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May 29, 2007

Bad Can Push Us To Be Great

Sometime "bad things" happen to good people that create in good people the desire to be great people. The current decline in membership and church attendance within the United Methodist Church has been bad news to us and for some there is a feeling that God has left us. And believe me when church folk believe that God has left us for others there is no worse thing that could happen to us. I am reminded of a quote from the book Good to Great written by Jim Collins. Collins writes, “Good is the enemy of great.” It is because so many of us settle for just being good that God sometimes has to allow the consequences of our behavior to come home to trouble us. It is often difficulty, discomfort and pain that push us to move when we would prefer not to move. But the discomfort of declining membership, declining attendance, lost of influence and declining resources have given birth to feelings of defeat, depression, disunity, and despair. This discomfort has given rise to some brave movement within the United Methodist Church to set a goal of staring 350 new churches per year. New congregational development is one of the key elements that we must embrace as a faithful response to the Great Commission. It is not something we do to insure our survival. It is our realization and confession that we have not been faithful to Jesus' command "...to go and make disciples of all nations. This will not be easy but we are not in this to do easy work we are in this to be faithful followers of the Resurrected Christ. I am hopeful and optimistic that we can find our way forward.

Posted by Bishop at 01:24 PM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2007

Flagrant Foul

Good morning! Well, another one of my heroes has demonstrated that he is human. Robert Horry, sometimes referred to by sports commentators as “Big Shot Bob” confirmed that he is subject to flaws on the basketball court. It appeared that he lost it last night and committed a flagrant foul on Steve Nash. I believe that Horry will be given some kind of suspension or fine for his behavior which I believe to be proper. I can not help but wonder how he is feeling this morning as he wakes up to the reality of what he did. It is such an agonizing thing to discover that you are human. The truth of the matter is that a human being is capable of hitting last second shots to win ball games and that same human being can turn around and miss a game winning shot or even worst commit a flagrant foul. I’ve watch Horry since his days with the Houston Rockets and have never seen him respond to disappointment in this matter but again he is human.
Have you ever experienced a moment in which you discovered that you are human? I call these moments, “This is why I need you Lord moments!” There is an imperfection within all of us that brings us to a point of humility, to a place where we recognize our need for God’s strength and divine intervention in our lives. I hate those moments. But I have also discovered those are moments that help me to begin a new process of growth. You see if a seasoned player like Robert “Big Shot Bob” Horry can make a mistake on the basketball court where he has gained fame and performed well then there is the possibility that I could also do wrong. But if and when we do let us grow from our faults and failings and not be stuck in them.

Posted by Bishop at 09:53 AM | Comments (0)

May 03, 2007

I Went Through the Desert On a Horse With No Name

There is a song I believe that was recorded by the group “America” that has been ringing in my ears for some time. The one line I believe goes something like this. “I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name. It felt good to get out of the rain. In the desert you can remember your name. Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain.”

Now just why has this song continued to stay with me for the last three days? I am not sure, but my speculation is that maybe there is a longing somewhere in my soul to be removed from the rain. I guess all of us long for that place where the rain cannot get to us. This also reminds me of another song, “Everybody Gets Stoned!” This song relays a message to us that we all have our day of being beat up and abused by the world. The Eagles suggest that we all long for a desert where we can get away from the “rain” or the “stones.”

It is a fact of life that trouble finds its way to all of our doorsteps. It does not matter whether you are in a ghetto, living in a gated community, always hungry or have more food than you need; the holder of a Ph.D or a high school dropout we all have bad days. These are not just troubled days, they are days that try our faith, assault our spirit of optimism or just make us want to stay in the bed and not be involved in the battle of life. I realize that we all need to get away but we get away not to avoid the “rain” or “stones” but to renew our strength to be energized to continue the struggle.

So when you feel overwhelmed, go “…through the desert on a horse with no name…” and be refreshed, renewed and rededicated.

Posted by Bishop at 02:03 PM | Comments (3)