Chris Christie and the Bullying God

According to multiple news reports, Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey and someone who clearly covets the Presidential office, has declared, “I am not a bully.” Now, he made this disclaimer after the shocking revelations that his minions and closest advisors apparently decided to play havoc with a little town called Fort Lee, New Jersey. This town hosts  feeder lanes to the George Washington Bridge, which connects New Jersey and New York City and is possibly the busiest bridge in the world. By the power of a bundle of cheap traffic cones, the perpetrators of this incredibly nasty trick forced three feeder lanes…

The Crusty Poinsettias; The Crusted Over Soul

Yearly, members of the church I serve order poinsettias to decorate the worship center during Advent and into Christmas. We purchase them through a local non-profit agency that helps the impoverished in the area as part of their yearly fund-raising efforts. This year, I jokingly challenged the congregation to order lots of them to make sure that I got my December exercise, since this will be my last year to undertake the task of KEEPING ALL THOSE POINSETTIAS ALIVE UNTIL CHRISTMAS! Yes, all caps on that one. Poinsettias are tropical plants, and grow in rainforest areas.  They want damp air and wet…

On District Superintendents, Pastoral Care, Condemnation and The General Rules

On Clergy Supervision A little discussed issue in the larger situation with Rev. Schaefer and the church trial: the nature and accountability of clergy supervision in our covenant. Each year, clergy are asked to complete multiple forms relating to our work, our lives, and our particular appointments. One of those is something called a “personal profile” where we speak in particular of family situations and other personal factors that may affect pastoral effectiveness and the nature of clergy appointments. According to one of the news stories I read, Rev. Schaefer did disclose in his 2006 personal profile that three of his children are…

One Violation and You Are Out: The United Methodist Tragedy

I wish we could just all admit that we simply don’t know. As much as we might claim to know, we don’t know. We don’t know what Jesus would do. We don’t know what real love is about. We don’t know how to come up with definitive answers about  what the Bible REALLY means. We don’t know how to reconcile the commandments to love God and love neighbor with a rule book that holds United Methodists together in commandment and covenant. We don’t know how to define vital churches or effective clergy or healthy and holy sexuality. We don’t know how to…

Two Months, Five Days: Charge Conference Reports and Jail Visits

I suppose this is true across all professions when retirement looms and perspective on what is necessary changes, but I admit it for myself here:  for the first time since I’ve been a solo/senior pastor, I am not terribly concerned with Charge Conference reports. Our Charge Conference is next Tuesday. Now, the church administrator and I sat down several weeks ago and walked through who needed to do what.  He had responsibility for all reports that don’t have to be generated by me. I presume they will all be done on time. But I’m not hovering or checking this year. And then…

Part Three: Stupid Little Old Lady or Wise Consumer?

Last Friday afternoon, August 30, 2013, I posted this: I am not sure how this blog post is going to end. Some young men at Car Toys in Denton are, whether they understand it or not, currently writing the ending. That ending will be one or the other of the following: They figured I was an easy mark when I walked in the store and bilked me out of a lot of money. To them, I was just a little old lady whom they assumed had more money than brains so they could easily hoodwink me. Or They are a group of…

The $5/month Road to Hell

Needing to be very busy procrastinating this morning (anything to avoid actually cleaning off my office desk), I idly flipped through a morning newspaper. Full of ads, of course, as it is Labor Day Weekend, and many will be shopping. One color, two page spread caught my eye, as it was intended to. SALE!  SALE! SALE! THREE DAYS ONLY!! And in the middle of the page were multiple photos of furniture with price listed only as “$5/month!” Now, under the ad, it is possible to see that the actual price for each of those items is $250. So at $5/month, it will…

Part Two: Stupid Little Old Lady or Wise Consumer?

I am not sure how this blog post is going to end. Some young men at Car Toys in Denton are, whether they understand it or not, currently writing the ending. That ending be one or the other of the following: “They figured I was an easy mark when I walked in the store and bilked me out of a lot of money. To them, I was just a little old lady whom they assumed had more money than brains so they could easily hoodwink me.” Or “They are a group of people who made some honest mistakes and thought they knew…