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Bishop's Blog Archive


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: ...

Iona Interlude ©

I am pausing my “Reclaiming the Heart of the Wesleyan Way” series to share a brief word on a pilgrimage in leadership development. By the time this is posted, I will be in Iona, Scotland with a group of young adults from the Central Texas Conference....

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...

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...

A New Church Being Called Forth by the Holy Spirit #8:

The Future Before Us I come now to the close of an eight part series on “A New Church Being Called Forth by the Holy Spirit.” I opened recalling how books on giving birth to one’s first child describe the emotional changes and feeling of an expectant...

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 Spirit #2

Aslan is on the Move! © Few Christian writers and thinkers have had such a profound influence on the life of the faith & the church as C. S. Lewis. (Mere Christianity is basic foundational reading!) In his classic Narnia series, The Lion, the Witch, ...

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. ...

Racism is Real!

In preparation for Thanksgiving my wife has decorated our house beautifully. If you step into the living room and look at the mantle over the fireplace, four elegant figurines peer out from the fall foliage. On the left are the classic looking ...

MISSION TO FORT WORTH

What comes to your mind when you think of a missionary? I must confess that my usual image is both anchored in the past and colonial in genre. I imagine Albert Schweitzer and pith helmets. Intellectually I know better. Here in Central Texas we are ...

An Inquiry on the Way to Taize

Saturday evening April 5th found Jolynn and me driving over to White’s Chapel UMC to participate in a special Taize “Pilgrimage of Trust” here in the northern part of Texas. Readers may well remember that the Central Texas Conference sponsored a ...

A Sign

As we approach Christmas, I cannot help but reflect on our time in Holy Land last January. We got to spend time in Bethlehem. Our visits to the Church of the Nativity were moving. For me, they were precious opportunities of reflection and sharing ...

A Flat Bottle of Soda or a Scary Thing

Recently I had the great joy of sharing in a Charge Conference Celebration for the East District. As we sang, prayed and heard incredible witnesses of service in the name of Christ from various congregations, I had this sense of the Holy Spirit ...

COME HOLY SPIRIT -- Report from Taize 4

Today [May 25] we left for Cluny right after worship. The great Cluny Abbey fills me with awe. It once was the “major ecclesia” – the largest church in Christendom. Cluny Abbey started over 1,000 satellite abbeys. Its influence spread far and wide. ...

COME HOLY SPIRIT -- A Report from Taize 1

I have been gone for the past 10 days on a Young Adult leadership development trip to Taize. Along with Rev. Larry Duggins (Director of the Missional Wisdom Foundation), Rev. Kyland Dobbins (Director of Mission Experience for CTC) and Leanne Johnson ...

Reclaim the Day! A Pentecost Community

The earliest Christians understood full well that the Church was a community of the Holy Spirit. It was born not by human will or effort but by an act of the triune God on Pentecost Sunday (which this year is to be celebrated on May 19th). The first ...

Musings on Heading to the Holy Land

Around noon Jolynn and I will board a plane and, along with about 200 other pilgrims from The Central Texas Conference, head to the Holy Land. As I go through last minute work details before being out for two weeks and finish packing, I find my mind ...

Holy Ground

The scene was dramatically different from a year and a half ago. In April of 2011 I stood in front of the smoking ruins of Cedar Springs United Methodist Church with Ginger Bassford (DS) and Tom Beaty (Pastor). That Easter, just a few days away, ...

RAMPING UP IN ARKANSAS

The words lay sterile on the page in the little read Book of Resolutions: "The United Methodist Church believes God's love is an active and engaged love, a love seeking justice and liberty. We cannot be just observers. So we care enough about ...

Monclova ’73

Wednesday I returned from our mission investigation trip to Monterrey with Randy Wild and Dawne Phillips. Reports of violence tend to dominate the news from Monterrey. Our trip was quite different. Under the gracious hosting and guidance of Bishop ...

Blessings at Boyd

A thin ribbon of dawn sliced the eastern skyline in glorious splendor but what drew our attention was the stark, sharp concertina wire forming a deadly lace of metal on the outer fence of the Boyd Unit Friday morning as we waited to enter a series of...

The Spirit and SBC 21

I see the Spirit of the Lord moving among us as we struggle to engage the church we love in transformation. Over and over again, the call of a new day in the Lord beckons us into the future. Recently this conviction has come to me through a variety ...

Back to the Future

Tuesday, May 25th, I had the privilege of joining an ecumenical group for a Conversation with Leaders of the China Christian Council. Brite Divinity School graciously hosted the gathering along with the Tarrant Area Community of Churches. As I ...

This Focused Center

As I begin this Year of Our Lord 2010 (A.D.), I offer a new blog. I’ve entitled it This Focused Center based on The Message (a paraphrased translation of the Bible by Eugene Peterson) version of II Corinthians 5:14-15. “Our firm decision is to work ...