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Bishop's Blog Archive


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 ...

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....

An Opportunity not to be missed ©

N.T. Wright, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews University in Scotland, author and retired Anglican bishop of Durham, England is coming to Perkins School of Theology at SMU November 15-17. Perkins ...

Sharing on the Future of American Methodism ©

In November of 2014 a young faculty member from Candler School of Theology, addressed the Council of Bishops on Christian Conferencing and the recovery of the Wesleyan Class Meeting. It was a fascinating deep address that unpacked his excellent new ...

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 ...

Whose Side Are You On?

The daily news of divisions assault us. I have been watching with many of you the nightly news of debate amongst the contenders for the Republican Party’s nomination for president. Are you for Trump or Cruz, Perry or Fiorina, Rubio or Kasich, Carson ...

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 #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 #5:

The Three Orthos at the Heart At the very heart of a new church being called forth by the Holy Spirit will be what I call the three orthos. At its core the healthy renewed Christian movement in American will be a combination of orthodoxy, ...

A NEW CHURCH BEING CALLED FORTH BY THE HOLY SPIRIT #3: Smaller. Bigger ©

Texas Wesleyan University has been engaged in an award-winning advertisement campaign for student admissions. The campaign is built around a clever and insightful slogan, “Smaller. Smarter.” The slogan is clever in that it is easy to remember. It is...

A Critical Advent Sharing

One of the newsletters I read regularly is Update from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary. Dr. Lovett Weems is a very wise and practical writer about the American church scene and especially about the United ...

Take My Baby

Our second day at Maua Methodist Hospital in Maua, Kenya, we split to various tasks. A part of our group went with the hospital chaplain on her rounds. As they moved from ward to ward, they came to the maternity unit. The ward did not have private ...

Faith, Hope and Clarity - and the Greatest of These is Clarity

When I was working on Doctor of Ministry degree (D. Min.), I had the privilege of studying under a marvelous preaching professor at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary named Robert Shelton. (Dr. Shelton later served as Dean and President at ...

Reflections on the Evil One

Back in my seminary days one of the books that we read for our class on “Methodist History and Doctrine” (taught by the great theologian Albert Outler) was Organizing to Beat the Devil by Charles Ferguson. The lead image in the book is intriguing. ...

Leadership and Hope as the Tsunami Engulfs Us

It has been almost 10 years since a tsunami engulfed the southern part of Indonesia and Thailand. Many of us remember scenes and stories from the event. One in particular that has stayed in my mind is the tale of young 10 year old Tilly Smith at ...

Preparing for Lent

In the late 1970s I read a story that came from Punch (a magazine dedicated to humor and satire). As the story went, a woman went into a jewelry story in Sydney, Australia and asked to look at cross necklaces. The clerk dutifully brought a number of ...

Reclaiming a Robust Christology

Off and on for the last 3 months I have been working on paper that I will present at the Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies. The Institute gathers every five years at Christ Church College, Oxford, England where John Wesley studied. ...

Facing Death and Reading Love Wins

Over the fourth of July weekend I have had a time of reflection, prayer and thought. On the morning of July 4th I left Fort Worth to drive up to Oklahoma to be with my wife, Jolynn. Jolynn was in Oklahoma with her mother, who has been battling a ...

Lessons from the Dean

Beginning Monday, June 10th we will have the joy and privilege of having Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean as our Conference Teacher. She is renowned for her insight in ministry to youth and young adults. Significantly those insights translate beyond ministry to...

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 ...

Wrestling with Theology

Thirty years the pastor of a local church, I lived out of the conviction that the pastor should be the resident theologian of his/her appointed community of faith (local faith). Being elected bishop has not in any way changed that conviction. To the ...

Learning in Austin and Gathering in Tampa

Monday morning I had the privilege of attending a TMF (Texas Methodist Foundation) Board learning session which focused on ministry with "Generation Y" (young adults). With leadership provided by a young clergy couple from Church of the Resurrection ...

Insights Worth Reflecting On

Currently I am in Monterrey, Mexico. The Central Texas Conference has an ongoing covenantal relationship with the Eastern Conference of the Methodist Church of Mexico (an affiliated church). I will blog about our learnings on returning. In the ...

Building Healthy Churches

I have written in a previous blog that as a Cabinet we went to a Healthy Church Initiative (HCI) workshop. As we continue to live in the “Exodus Project” we are consciously seeking to invest prayer, time, energy and learning to energize and equip ...

From a Christendom Mentality to a Missional Reality

Monday afternoon (May 2, 2011) at the Council of Bishops (COB), we heard Professor Dana Robert of Boston School of Theology address the historic leadership role of the office of bishop from the 3rd paragraph of the Nicene Creed. “We believe in the ...

When the Dogs are Barking

A good friend of mine, Bishop Paul Leeland, says, “When the caravan is moving, the dogs are barking.” As we have wrestled with appointments and are going through transition at the Conference office, I am reminded of Bishop Leeland’s pointed phrase. ...

Christian Unity

In the last two weeks, I have attended to different Episcopal (judicatory) ecumenical events. Texas Conference of Churches held a retreat at Concordia University in Austin. This past Monday and Tuesday, I was in Atlanta for a quadrennial meeting of ...

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 ...