kindness. Humility is difficult. The world speaks against humility. Workers are told to toot their own horn. Sports stars can be pretty darned arrogant about their skills and abilities. I have this joke that I am really proud of my humility. But you know, that isn’t how it works. When we tell someone how humbly we serve, are we really being humble? Humble means doing God’s work and expecting nothing in return. It means the satisfaction of serving others without recognition, maybe even without a thank you - just the ability to be doing God’s will - is enough. Reminds me of an old country song. (I know doesn’t everything.) Lord its hard to be humble, when you’r perfect in every way. I can’t help but look in the mirror cause I get better lookin each day…. Yeah, I know. Silly song, and not exactly Biblical. Is meek the same as weak? Meek is powerful without flaunting your power.
Scripture: Colossians 3:12-17
December 19, 2021

The Blessing of Home

There is a special yard near our house that has Santa kneeling before the baby Jesus at the manger. Though that is not even close to reality, I salute the idea behind it. How has home blessed you? Those of you who have been blessed with long happy marriages certainly know the blessing of home. Those of you who are widowed now, still have that blessing in your heart. And even though your beloved spouse may be waiting for you in heaven, he never really is too far away from your heart. It is a blessing to miss someone that much. I know, that’s a little bit tougher to take on. But, it’s true. A love that lasts forever, is a blessing from God. That we don’t exit this life together is also not a curse. It is a blessing that you’ve been given more time to serve God in this life, as we prepare for the next. Those of you who are not married still know the blessing born of the pain of missing someone. Maybe its your mother or dad. Maybe a friend who unexpectedly died. The past year we’ve all been forced to examine what is important in life. We’ve all heard the saying blessed to be stressed, and questioned it. We have rediscovered too, what blessings we have in home, church and each other. We went for weeks or in some situations months with no church but internet church or TV church. But the church is still here, and renewed and blessed, and welcoming. We now produce a special internet service every Sunday for those who cannot get to church, and for those outside the area that may find us on the Internet.
Scripture: Micah 5:2-5
November 28, 2021

Heaven for Beginners

So wherever you are traveling this weekend, or throughout the Advent and Christmastime - let God lead the way. And for those who are traveling to see you, welcome them home, understand the importance of your home and respect their new home. Understand too, we all have competing demands upon our time especially at this time of year, and if someone doesn’t come home this year love them anyway. If someone doesn’t stay as long as you would like, love them just as deeply, if someone gets sad to see you leaving love them too, and realize just how much they love you. The secret of this home and heaven story is we’re all beginners. So, embrace home whatever that means in your life now, because it’s a foretaste of heaven, and that is our true home.
Scripture: Psalm 25
November 21, 2021

Reign of Christ Sunday

We need to share the truth of Jesus Christ. We need to be the calm in the storm, and we need to open our hearts to love those who are unlovable, unlikeable, frightened or even frightening. Christ reigns when we embrace the reign of our heavenly Father, and let that love reign down upon our family, friends, neighbors, strangers, local politicians, news media, and every person we meet.
Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:8-13
July 25, 2021

Soul Food For Thought

We’re going to talk about your soul today. Though I guess you could say we are talking about souls every week. But on this fourth week of our summer Psalms, soul is the key word that jumped out at me all week, as I spent a lot of time in thought and prayer about this message. What feeds your soul? For most of you I believe I know the answer to that. I really do. I believe most of you are blessed, and “fed”, by caring for others. Whether they be a member of St. Paul, a soul you pass on the street, or someone thousands of miles away who benefits from a cause you have supported. It puts the concept of “Soul Food” into a different light. I think most Texans would describe BBQ as soul food, or maybe Blue Bell ice cream. Or pazookies, or breakfast tacos. Ok, I’ll stop with the food analogies and just ask you simply- what really feeds your soul?
Scripture: Psalm 62:5-8, Psalm57:1-5
May 02, 2021

Lean On Him

Abide in Him.  Live in Him.  And I am going to add one more.  Lean on Him. Have you heard this be...
Scripture: John 15:1-8