Showing posts from 2019

A New Year's Resolution - The 'least of these’

Caring for the poor and marginalized is a central tenet,  not only of the gospel message, but also of a functioning civilized humanity. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me. … I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me. Need a  New Year's Resolution?  Let’s just leave it as it reads.

Joyeux Noel

I wonder if later in his life the innkeeper wished he’d made more room for Jesus.

The way we love each other today lets everybody know the baby in the manger wasn't just a decoration for us.- Bob Goff

My Soul in Stillness Waits

How well do we wait? Your answer is not a surprise. While it’s true that patience is a fruit of the Spirit, most of us wait poorly. Statistics show that the average person in the US spends at least an hour per day waiting. Personally I think that stat is a little light. Could it be that by age 70 we will have spent 3+ years in wait? Dormant, on hold, paused … waiting for something to happen.We are a people who should be experts at waiting, we seemingly spend so much of our valuable time doing it.
Waiting well. Sounds like an oxymoron. Consider how we treat people around us while we are in wait. Lingering in time may very well produce worry, distress and anxiousness, for many of us. Marking time in wait seeks any distraction, even blame, to ease its discomfort. By contrast, waiting well holds tension, an expectation for believers, that God can be overtly present through the stillness of waiting. What we do while waiting, what goes through our minds, there’s the challenge. Shouldn’t our …

What's the Hurry?

As a young Christian I was almost immediately indoctrinated into the theology that said the Lord was returning soon. Like pack your bags soon. Almost four decades, a mere drop in the ocean of time, later I realize how immature, how impatient, my eschatology truly was - everything does not need to happen in my lifetime.
Patience produces stillness. Impatience produces reactions. Impatience instills an almost permanent agitation in the soul; Patience quiets the heart and calms the mind, it tunes my spirit to the will of the Eternal, my creator. One of the major themes of Advent – the period of four weeks preparing for the coming of the Christ at Christmas – is waiting. Waiting with patience, waiting in anticipation.Advent teaches patience in a white noise, highly charged culture.
Third Sunday of Advent
What’s the Hurry? The Gift of Patience

This year Ministry in Motion will stay connected to Advent, drawing upon theBook of Common Prayer as a guide, as we journey through this Advent.
The Colle…

Grace, The Opposite of Karma

If you count up the number of times Jesus used the word “grace” compared to the amount of times grace is used in the rest of the New Testament, can you guess how many times? Zero. Really. Not once in any of the four gospels does the Bible record Jesus using the word “grace” in his earthly ministry. Seems odd considering He epitomizes grace. John’s Gospel mentions grace, but the words are present as part of John’s narrative.
How would you define grace? It’sone of the most thrilling terms used in Scripture. Often it’s misunderstood, squandered and even applied so loosely so as to be glossed over without fully appreciating the depth of its message.
Divine grace is a theological term present in many religions. In Christianity, it is a divine influence which operates in humans to regenerate and sanctify, to inspire and to impart strength to endure trials and resist temptations.
Advent Grace. It is a love that stops, stoops, cares and rescues; It’s the love of God shown to the unlovely; The Sh…

Light & Darkness A Juxtaposition

Look at how a single candle can both defy and 
define the darkness

Darkness is the absence of light, and light doesn’t exist well without darkness. The dichotomy between the two has been part of human storytelling and since Genesis chapter one.
As the Advent season begins to dawn, light comes from more than the Advent candles we light. The five candles contrast darkness and light. We light them in succession, one more each week, as we count the Sundays in the season waiting…moving closer toChrist's birth, Christmas Day.
Advent means 'Coming' in Latin, the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the four weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas. December 1stmarks the beginning of the Christian liturgical year. This year Ministry in Motion will stay connected to Advent, drawing upon theBook of Common Prayer as a guide, as we journey through this Advent.
The Collect (KOL-ekt) Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put …


Friendsgiving is a mashup of the word “friend” and “thanksgiving” referring to a shared meal among friends, during the Thanksgiving season. The word is said to have first appeared around 2007 as an informal replacement for the holiday typically spent with family. Traditions change. Maybe friends are the new extended family.
The topic of authentic relationships deserves much more attention than it gets, or than I'm giving it today. Our social connections can have a huge impact on our ability to navigate life’s journey and challenges. Truth be told and over the years, if you’re like me, you’ve known and met oodles of people. However, a few may have, and continue to have, a profound impact on your story. So now, as I clear my throat, let the sentimentality commence:
Dear friends, This isn’t going to be a really long thank you note. It’s length and order says nothing about my depth of appreciation for you. But during this season of thankfulness I wanted to say publicly TY for having a bi…

Beware of Religion

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.  Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Sincerely,  The Apostle James  (1 : 19, 20 & 26) Fiery Speech You probably know the pain of regretting words you have spoken. A slip of the tongue can cause problems— why did I just say that? No matter how religious we think you are, one true litmus test of our spirituality is whether we bridle our tongues or not. If we’re breathing out fiery hurtful words, and we aren’t controlling our tongues, we are not operating at a mature Godly level. Our words indicate what’s in our hearts.
May only blessings come from your mouth, birthed from a pure heart and a kind tongue — tamed by prayer and by the very presence of the Holy Ghost, Amen…#Pkes #MinistryinMotion@minm_church@minmchu…

Shush / SHo͝oSH

Quiet, Pipe down, Put a sock in it Silence belongs to an earlier age. Ours is an age of noise. To listen is very hard. For many, me included if I’m not careful, it takes an concerted effort to listen more and speak less. Attentiveness asks that we still ourselves and aggressively practice an inner stability that says I no longer need to prove myself by words, speeches or arguments; by making accurate or even a profound statements. True listeners don’t have to verbally make their presence known. Accomplished listeners are free to receive, welcome and accept.
God’s Silence Is Biblical, Personal, Common, and Not Always a Bad Thing Sometimes God is confidently and auspiciously quiet. The Psalmist penned: O God of my praise, Do not be silent! Often the Eternal doesn't give us more explanations or verbiage. He knows we don't need more words of instruction. Rather His silence is deafening and intimate at the same time.
"When you cannot hear God," says Oswald Chambers, "you…

What is Courage?

Think of a situation as an adult when you felt afraid,  yet chose to face your fear.
I have a habit of engaging people I don't know. Weird. I’m far from being an extrovert. Just the opposite. As an Enneagram four with a five wing I’m more of a deep-thinker with a desire for personal autonomy and self-expression. Regardless, Tony was sitting next to me at the auto repair shop. We got to chatting and I asked his opinion about a sermon I was writing on courage. He shared his definition of courage with me: “The bravery to do something you know you ought to do” How would you define courage?
Courage, it’s an interesting thing. Courage isn’t something you ‘have’ or even what you ‘are.’ It’s what you choose to practice. Courage doesn’t always look just like bravery and fearlessness. It often looks like sweaty palms, wobbling knees and a quavering voice. It can look like second guessing yourself, battling anxiety and feeling the overwhelming urge to hide back in the shadows. I think a lot of …

Tikkun olam: תיקון עולם

"No one showed me what I ought to do,” wrote St Francis. Towards the end of his life of devotion and insight he said, “I have done what is mine to do; may Christ teach you what is yours!” What permission, freedom, and space Francis gave; so much to take advantage of; so little time to ponder and lament; so little time to act. Sometimes, it feels as if the world is calling on us to do way too much. What’s ours to do? There’s an old adage that says something along the lines of: you can do anything you put your mind to—but it doesn’t mean that we should.

#Boo! Some Halloween Thoughts

In the USA 25%of all annual candy sales occur during the Halloween season. Halloween, by some accounts, is a 9 billion dollar affair. What makes Halloween so popular? Perhaps it's the novelty of ‘trick to treat’ or the clever costumes or … maybe it’s just the free candy.

The conversations surrounding the celebration of Halloween have become a hot topic in many Christian circles.I’ve heard the debates and they seemed to have ramped up over recent years. Is Halloween harmless fun or something dark, evil and sinister? These exchanges may even be producing a growing division among seemingly otherwise unified believers.  Do the rhythms of Halloween 2019 fit with the understanding of the Christian faith? Paul’s writing to the Philippines reminds us to focus on those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, etc. (Philippians 4:8). So maybe families of faith should avoid Halloween. Cool. Conversely, other Christians say God is not offended by carving a happy face in a pu…

Faith, Doubt and Certainty

George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet and Christian minister. He was a mentor of fellow writer Lewis Carroll. Listen to this quote by MacDonald: Do you love your faith so little that you have never battled a single fear lest your faith should not be true? Where there are no doubts, no questions, no perplexities, there can be no growth. Part of my personal story over the past seven years involves my own journey away from sub-standard certitude and moving towards a more authentic faith. Certainty is a poor substitute for authentic faith. Certitude is popular; it’s popular because it’s easy. It's easy…until it’s not.
From time to time we have to wrestle with questions, with doubt to arrive at real faith. Certainty can’t be bothered with all that.Real faith makes room for doubt and questions. Real faith gives us space to work out our salvation — understanding that the effort to believe is the very thing that makes doubt possible.Real faith is not afraid of doubt, but the faux faith…

Click "Like" 👍

There’s a big difference between liking Jesus 
and being like Jesus.
What is Christlikeness? The simple, theologically sophomoric, definition is a person who has qualities like Jesus Christ. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth saying: “…Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ…”Being Christ like says we are a kind, forgiving, sincere, caring and accepting person. “…Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did…” 1 John 2:6

Perfect God,  Broken Man.  What forms our  identity as Christians, but the patterns of our lives in direct reflection of the life of Jesus. Consider the early 1900’smusical lyrics from James Rowe:

🎶Earthly pleasures vainly call me;
I would be like Jesus;
Nothing worldly shall enthrall me;
I would be like Jesus. 
Be like Jesus, this is my song… Easier said than done. Perhaps it seemed like a good idea in 1900, but is it doable today? What might that look like in 2019? Hint - it looks like servanthood.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, there’s the mandate from the pro…