The Bleak Midwinter: Why Sad Music at this Time of the Year?

I wrote this column last year and it turned out to be a huge hit on this blog, so decided to run it again this year. Dear Christmas Advice-Giver, Why are some of the religious Christmas Carols so sad when this is the season of happiness?  I mean, really, “In the Bleak Midwinter?” Nothing like a downer.  Aren’t we all supposed to be just super joyful right now?  And what does “bleak” mean anyway? Signed, “Bleakless” Dear Bleakless, Here’s the situation:  For much of Christian church history (i.e., before advertising took over the world), the four weeks before Christmas Day were weeks…

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…

December 8 2013 E-worship info

Because of the ice, those who wish to meet together are invited to the church facebook page from 8:45 to noon today (Dec. 8) where we can talk through the message and/or anything else that seems interesting. Below are the message slides for the day.  Just click on the link and a PowerPoint Show will download onto your computer. Message Slides for Dec 8 abandoned-child Blessings, Christy

Ice Wins! Worship Cancelled Tomorrow, But Let’s Meet Online

Krum has been one of the hardest hit areas of the ice/sleet storm that settled over much of North Texas on Thursday night.  Three to four inches of impenetrable ice covers everything. The church parking lot could easily double as an ice-skating rink. The local police have begged people not to get out. More freezing precipitation is predicted for this afternoon and evening. Temperatures won’t even peek above freezing until tomorrow afternoon, and then only briefly. So I cancelled our normal worship gatherings for tomorrow, December 8, 2013. But I can not’ cancel worship. So, I’ve invited everyone to meet me on…

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…

The General Rules as Interpreted by my Confirmation Class

Wesley’s General Rules provide wonderful basic guidelines to Christian living. The rules read this way: First: By doing no harm, by avoiding evil of every kind, especially that which is most generally practiced, such as: Secondly: By doing good; by being in every kind merciful after their power; as they have opportunity, doing good of every possible sort, and, as far as possible, to all men: Thirdly: By attending upon all the ordinances of God; such as: Notice that each general rule segues into a list of things that Wesley found particularly egregious in human conduct of the day. The expansion to those…

Four Months, Fourteen Days

On December 31, 2013, I will say “good-bye” to a life and work I have simply loved.  That day will be my last day to serve as Senior Pastor at Krum First UMC, and my last day as an Elder in active service in The United Methodist Church.  The next day, I officially take on the status of “Retired.” I can carefully describe the methodical reasoning and name the logical steps I took to reach the decision to retire.  I can even sum them up in one sentence:  it is the best decision for me personally and for the church I serve and love.…