Centering the United Methodist Church on Christ

Life Vests and Torpedoes

Some of the most emotional moments broadcast on television are when deployed military parents return unexpectedly to surprise their kids coming home from school, during a musical recital, or at a graduation. Sheer joy boils over and you can almost feel the tight...

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Right hand of a Saint

Looking across the shades of aqua blue water from the northwest coast of Maui, there are two Hawaiian islands seen in the distance. One is Lanai, once home to the largest pineapple plantation in the world. Today, the island is privately owned by billionaire Larry...

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Bright Lights in Montgomery

The sun was bright and unforgiving as I paid my respects at the gravesite of Hank Williams on a bluff in Montgomery, Alabama. A cowboy hat would have helped. The heat was a far cry from the dreary night of January 1, 1953, when much of the South was covered in snow...

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A Grand Story Line in Harlem

“We don’t have long here, children. Our hopes and aspirations may feel limitless, but our days are finite, our experiences fading in the twinkling of an eye,” observed actress Cicely Tyson in her recent memoir, Just As I Am. “Death is a love note to the living, to...

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The Real St. Patrick

While sifting through obscure Spanish colonial records, it was discovered a few years ago that the very first St. Patrick’s Day parade was not conducted in Boston, Chicago, nor New York City. Instead, the Irish feast day was celebrated in modern day St. Augustine,...

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National Treasure

I spent the holidays with Dolly Parton. Well, not literally. Like everything else in 2020, it was all virtual – and it was a whirlwind. Throughout her rhinestone-studded career, Dolly has sold over 100 million albums, starred in countless movies and TV specials,...

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Jack Hayford: Pastor to Pastors

Over the last 40 years, one of the most popular modern day hymns is “Majesty, Worship His Majesty” written by Jack Hayford. Congregations from all denominations around the globe have sung it with reverence and gusto.  Included in The United Methodist Hymnal, the song...

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Snake in the Manger

One of my dear friends bought a Christmas tree ornament featuring the Grinch in a Covid-19 mask muttering, “2020: Stink, Stank, Stunk!” That exasperation and frustration is shared by so many. Thankfully, some of our holiday traditions were able to be modified and...

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Gratitude and the Socially-Distanced Thanksgiving

Over the many months of the worldwide pandemic, our nation has weathered wildfires in the West, hurricanes in the South, “murder hornets” in the Pacific Northwest, stay-at-home orders, nationwide protests, shuttered business, postponed funerals, drive-up church...

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Brokenness, Burgers, and Redemption

At the height of the government mandated lockdown earlier this year, Kraft Heinz factories were operating around the clock in order to meet the demand for macaroni and cheese. According to the New York Times, retailers at the same time saw a 50 percent increase in...

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