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Bishop's Blog Archive


Amid the Fluid Chaos ©

For those following larger issues in the United Methodist Church in America, it is an understatement to assert that this is a time of fluid chaos. Conversations, and even threatened action for or against the recently concluded General Conference, ...

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 ...

Praying Our Way Forward ©

  It is a famous story and even more famous poem, yet both the story and the poem bear repeating. In the early days of the Second World War, King George the VI gave a Christmas address to the British Empire. In the address he quoted a poem authored ...

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 ...

Prayers for Cabinet Inventory Retreat ©

This morning I drove down to Stillwater Lodge at Glen Lake Camp and Retreat Center. We begin a three-day Cabinet Inventory Retreat. Our first activity is worship and prayer. With our foundation and focus built on God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, ...

A Time for Prayer ©

This Sunday night, February 28, at 9:45 p.m., I will pause for a special set-aside 15 minutes of prayer for the upcoming General Conference meeting of The United Methodist Church in Portland, Oregon in May. I invite others to join with me and with ...

Lament, Challenge and Hope ©

I confess that I had initially written a different blog to share today. (It will be published on Friday instead.) However the tragedy of events in San Bernardino, California brought me to a halt. No doubt as with many of you, I watched transfixed to ...

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 ...

Reflections on the Visit of a Holy Man

I confess to being late to work this morning. I stayed extra half hour at home to watch the arrival of Pope Francis at the White House. The crowds gathered, the pomp and ceremony; the gravitas of press coverage, and the respectful public speeches - ...

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 Call for Prayer and Healing from the Council of Bishops

Once a quadrennium, the United Methodist Council of Bishops meets intentionally outside the United States, which reminds us that we are truly a worldwide church. As we gather in Berlin, I ask for your prayers, especially for those Christians ...

Peace Be With You ©

A straightforward CNN news story reports the following: “They were sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends and fellow citizens. They were students and dreamers, pursuing their ambitions for a better life. And on Tuesday night, Kenyans ...

CTC Cabinet work in Diversity, Mission Field Ministry and Inventory Retreat

As this blog is posted (Tuesday, February 17th), the Central Texas Conference Cabinet is meeting in its yearly “Inventory Retreat.” At our retreat, we look at the needs of the Conference for clergy deployment in the upcoming year. This starts with an...

For All the Saints: Bob, Blessing and Baptism

Today, Thursday, September 11, 2014, I went to the funeral service for one of saints of the Central Texas Conference, Robert H. Briles, Sr., “Bob.” Such occasions always lead me to reflect on life; its meaning and fragility. Bob went from being a ...

A Writing Retreat

This coming Monday afternoon, I will be leaving on a 5 day “writing retreat.” I have been working off and on to write a book on what direction the church (especially the United Methodist branch of the Church Universal) should take. I have started and...

What Does Your Church Pray For?

In my readings, I recently finished Andy Stanley’s intriguing book Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend. As usual in reading Stanley’s material, I found myself stretched and challenged. There are insights and ideas I ...

PRAYER AND ADAPT TO THRIVE

I had planned to write today’s blog on a new book written by John Flowers and Karen Vannoy entitled Adapt to Thrive. Life and death however have a way of intruding. The most recent tragedy at Fort Hood affects us deeply in the Central Texas ...

Prayer

We begin our Cabinet sessions with a time of worship using The Upper Room Worship Book. This time is precious to me. I feel calmed and centered by singing, focusing on Holy Scripture, and sharing in prayer. It is here that I can feel the presence of ...

At God's Disposal

As we move into the New Year, my work opened with a Bishops' Conclave (a TMF clergy group consisting of the active bishops of the South Central Jurisdiction) meeting in Austin. We discussed issues facing the church and commitments/convictions we are ...

Savior of a Broken World – Connecticut, Afghanistan and Beyond

Friday evening we gathered as a Cabinet for our annual Christmas party. It is a time of festive, joyous relaxation. Yet for us, as for you, our mood was chastened. The news of the shootings in Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary School hung over us....

Remembering 9/11

Do you recall where you were when the news first starting coming in about the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001? I do. I was at University United Methodist Church in San Antonio (where I was serving as Senior Pastor). As the news came in, we ...

Prayer and Relief

With so many of you, I have watched and received the news of the devastating earthquake and tsunami hitting Japan. I am asking that we all join in offering our prayers and relief efforts for the people of Japan and others who are suffering because of...

Pray as We Examine our Faith Focus and our World

Starting Sunday evening, May 2nd, I will be at the Council of Bishops meeting and remain for an additional two days for a meeting of a Task Group of Bishops and General Secretaries on aligning our church with the Four Focus Areas: combating the ...