Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Well! It Is About Time

Okay folks! The other day a friends said, "Ron, life isn't a dress rehearsal, but it is the real thing...what are doing about the "real thing" now!" Wow! He rung my bell. So often I get caught up in working toward the future, treating life as a destination rather than a journey, that I forget about being fully present in the now.

Well here is my now! My sister, Terry, is fifty-one years old and next week she is going to run the San Francisco Marathon. My father says that she will finish because she is stubborn. I find myself amazed at her discipline and I am so very proud of her, and her example has caused me to begin to examine my own commitments to physical well-being. I fantasize about joining my sister and/or my daughter, Rachel, in a marathon though I might walk.

I know that one's physical well-being is interrelated with your emotional and spiritual well-being, but I haven't paid enough attention to the later. Well, a very large brick hit me right between the eyes when my friend said, "life isn't a dress rehearsal,"and I began to think, "And my body is the real thing."

I have said the following for the last time, "Tomorrow, I am going to walk....Tomorrow.....I am going to work at losing weight." Well tomorrow will never come unless I make tomorrow now.
Some may say that I risk too much by by publically acknowledging my life long struggle with weight, but most people who know me know about this intensely personal struggle. Now is the time to do something.....So pray for me, and encourage me along the way.

My dream is that one year from now I will be walking the moors of the Northern Yorkshire, England for 10-days as a healthy, in shape human being, who is writing about his new life as a pilgrim on the way.

If you find yourself identifying with any of these thoughts then simply remember that we are never alone, and that this life is the "real thing."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wow! It has been a while.

Here I go again! I woke up this morning, and decided that I must have something to say so why not say it. My daughter, Rachel, has left for college, and I am discovering that there are some things that you simply don't want to know when your child is 650 miles away, (campus freshman "hottie" of the week and Hendrix College Shirt Tales) but then I remember my own college experience and how the Sacred embraced me along the way. I trust her now to the Sacred

I received a phone call from Rachel asking whether or not her sister was with me. My response was, "no", but I am on the way to pick her up. She sounded disappointed. The next thing I know is that I received a text message asking if I could pick Rebekah up earlier. I didn't respond. When I picked up Rebekah at school, I told her that her sister, Rachel, would like for her to call . Rebekah looked somewhat puzzled, and proceeded to make the phone call. The first words out of Rebekah's mouth were, "Rachel...this is Rebekah." The next words out of Rebekah mouth made me cry. " don't need to cry." After the phone call Rebekah looked at me, and said, "I guess she really misses me."

You never really know how beautiful love is until it is absent. We do miss Rachel and I am glad.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Sunday, February 15th, 2009, was absolutely glorious. We celebrated the baptism of a young child, and then welcomed over 25 unique individuals into the life and ministry of Colonial Hills United Methodist Church. The enthusiasm of the congregation was breathe-taking as we considered the multitude of gifts that these new members bring to our fchurch amily. We must remind ourselves that we can have countless numbers of elbows touching elbows, but the real invitation to true discipleship is to invite hearts touching hearts.

Following the 11:00 worship service over a 180 people gathered for a potluck dinner, and then the Rev. Sue White, Conference Evangelist, spoke to us about the importance of sharing our faith story.

I am reminded that whenever we gather in the name of Christ, we are sharing our faith story. Thanks be to God for Sunday, February 15th, 2009. I can't wait to see what God is going to do next.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Keeping the Doors Open

I serve a United Methodist congregation as the senior pastor. As United Methodists, we have a wonderful phrase that is often used to describe what we hope experience when they walk through our doors: “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors”.Through our doors, every person can enter into the presence of the living God. Through our doors, every person can discover the greatest gift ever given. Through our doors, every person can embrace unlimited possibilities for their life. Through our doors, all the dead ends that seem to get in the way come crashing to an end.But we must consider first things first. What enables these doors to stand in place? What are the two things that keep these door from crashing down? Yes! The hinges on the doors are the two things (we have very traditional doors); each hinge is located in a different place along the frame of the door. Each hinge is essential, but each one is incomplete without the other.What are the two hinges that anchor our doorway into God’s compassion and mercy? I would like to suggest to you that the two hinges are 1) the love of God; and 2) the love of neighbor.There is a story that speaks of the power of this love which comes from our nation’s history, and it is about an 18th-century American Quaker named John Woolman. Woolman was one of the most courageous and effective practitioners of tough love who ever lived.After discovering that he could not bear to assist his employer in the sale of a slave, Woolman traveled to Quaker meetings all across the colonies, and talked with people one by one about the evils of slavery. “My heart was tender and often contrite,” he wrote, “and universal love to my fellow creatures increased in me.”This was not an easy sales job, especially since many Quakers in the colonies were slave owners in the mid-1700s. But Woolman succeeded through quiet one-on-one conversations, visiting his fellow Quakers individually, on farm after farm, for most of the two decades of his adult life. He didn’t criticize people or anger them, but was clear and consistent in his message, and by the year 1770 — almost a century before the Civil War — there was not a single Quaker in the colonies who owned a slave.You might say that the American anti-slavery movement began when John Woolman discovered, and started to practice, the commandment of Jesus to “love your neighbor as yourself” (22:39). And if there had been a John Woolman in every religious denomination, the institution of slavery could possibly have been eliminated without the Civil War.Woolman understood the importance of “these hinges” of our faith that opened the door into God’s heart. May each one of us consider how we might play an important part in opening the doors of faith to all persons.

Monday, June 23, 2008

It Has Been A While

A missionary society in London wrote to Dr. David Livingstone and asked, "Have you found a good road to where you are? If so, we want to know how to send men to join you." Livingstone wrote back, "If you have men who will come only if they know there is a good road, I don't want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all."

This short conversation from the historical record of the great missionary Dr. David Livingstone hits me right between my "disciple" eyes. I must confess that I am part of that generation of boomers who has had a propensity to consume rather than contribute--take rather than give. In fact, the author Marva Dawn in her book entitled, "Reaching Out without Dumbing Down" says it well: "The boomers search for a church to meet their needs of instead of commitment to the church through which to serve."

Now that my own confession is complete, let me share with you that God's grace has so enlivened my heart that I no longer seek after the good road, and I am not afraid of the difficult road. My prayer is that I will simply walk the path that Christ sets me on, and trust that God gives me the strength, the courage, and the grace to remain faithful, thus to become fruitful.

I have heard it said recently, "It is more difficult to climb a smooth mountain to the top rather than a rugged mountain." Why do we prefer the smooth path when it so easy to slide down whatever mountain we are called to climb in life.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Colonial Hills United Methodist Church Mission and Values

At the March Church Council meeting we continue the very importnat conversation regarding the revision of our congregation's mission and value statement. We agreed to post a preliminary statement on this blog, and then to create dialogue among us regarding these statements.

I am praying that God will bless our efforts.

Mission Statement:

To be a family of disciples for Jesus Christ that radiates God’s healing and transforming love and grace to all people for the transformation of the world.

Core Values

-Being Christ-centered disciples with bold faith and faithfulness.
-Inviting all people into our church as home.
-Embracing all people as an open, welcoming, caring community.
-Offering spiritually vibrant, diverse, celebrative worship experiences.
-Focusing on Spiritual Formation through small groups for all ages.
-Reaching people who are not yet connected or committed to Christ.
-Expressing the gospel through Christian service that seeks to offer both acts of mercy and works of justice
-Preserving our rich heritage of Wesleyan Distinctiveness.
-Striving for excellence in every area of our ministry.

Let the conversation begin


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Everything Must Change

I have been engaged in reading a book written by Brian McLaren entitled, ‘Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope, and I would recommend the read for those asking the question, "If you had a few years left, what kind of life would you want to live?"

He suggests that the core message of Jesus is concerned about today’s global problems. In fact, I find his book to be a very hopeful testament. Jesus’ message is not just about personal redemptions, but it is also about the recreation of the human family and the planet. His message is not simply about the afterlife, but for life in this world too. Jesus does not simply offer a way of life, but a new way of life that changes everything—personally and socially, individually and globally.

I encourage you to read his book, and let’s begin the conversation. There is a website: