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Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Why Can’t We Have an Ideology like ISIS?

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Is there or should there be a push for an inter-faith message transmitted via sophisticated communication media that counters the narrative ISIS is using to seduce young people?  I don’t mean inter-faith get-togethers, which we already have, … Continue reading Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Why Can’t We Have an Ideology like ISIS?

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Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Failed Marriages and Mental Illness

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: How does one trust this institution of marriage after a failed one? Oh, this is a short question heavy with layers of hurt, disappointment, sadness and often despair. I am genuinely sorry. Every culture essentially reinvents marriage. It’s … Continue reading Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Failed Marriages and Mental Illness

Can We Live a Lie and Proclaim Truth?

Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Hate the Sin of Homosexuality or Assume Truth?

How can conservative Christians who believe that homosexuality is a sin support  and show respect to their gay family members, coworkers, and friends in ways that will not compromise their personal faith? The adage, “love the sinner, hate the sin,” … Continue reading Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Hate the Sin of Homosexuality or Assume Truth?

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Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Disaster Tourists and Changing the Paths of Tornadoes

What motivates people to show up after disasters to do the rubber-necking thing? I call them “disaster tourists” because they cause huge congestion and keep the trained workers from doing what must be done. Why do we love action movies … Continue reading Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Disaster Tourists and Changing the Paths of Tornadoes

One of the many unusual  Tabernacle decorations at Glory of Zion

Denton Mystery Worship Seven: A Whirling Dervish of a Service

“Hover, hover, hover, hover, hover.” Over and over, the 24 piece band led singing of “Hover” as the people danced, some collapsing in utter ecstasy, fainting in their seats. The flags and ribbons twirled while the African-influenced rhythmic music pounded. … Continue reading Denton Mystery Worship Seven: A Whirling Dervish of a Service

United Methodists: It is Time to Stop and Pray.

The battle over sexuality rages with new energy. The Just Resolution decision instead of a trial for Rev. Olgetree (this 80 year old retired clergy presided at the same-sex wedding for his son, and fellow clergy filed charges against him) has ignited a firestorm of separatist talk, exposing more fully the deep divisions among us. IT IS TIME TO STOP. It is time to stop and pray the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples when they asked him, “teach us to pray.” IT IS TIME . . . To stop and acknowledge that only God is holy. To stop and … Continue reading United Methodists: It is Time to Stop and Pray.

Praying for Ted Nugent?

Like many others, I am so deeply troubled by the choice of both Texas and national Republicans to use Ted Nugent as a spokesperson for their views. Try typing into a search engine, “Ted Nugent Pedophile” and see what comes up. To call this man “vile” might be a compliment. He’s simply appalling. Now, I will tell you that I’d never even heard of this person before last week’s dust-up in Denton. I’m not much into pop culture, and never have been. Never listened to his music, never even knew he existed. But his association with Republicans is not new. … Continue reading Praying for Ted Nugent?

Drop to My Knees, Steam, Wipe, Pray

The youth group had a lock-in last night. After helping with the food and snack needs, and making sure the adult chaperones were compliant with all policies and procedures for keeping children and youth safe, I offered my blessing and went off to dinner with friends and then good sleep. This morning, I came back early to help with clean up and ensure the worship-readiness of the church for Sunday. Before starting to work, I noticed one of the youth sitting alone and looking up at me with pleading eyes. I knew she had just been through a rough time, … Continue reading Drop to My Knees, Steam, Wipe, Pray

A Modern Take on Luke 15–Probably Heretical, Possibly Shedding Fresh Light on a Shocking Story

The Complaint A group of VERY IMPORTANT church leaders began to grumble about Jesus.  “He ignores us, the movers and shakers, the ones divinely given the leadership of The Church. Instead, he takes his meals with people who don’t even give $5 a year to our coffers, haven’t partaken of the sacraments in years AND even support gay marriage and homosexuals as ordained! The church will decline in numbers even further if they get their way.  Why isn’t he dining with us in the hotel conference room so we can form a new strategy on how to build growing, vital, … Continue reading A Modern Take on Luke 15–Probably Heretical, Possibly Shedding Fresh Light on a Shocking Story