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!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

4 Steps to Handling Divisive Issues

Bishop John Schol speaks passionately about a church for all people.  I echo his call for creative, faithful, gracious Love.  I believe there are 4 practical steps to handling hard issues that divide us.

1- Talk to real people.   No important issue is theoretical for a follower of Jesus.  Each one has complexities and real lives involved.  We don't have to agree, but we do need to talk together, understand one another and respect one another. This takes love lived in honest, face-to-face, relationships.

2- Seek to understand first.  Seek to understand different viewpoints well enough that you can articulate all sides of the conversation to the satisfaction of your partners in debate.  Without compassionate understanding we cannot love.

3- Lean into discomfort.   I trust we all hold the beliefs that we feel are most logical, faithful and practical...even when we differ.   My experience is that you will not change my beliefs and opinions, nor I yours, with a tirade, a condemnation, a bible verse, or even a lengthy passionate presentation.  It took me a lifetime to get to where I stand.  Changing strong opinion takes trust, new experiences and time.  Trust, new experience and time requires staying in difficult and uncomfortable conversations and relationships. Lean in with love.

4- Love boldly and Trust God.  I may be wrong on any opinion or belief.  I don't think I am or I wouldn't hold the position that I do.  I trust you are in a similar place.  I do know that a biblical theme and a consistent action of Jesus is to love others boldly. This often disturbed others and prompted disagreement.   I don't have to agree with someone in order to demonstrate love.  I just have to give of myself and trust that God is bigger than my beliefs & yours, my fears & yours, my passions & yours... God is bigger than anything.  If God is not bigger than all this, then we're just arguing over opinions that hold little ultimate importance.

I intend to love all, work for wholeness in the church, and follow Jesus with everything I've got.  I think Bishop Schol has articulated these truths in a difficult season.  I invite your to the journey, and I'd love to hear your thoughts along the way.

Monday, December 2, 2013

5 Shots at Disease

     "This may hurt!"  In the muscle, and not... the shots began.  Polio, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis, Meningitis, Tetanus, and then add the meds for Malaria, "Traveler's Diarrhea" (nice name for a bad situation) and all to get to Kenya.
     I am so grateful that I have generous people supporting me with prayers, gifts and encouragement.  It makes the shots a bit easier.  Thank you.
     Today began the medical process that will continue well past the Feb. 6, 2014 departure.  Month's ago began the process that is preparing me to be a part of the teaching team, who are preparing pastors to fulfill their calling.
      A sore arm is a small price to pay for health of body and many spirits.