10Q10Q -- faith, life, rethinking church, following Jesus...stuff

Come join in the discussion of faith at the Koinonia Page where scripture and life intersect in conversation and exploration. Visit on Facebook, Twitter, and Dave's Web Page too! I'd welcome your company at Palmyra First United Methodist Church, where I hang out, too, come and see!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Kings before the King

It's Christmas time.  Shopping, carols, stress :-) and the line "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" from Handel's Messiah was going through my head. (I'm told I always have a three ring circus going on in my head.)  Along with that came a morning devotional reading from the prophet Jeremiah.  I started connecting the King who comes in a manger, God's promise, God's word, God's truth, and a couple of stubborn kings about 600 years earlier.

It hit me:  Two kings, Jehoiakim and Zedekiah, refused to listen to the truth, to what God was telling them, through the truth teller, prophet, Jeremiah, and there were consequences.  Not so much a divine thunderbolt, although some might read Jeremiah chapters 36-38 with that in there.  No, it was more of a natural consequence, it was failure to take action.  That in motion, and bold truth on the table, the consequence of not listening to a Good Word, came true...a tough consequence.

What I learned... Listen to God, even when the path is difficult and all shall be well.  Ignore or turn my back on God's Word and trouble is the inevitable consequence.  Listen and be well -- God's Word leads to God's encouragement.  Be encouraged.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Change & Koinonia Group

    Change is a pain!  It makes me think.  It makes me work.  Yet, it makes me whole, alive, vital and a more fully functioning Disciple of Jesus.
    Connections to Koinonia Groups, small groups of disciples walking together, helps me make the journey.  Following Jesus is simple and radical.  A group of companions helps.
    Check out some of our Koinonia Group Discussions and Studies.  You can have friends online for the Jesus journey.  Email me, Pastor Dave, to join a Disciple-Making Group, or an Under 30 Change the World Group.
     Change is a given.  God is good.  I'm on the road with Jesus.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Country Music & Friends

   Imagine fun, kids, food, country western music, and almost 200 people.  Then you can see the community picnic held at Palmyra First UMC yesterday.  I wanted to see us invite the neighbors and welcome people in the spirit and way of Jesus.  I think we may have done that, but I'd love to hear what you thought.
    What I know is we did some things to work at being more welcoming: we dropped "Church" from the picnic name;  we dropped off invitations to 160 of our neighbors;  we chose a picnic theme that we thought everyone could enjoy--western;  we aimed for quality with the horse rides, games, food and live square dance caller; we gave some rides, we took time for genuine conversations, we worked at the whole thing with a spirit of love and fun.
    What I  know is that we haven't had this many people at a picnic in years, and we had a blast.
    I know that following Jesus is an amazing journey.  This week that looked like a picnic.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Following Jesus--Loving All

I was troubled this week by the Florida Pastor/Church planning to burn Korans.  I was slightly relieved when they didn't.  I'm concerned that someone who says they follow they same Jesus that I follow, can appear to act with the opposites of love--intolerance and aggressiveness. That looks a whole lot like hate to me.

I think Jesus' way was one of patient engagement, listening and valuing the person.  I've seen Jesus stand up to wrong or injustice without dismissing a people, a belief or a life with loveless rhetoric.  I've heard Jesus say that I will be known by my love.

I know I too am challenged to act with love when what I love is challenged.  I know I need to dig deep within myself, to beyond myself to creatively respond with love in difficult situations.  I know I'm still learning and want others to deal graciously with me when I display my own aggressions, or bigotries, or love-starved moments.

My God, the one I follow in Jesus, is big enough to love all people, of all beliefs, in all circumstances, while working patiently to bring us to that holy place of peace.  That's the place I'm following Jesus toward, in, for. 

But, I may have missed something.  What do you think?  How do you follow Jesus, especially with your Extra Grace Required people?  How do you follow Jesus' way of love with the person you avoid in the grocery story by consciously picking a different aisle?  How do you follow Jesus' path of peace with those that seem just plain wrong to you?  I want to know so I can follow Jesus more attentively, reflectively...lovingly and joyfully.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mission Complete...Almost

Steps, roofs, ramps & relationships were all built with joy and success!  We took pictures of the projects and people...not me, I'm not the photographer type, but check out http://www.pfumc.us/ in a few days for pics.  It's hard to take pictures of what God was really doing.

Let me tell you about Mrs. Bernice Bowen and Benjamin.  Bernice needed solid back steps and a front ramp so that at age 77 she could get in and out of the 700-800 square foot house in which she and her 9 brothers and sisters grew up.  Bernice was a joy to sit and talk with.  She alway had Maggie her 10 pound terrier at her side, usually sitting beside her atop the chest freezer in her living room.  Bernice shared freely of her home, her tools, her power and herself.  Her faith and story will stick in my memory.

Likewise her neighbor Benjamin, one of 7 with two preacher brothers and a preacher father.  Ben lent us a pick axe to get through the rough soil.  Sat and talked about bible, history and food while holding a large family bible on his lap.  Ben tended a large managerie of animals to "keep busy," and said "no reason for anyone 'round here to be hungry, 'les they want to, because in the summer there's fishing and crabs and shrimp," he said pointing to the casting net at his feet, "and in the rest of the year there's good huntin', squirrels and coons," he added with a smile of confident joy.

Could I say that with so few material possessions?  I don't know but I do know of the steps, roofs, ramps and relationships, it's the relationships that God is using to make me a little more compassionate, loving and trusting...like Jesus.

Come with us on our next project.  You can find the same gifts.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

On a Mission

   I'm writing from Hillsville VA on route, with crew, to our annual mission trip outside of  Charleston SC.  Traveling is a transition for me from one kind of daily life and service to a week of different routines and service.  Transition often gives me a moment of uncertainty, and a feel of adventure.
   I'm also journeying through the Gospel of Luke.  Today chapters 7-10.  Jesus was always going from service to service.  The reception varied.  The power and purpose was always the same.
   I pray that my journey this week will embody the constancy of Jesus' power and purpose and that I can bring that home again.
  I may not get back to the internet while roofing and resting in a Sunday School room, but I will stop back to share the week. 
10,000 Joys in Christ as we all follow Jesus...Dave

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Change the World -- Community Garden

We're changing the world!  Yes, I know that sounds over the top.  But we are.  That's what making disciples is all about.  That's why I follow Jesus, because he is a world changer, a surpriser, a life-giver, a helper, a friend, a touch of the holy and divine.  Now, as a congregation, we're getting out of our building to share all that.  How?  We're planing a community garden to nourish, not just feed, the community.  Everyone can help!

Why now?  It's time.  We're learning as a faith community making it time.  We're holding hands with our sisters and brothers in the United Methodist Church Rethinking Church and working to Change the world, making it time--April 24th.

How about you?  Help us.  Join with us.  I can't grow a plant to save my soul, but I can cheer, schlep, talk, encourage, play with kids, tell a neighbor...I can be a helpful friend with an open heart.

I didn't plan this.  I simply asked if anyone had ideas for a Change the World project and this garden grew.  People joined in with offers of tools, muscle, plants, expertise....  The congregation jumped in with approval, participation and prayer.  Now everyone can jump in and be joined to this vine that God is growing. Follow us on Facebook if you like.

See you on the 24th, or any day for that matter.  I'm excited that God is changing the world!  How about you?  I'm in!  How about you?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Make A Difference, Speak Up on Health Care

Health Care.  Why is it so hard to care for everyone?  I get the political tangle, but it does honestly seem like petulant pre-nap kids in a sandbox.  I get that it costs money, but healthy happy people are far better defense than more bombs and deployments.  I get that people with money and power have always felt threatened or felt entitled in relationship to the poor and the powerless, but that has seldom helped the world be a better place for all...just a better place for the wealthy and powerful.

I still think that "love your neighbor thing" is important. I still think that whatever you do to the poor, the other, the least of these determines your destiny and your character.  I still think justice is important, caring for those who are less able to care for themselves.  And I believe that God loves us all.

I'd  challenge you to get on board and make a difference in the world in a way that will help you, but indeed is far bigger than you.  Check out the John 10 10 Challenge, sign the letter, get involved.  Make a difference.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I love intersections of heart, mind and experience. This week I've stood at the intersection of continuing education, ongoing pastoral leadership, the biblical story and my own emotion filtered personality. I'm amazed at the hope I see and pleasantly surprised, and encouraged, that I'm finding renewed hope in unexpected places.

These moments of serendipitous renewal are why I love standing in these cross roads. In short: It's great fun to be surprised by God!

I am and have been wondering, how vitality and life can best be shared. At times I feel a tad confused and uncertain. On other legs of the journey I feel energized and optimistic. However, it's at the Divine intersections, bringing disparate life pieces together, that I get fired up all over again.

That's who I am. A person of curiosity, a follower of Jesus called to lead, a disciple still learning the Way, and one disposed to energetic joy. That said, I too am a believer who frequently wonders, wanders, waffles, and doubts. I am growing, playing, exploring, enjoying, fearing, repenting, changing...I'm still on the journey.

How about you? Are you still on a life-giving, faith demanding way? Are you open to the surprises?

I trust that together we will find ways that we encourage and support live, love and joy in God's way. I believe that an open conversation is food for the journey. That's all a part of who I am. What about you? Tell me about one of your intersections...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Bible in a Year

I joined a cool discussion of people reading through the bible in a year. It's a life-changing story, with some friends on the journey. Join in!

It's a New Year!

Happy New Year! I want to claim some new possibilities this year:
  • Live more from love and less from fear or anger;
  • Learn from God's love;
  • Have fun being me!
I can get hung up in the details, but I know that if Love prevails everything else will follow.

How about you, what's happening deep down in you, as the New Year unfolds?