It was Monday of Holy Week in 1974. I was a twenty-five-year-old associate and youth pastor at First United Methodist Church in Sherman, Texas. My phone rang early in the morning, and my Sr. Pastor, Dr. Earl Hoggard, told me his mother had passed away and that he was going to Oklahoma for her funeral. […]

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I’m Children Too

A few weeks ago I visited a member of our church in a residential memory care unit. He was having lunch at one of the tables, so I pulled up a chair and we had a reasonably coherent conversation about the events of the day. At one point, an older gentleman sitting opposite me joined […]

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The World Turned Green

Over the past seven days something utterly predictable, and yet nothing less than miraculous, has taken place. The world has turned green. Almost over night the pastures north of Dallas have transformed from dormant stubble into lush green grass, much of it what I call winter grass. But the coastal Bermuda is there, starting to […]

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Thank You

In the summer of 2014, I ran across a news story about a 92-year old plumber who had become a million-dollar donor in the state of Wisconsin. A member of the New London United Methodist Church, Stanley Cottrill had given $1 million to the Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation for their seminary scholarship fund. He had […]

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The Campfire

My two grandsons were over for a couple of days during spring break. It was a busy work week for me, and I had less time with them than I wanted. But I came home early one evening with big plans to take them outdoors to hike or ride bikes. I was all excited, but […]

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Penitent: “feeling or expressing sorrow for sin or wrongdoing and disposed to atonement and amendment; repentant; contrite.” (Dictionary.com) There is a story about Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, arriving at the communion table at the same time as a former staff sergeant who had served at his side at the Battle of Waterloo. […]

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Spring Forward!

The dreaded loss of one hour of sleep. That is our subject for today: the change to Daylight Savings Time. Technically, you are supposed to change your watches and clocks at precisely 2 a.m. this coming Sunday morning, moving them to 3 a.m. For obvious reasons, I don’t recommend that method. For years I have […]

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Easter comes late this year. April 21 to be exact. But it is not too late to be thinking about the resurrection. Additionally, it is part of our great worship tradition that every Sunday is a mini-Easter celebration of the powerful presence of the risen Christ. That is why we do not fast, even during […]

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Our Spiritual Crisis

David Brooks of the New York Times pointed out earlier this week that approximately 47,000 Americans will die this year by suicide, and another 72,000 by drug overdose. We can quibble over those numbers, but why would we? Regardless of the final statistical outcome, the appalling truth is that we now live in a country […]

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Love Story

“When was the first time you knew you were loved by God?” That’s the question I asked in my sermon last Sunday. A friend later told me that her six-year old granddaughter turned to her and said, “The first time I came here.” It’s a good question to ask, is it not? If you know […]

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