Bishop's Blog Archive


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The Incarnation - Pt. 2 ©

  Last week (Oct. 29), I began a four-part teaching series on The Incarnation - a key doctrinal element at the core of the Christian faith. This followed a live four-session teaching series entitled “Sin and Salvation.” that debuted earlier this ...

As the Storm Rages: Part II ©

This Blog is part two of a three-part blog series pulled from my 2019 Episcopal Address delivered on June 11 to the lay and clergy members of the 109th Annual Meeting the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church. To view the video of ...

Easter Reflections ©

The fire rages. The steeple consumed in a reddish-orange blaze topples. Unrehearsed, a collective gasp erupts from the watching crowd. A great symbol of the Christian faith, Notre Dame Cathedral is gutted. On Easter morning itself, seven ...

The Cross ©

It is sign and symbol. It towers over the religious landscape of our day even in a post-Christendom world. It remains both an offense and a glory. The cross of Christ looms before us on Good Friday. Before we arrive at Easter, we must first stop ...

The Entry ©

'How do you imagine the Savior enters the Holy City? Images abound. Some are famous and others merely prosaic. We have an artist's rendering hanging in our front hall at home. I like to stop at it periodically and ponder. The Lord's entry into the ...

A New Thing ©

After the called General Conference in St. Louis, I (along with others) was asked to write a brief article for Circuit Rider, an online magazine put out by The United Methodist Publishing House. The writers were asked specifically to not re-argue or...

The Question Lingers ©

The question lingers from a sermon delivered by Dean David Watson. “When people look at your Facebook page or your Twitter profile, do they know you are a Christian? Okay, you say, I have repeatedly posted Bible verses with colorful, flowery ...

Lessons from a Christian Hero ©

It is the morning after St. Patrick’s Day and I find myself musing about what this great Christian hero would teach us. I invite us to get past green rivers, green beer and the wearing of the green for there is a towering Christian who stands both ...

The Holy Spirit at Work ©

As I write, it is a Sunday afternoon and I have just returned to my office from sharing with Mooreville United Methodist Church in worship. While with those good and faithful people, I saw the Holy Spirit at work. But I am ahead of myself. Though ...

Stay Focused ©

When I began writing my blog back in 2010, I entitled it This Focused Center based on a version of 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 from The Message (a paraphrased translation of the Bible by Eugene Peterson) “Our firm decision is to work from this focused ...

God in Action ©

Gil Rendle in his newest book, Quietly Courageous, poses the question of whether many of us operate from a stance of functional atheism. That is, do we believe in God in some vague intellectual sense but engage in ministry as if God does not ...

Important Wespath Pensions Information on the Way Forward

Late last week , the Bishops across the United Methodist Church received an important communication from the General Secretary of Wespath (previously known as the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits) Barbara Boigegrain. General Secretary ...

Living the Christian Difference ©

As we watched the evening news together (as is our custom), Jolynn and I were sitting together on the couch holding hands. Halfway through the broadcast, Jolynn shook her hand loose and asked, “Are you upset?” Her question was spot on. I was ...

New Supervisory Plan for the East District ©

It was with sadness that I released the following announcement to the clergy and lay leaders of the Central Texas Conference on Dec. 28, 2018. I have received a complaint against Rev.  Ben Disney, East District Superintendent based on ¶2702. 1 of...

A Message of Joy for Christmas ©

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people (Luke 2:10 KJV) In his annual Christmas message to the Central Texas Conference, Bishop Lowry reminds all to set aside the hustle...

A Peaceable Kingdom in a Divided World ©

As we move into the season of Advent in preparation for the birth of our Savior, I offer the Council of Bishops Christmas letter as a guests blog. The letter is written by Bishop Ken Carter (The Florida Episcopal Area) President of the Council of ...

Unashamed of the Gospel ©

On Saturday, Nov. 3, I preached the opening sermon at the 2018 Global Gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association held at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia. Below is the text of the sermon. It was entitled “Unashamed!” and ...

Beyond Political Identity: Grounding Ourselves in the Word and Way of God ©

Next week, I will be on renewal leave for a time of study under Dr. Kenneth Collins, Professor of Historical Theology and Wesley Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. For some time, I have been concerned that for many American Christians (and ...

Insight on Seeking a Way Forward ©

In the second part of my Episcopal address last week at Annual Conference, I tried to offer some insight on seeking a way forward for us as a larger church. This came at the end of three separate presentations (one by Lay Leader Mike Ford, the 2nd by...

The Journey to Jerusalem ©

If Lent is anything, it is a journey with Jesus to Jerusalem - to the cross and beyond. If Lent is anything, it is a journey of faith. Recently, I have been reading Matthew Bates probing book on New Testament theology Salvation by Allegiance Alone: ...

Discipline, Discipleship and the Journey to the Cross ©

Take a quick test. What comes to your mind when you roll the word “discipline” over in your head? I submit that it is easy (even at the new age of 68) to remember the times of discipline for bad behavior at school. The phrase “in need of discipline” ...

The Third Sunday in Advent ©

Today, I offer a liturgy for the lighting of the Advent Wreath candles. As I wrote in my blog “The Advent Wreath,” for our family, the lighting of the Advent Wreath and the sharing of the accompanying liturgy around the kitchen table became a central...

The Vatican and Christian Unity ©

"I pray that they will be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. I pray that they also will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me." (John 17:21) Saturday, October 30th, I found myself with a group from the Central ...

The Hunger Among Us ©

Recently a friend pointed me back to an article written a number of years ago about The Beatles and spiritual hunger. In their meteoric rise from obscurity to fame, The Beatles quickly discovered that fame and fortune were not everything it was ...

Reclaiming the Heart of the Wesleyan Way #11 ©

Reclaiming a Doctrine of Salvation Last week Dr. Lisa Neslony, West District Superintendent in the Central Texas Conference, wrote in a perceptive email, "What if Christians sought the spiritually lost the way volunteers have been seeking people in ...

Reclaiming the Heart of the Wesleyan Way #9 ©

A Community of Holiness In a casual conversation recently, a clergy colleague commented to me, "We used to fight over doctrine now we fight over behavior." I am struck by the insight offered in that comment. Churches are to be communities of ...

The World is Our Parish ©

Periodically I am asked, "Should our work in missions (love, justice, and mercy) be focused at home in the communities in which our churches are located or should they be in extended mission work across America and the world?" My answer is always ...

Reclaiming the Heart of the Wesleyan Way #8 ©

Struggling with Sin Back in my seminary days one of the big intellectual fads that swept across America was a form of psychotherapy called Transactional Analysis (TA). It was built on the foundation of acceptance and appreciation of both yourself and...

Of First Importance ©

I confess that the words caught me off guard Easter Sunday morning. They shouldn’t have. Scholars argue that the passage read is an early creedal statement of the newborn Christian movement. I had gone to Sunday worship in Boston at a non-United ...

A Hill to Die On ©

As I write it is Monday, April 10, 2017. Yesterday, I worshipped on Palm Sunday with my wife. The children paraded through the sanctuary waving their palm branches. It was glorious; a joyous expression of the faith! I was sitting on the aisle and as ...

Christ and Culture in Today’s Chaos, Part 2 ©

Near the close of John Ortberg’s delightful book Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them, he tells the story of Robert and Muriel McQuilken. An accomplished college President, Robert left his job to care for his wife Muriel as she slowly slipped...

Guest Post from Rev. Frank Briggs

Below is Rev. Frank Briggs', Lead Pastor at Lighthouse Fellowship, Day 6 of Lent, which he posted March 6th. He is posting on Facebook a Lenten devotional to help and guide us through this season of remembrance of the sacrifice of Jesus for all. ...

Return and Reflections ©

Someone once said that life is what happens to you on the way to something else. There is an element of honesty in such a reflection, which I discovered while in Kenya to my regret. On Wednesday, January 18th, I stepped into a good sized meeting room...

Conclave and Kenya ©

Like many of you, my year has begun with a full slate of ministry activities. It began January 3rd with a day and a half in the office to answer emails and plow through paperwork accumulated from the Christmas – New Year break time. The afternoon of ...

It’s About the Baby: Revelation on the Nature of God ©

I confess I can’t wait for Christmas Day. We have the whole gang coming to our house. My 92 year old mother and twin brother are coming up from Kerrville, Texas. Our son Nathan and daughter-in-law Abigail are flying in from Boston with our middle ...

Deep Calls to Deep ©

Tuesday, November 8, 2016, our world tilted and ground shifted - wherever you stand on the political spectrum in the United States, whether or not it be far right or far left or anything in between or above or below. On November 9th we awoke to a new...

Reflections on Rejection of Religion and Deep Desire for the Full Gospel ©

A series of recent readings have left me in deeper reflection about how we reach a new generation with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Dean Craig Hill’s observation (taken from a professor of his when he was a seminary student over arches my reflections....

Observations from the Wesleyan Covenant Association ©

Last Friday, October 7th, I experienced the high privilege of participating in the first meeting of the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA). It was my honor to preach at the closing communion service and share with my friend and colleague Bishop Bob ...

In a Mirror Dimly: The Future of the United Methodist Church, PT 4

On April first of this year, I had the privilege and high honor of being asked to address a gathering of the United Methodist Scholars for Christian Orthodoxy Conference at Armstrong Chapel United Methodist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. The address is ...

The Cross Connection ©

Here we are partway through Lent and I find myself coming back time and time again to what I like to call the cross connection - that is the way we are connected to the Lord at the foot of the cross. After all, whatever you think of the cross, it is ...

The Force at Skellig Michael ©

I first caught sight of Skellig Michael while on vacation in Ireland last summer. On a long dream of trip (over 10 years in gestation) with dear friends, we were driving the beautiful Ring of Kerry in Southwestern Ireland. The costal scenery was ...

How Did You Spend Your Christmas Break? ©

Do you remember the typical first assignment for an elementary school student on returning to school in the fall? Growing up we often (virtually always) had to write a paper on “What did you do with your summer vacation?” It was a fun assignment. As ...

Living Christmas into the New Year ©

How do we embrace this joy from God which Christmas calls us to? We know, we surely know, that it is not meant to be a one day phenomenon. The shepherds guide us in living Christmas. The first principle of application is the most simple. They went. ...

A Baby Born for You ©

I readily and honestly confess I am into babies right now. After an important meeting at the Conference Center this week, I stood around with other grandfathers swamping pictures. Monday night, December 21st, we shall fly to Washington D.C. to spend ...

Faith on Trial: Responding to Terrorism in Today’s World ©

Last Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris and the subsequent actions seeking to bring the perpetrators to justice rightly captures our hearts and minds in a wide variety of ways. The sheer barbarism of the attacks spreads anxiety and fear among the ...

Patience for a Patient ©

Tuesday morning at about 9:15 a.m. I walked in the doors of Texas Health Resources Harris Hospital Southwest. As I walked up to the information desk where I was to report in for my knee replacement surgery, an elderly woman using a cane and wearing a...

The First Order Concern ©

Thursday evening October 22nd we returned home from our pilgrimage following the Apostle Paul’s 3rd and 4th missionary journeys. We managed to include a stop at the island of Patmos where John wrote Revelation. I have had the privilege of visiting ...

New Room Report

For the last two and a half days I have been in Franklin, Tennessee attending the New Room Conference. I was warned not to go. I was told that the New Room Conference was a gathering to plan the schism of the United Methodist Church over the issue of...

The Crucial Role of Music in Faith Development

I have just returned from a month off for Renewal Leave. During that time period, I have been working on a possible book focusing on the need of the United Methodist Church to reintegrate the core essence of orthodoxy theology. I also spent some time...

A NEW CHURCH BEING CALLED FORTH BY THE HOLY SPIRIT #7:

Spirit Led This blog will be posted as we open the 2015 meeting of the Central Texas Annual Conference. We meet in a time of great opportunity and equally great peril. Facing forward with a focus on the local church, I invite us to seek the leading ...

A New Church Being Called Forth by the Holy Spirt #6:

  A MISSIONARY CHURCH Shortly before I was elected as bishop in the United Methodist Church, I stood with others, including two bishops, at a tiny country church in Leesville, Texas. A plaque was dedicated to Alejo Hernandez who had been ordained at ...

The Cape of Good Hope ©

This Sunday I will be preaching at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Belton. I will be using the lectionary text for the second Sunday of Easter, John 20:19-30. As I reflected on the passage, my mind drifted back to an illustration used by Rev. ...

Greetings this Easter

Please click below to view a video message from Bishop Lowry...          

The Way of the Cross ©

This week we are walking the way of the cross. Across the globe Christians traverse the week we call holy in a spiritual and powerfully symbolic journey from the celebration of Palm Sunday to the cross of Good Friday. It is both tempting and easy to ...