Aug 28, 2015

Fall Kickoff

One of the things we will do this week is have our church’s Fall Kickoff. My friend, Dr. Andy Stoker will be preaching on this special day and I invite you to hear one of our best young preachers in North Texas.

Church in general and worship in particular remind us about who we are as Christians. I like the following story because it reminds me about what I am to do and be as a person of Jesus Christ.

A woman from a church was doing a survey for the local ministerial association. She knocked on a door and an ill-dressed man cracked the door slightly and asked what she wanted. She said she was doing an opinion survey for the churches in the community. He said: “If you want to know my opinion just read my bumper stickers,” and he slammed the door.

I have never thought bumper sticker answers to important issues of our time were adequate. More often than you might guess, bumper stickers are an outward facade that hides the real thoughts of the occupant of an automobile.

Several weeks ago a Roman Catholic priest, a friend and colleague, sent me an interesting story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

A man is being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy boulevard. Suddenly, the light turns yellow just in front of him. He does the right thing and stops at the crosswalk, even though he could have hit the gas and beaten the red light. The tailgating woman hits the roof, lays on the horn, and starts screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection.

As she is in mid-rant, she hears a tap on her window and looks up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer orders her to exit her car with her hands up. He takes her to the police station where she is searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approaches the cell and opens the door. She is escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer is waiting with her personal effects. He says, ‘I am very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping the guy off in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the Choose Life license plate holder, the “What Would Jesus Do?” bumper sticker, the Follow Me to Sunday School window sticker, along with the chrome plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk.

Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car.’


Join us for our Fall Kickoff worship this Sunday, August 30, followed by a lunch with food and fun from 12:00-2:00 pm.

Come Worship. 
Stay Learn.
Go Serve.

Aug 21, 2015

Blessing of the Backpacks and School Starts

As we begin a new school year I want you to ponder my friend, Tom Butts’ article
“Consider the Children” that he wrote October 9, 2003, when he was the pastor at FUMC, Monroeville, AL. School starting reminds us how precious the children are.

Children are usually honest, painfully honest, until we teach them to lie. After the church service a little boy said to his pastor: “When I grow up I am going to give you some money.” “Well thank you,” the pastor replied, “but why?” The child said: “Because my daddy says you are one of the poorest preachers we have ever had.”

A wife invited some people over for dinner. At the table she turned to her 6 year old daughter and said: “Caroline, would you like to say the blessing?” “I wouldn’t know what to say,” the child replied. “Just say what you hear Mommy say,” the wife answered. Caroline bowed her head and said: “Lord, why on earth did I invite all the people to dinner?”

Three little girls were playing church and decided to do a wedding. The child who chose to be the minister stood before the “bride and groom” with book in hand and began by saying: “You have a right to remain silent. Anything that you say may be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided. You may kiss the bride.”

Children are funny, unsophisticated, and painfully honest—often out of ignorance. They are a great joy and sometimes an unbearable pain. They brighten and complicate our lives. There are times in which we are sure they came directly from God, and there are times in which we would like to send them back. They are our most important possession. They are our greatest family and national asset. Where children are concerned, everything else pales into insignificance.

There are defining moments in life in which we have to make painful choices about what we will hold onto and what we will turn loose. One of the great story-telling preachers, the late Dr. Fred Craddock, has a story about one of his schoolmates who spent many years ministering in China. He was under house arrest when the soldiers came one day and told him he could return to America. The family was celebrating and the soldiers said, “You can take 200 pounds with you.”

They had been there for years! 200 pounds! They got the scales and started the family arguments—two children—wife and husband. Must have this vase... well, this is a new typewriter... what about my books... what about our toys... They weighed everything and took it off—weighed and took off—until they had it right on the dot—200 pounds.

The soldiers asked if they were ready to go and they said, “yes.” “Did you weigh everything?” they asked. “Yes.” “Did you weigh the kids?” “No, we did not.” You’ll have to weigh the kids.” In the blink of an eye—typewriter, vase, books, all became trash. Trash. It happens. Take care of the children.

Blessing of the Backpacks will be available in 8:15, 11:00, La Jornada, and Celebration services this Sunday, August 21.

Come Worship.
Stay Learn.
Go Serve.

Aug 14, 2015

Take Care With your Prayer

This Sunday, after worship we will celebrate our church’s prayer ministries with a “Prayer Ministry Appreciation Reception.” You may look in the worship guide for better particulars—such as time and place. But we want to honor those who regularly and frequently pray on behalf of our congregation for the needs of the world.

Often in the course of our lives we pray fervently for certain things to pass. Often, if we do not take good care, we may end up having our prayers granted. Therefore we must be careful about the things for which we pray. What follows is a tongue-in-cheek look at fulfilling prayer.

Young Mary O’Connor, was a devout Roman Catholic, who fell in love with John Jones, a staunch Baptist. They wanted to get married, but Mary’s mother objected to her Catholic daughter marrying a Protestant.

Young Mary was heartbroken, but her mother suggested a solution: “Sell him on the Catholic Church,” she said. “Tell him about our sacred tradition; tell him about our dedicated martyrs and noble saints. Persuade him to become a Catholic, and then you can marry him.”

So Mary dried her eyes and went to see John. A little later, she returned home and burst through the door sobbing. “What’s the matter?” her mother asked. “Couldn’t you sell him?”

“Sell him?” Mary cried. “I oversold him, and now he wants to become a priest!”

When you pray, consider the consequences of your heart’s desire.

Come Worship
Stay Learn
Go Serve

Aug 7, 2015

Youth Sunday

We have a lot for which to be thankful in our church, FUMC of Arlington, Texas. One of the many things to offer thanks over is our youth. I was very proud of the youth a few Sundays ago when the Testament Youth Choir sang a deeply meaningful message in all our sanctuary worship services. The music was not only great and uplifting, but was well done. 

It is easy to overlook the youth in our community. Some adults foster Saul’s attitude when he said to David, who was ready to fight Goliath, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are just a boy” (1 Samuel 17:33). Our youth might have given old Saul something to think about!

As we enter the “dog days of August” and daydream of putting the hot summer months behind us, I see some wonderful ways for folks to become involved in ministry and service in the name of the Lord. My prayer for the church is that what we do be understood as the best we have to offer to God and to each other. Taking a hint from Paul, whether you are young—or simply feel young: “Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).

May we all strive to let God’s love motivate our life and hearts together at FUMC, Arlington, Texas.

Come Worship
Stay Learn
Go Serve 

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