Mar 31, 2011

What We Hear

He who tooteth his own horn not, heareth no music.”—Dr. Albert C. Outler, Wesley Studies, Perkins School of Theology, Spring 1979.

Mar 19, 2011

Ken Diehm was My Friend

At virtually this very time give or take two hours, on 19th February 2011, my good friend Ken Diehm passed. Ironically, Ken died four years to the day and nearly to the minute of my 2007 car wreck in Round Rock that probably should have taken my own life. As none of Kenneth’s best preacher friends would have been in any emotional shape to celebrate his life three weeks ago at his memorial service, I want to write some thoughts here as my way of freezing Kenny in my mind and heart.

I met Ken around the fall of 1982 when he was going to Brite and Ken and Kenda were living in student housing. I was looking for John Fiedler who played intramural football with Ken and walked into Ken and Kenda’s apartment. Kenda said I was wearing a Hawaiian shirt, Bermuda shorts, and cowboy boots. Funny thing is I don’t remember that. What I do remember is that the only OU-Texas football game I ever went to was with Ken when he was in Cisco and I was in De Leon. I remember that if anything had ever happened to Helen and me, that Ken and Kenda were in our will as legal guardians for our three children. I took Ken off my pension plan paperwork only six weeks ago as Neil Mosser was turning 21 and Ken said "thanks" because he had enough trouble already. I remember traveling with Ken to New Mexico on several occasions to do Bible study with Tim, Travis, Bobby, Bruster, and Neil.

I remember talking through ideas for ministry and the fuller involvement of lay folks and how to help guide them into the joy of giving life away in the Body of Christ—and we talked a lot about the “One Mile Mission.” I remember staying at his house for Annual Conference when we met at White’s Chapel UMC because it was so far to drive back and forth to Midlothian each day. I remember Ken trying to tell Kody who I was when we were at their house and Kody looking at him and saying, as only a teen-ager could: “Come on Dad . . . you don’t need to try and explain this guy.” I remember being with Ken at Arlington Memorial Hospital when his grandson was born and how happy he was. I remember Kenny trying to put in plain words the United Methodist Pension program to me. O Boy!!!

I remember Ken . . . . and when I do, then I also remember Tim Russell, Gary Carroll, Bobby Baggett, and how fortunate I was to know them all. And then I remember Ken . . . .

Mar 15, 2011

Decisions

Every day, we make what seem like a billion decisions. From tying our shoes in the morning to untying them each evening, who really knows how many decisions the average person makes?
As those in Japan learned this week, many of our decisions are out of our hands. However, many decisions are within our control. The intensity of wrestling with our decisions fluctuates from unconscious decision making to brutally conscious choices. To relieve us from some of these daily pressures, however, some well worn habits can save us from our agony.

Aristotle reminds us that there are good habits as well as those which are not so good. He said: “We are what we repeatedly do; excellence is therefore not an act but a habit.” Thus developing certain habits rescues us from having to make a decision about many things. If you want to help your children (or you) then do not decide each weekend as to whether or not your family will go to church or not each Sunday.

Make it a family habit. To save wear and tear on the human organism, perhaps we should surrender as much of life as possible to habits that save us from having to re-think matters to which there are usually some pretty obvious answers. The agony you save may be your own!

To close I want to share what I read this week in the UM Reporter: Richard A. Kauffman wrote:
I can’t speak for others, but here is why I go to church. I go first of all to meet God, to be in God’s presence. I go also to make connection with other people who share many of my foundational convictions and commitments. I go to find meaning in life, to make sense of my life and to search for guidance on how I should live out my life.

In other words, I go to church to be part of something bigger than myself, to join my storyline with one that started long before I made my appearance in this life and will continue beyond my earthly existence.

I also go for the music. My congregation is blessed with some talented musicians . . .
I like that and I certainly agree with Mr. Kauffman. It is something to think about this Lent.

Mar 3, 2011

Be a Hero

Our congregation hosts “Be a Hero, Not a Bully” this Sunday, 6 March 2011. The intent is to help people learn how to fight against bullying. The presenter will be Jim Lord of the Character Network (www.thecharacternetwork.com). The event is at noon and FUMC children’s ministries will be the sponsor.

We have designed the workshop to supply tools to our children (with help from their parents) to contest peacefully the occurrence of bullying. Whenever someone says or does something potentially hurtful to another person, then it may be a circumstance of bullying. (The church will offer box lunches for $10 [adults] and $5 [children]. Someone will collect the payment at the door).

There are many ways to bully others and it is much like other kinds of abuse—it is often very difficult to avoid. Many people’s most painful memories in life come from incidents of the bullying of classmates, neighbors, or in some cases spouses.

I pray that those who want to address this issue will consider attending our sessions on Sunday, 6 March 2011.

 
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