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A Celebration of Light

When I grew up in Seoul, Korea, there were war drills. Yes, war drills. On the fifteenth of each month, we had a short 30-minute war drill. Sirens went off, and cars and people had to stop in the middle of the streets, or wherever they were, to hide. Also, there was a special drill at night once or twice a year for an hour when no one was allowed to turn any lights on in their homes. When I was very young, the night drills scared me. My mom, ... Read More »

We Need the Holy Spirit

I am not going to write about the election…Well, not directly anyway. Of course you can’t read anything, listen to the radio or simply talk to people and avoid election talk. Irony is everywhere. On Facebook, I watch as Christian friends reenact SNL’s famous “Point Counterpoint” debate, using sweeping generalities, convenient categorizations and not-so-nice words. I hear stories on the radio about young children who are so upset that their schooling is affected. So what’s my point? I need the Holy Spirit to come and rest on me. The Holy ... Read More »

Rapture-phobia

My theological background includes a checkerboard of Protestant religions. The first third of my life was spent in a Pentecostal church (no, we did not handle snakes). The second third in a Southern Baptist setting (yes, we danced). And eventually I settled into the world of Methodists. The beauty of this history is that I am deeply ingrained with a passion for charismatic worship. Unfortunately, the other element that took hold in my psyche was a slight obsession with the rapture. For those of you unfamiliar with this term, in ... Read More »

Practice Makes Perfect

”Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers ... Read More »

Thank You Cards

I received a thank you recently from a friend. It was an email, probably no more than four to five sentences. I was struck that something so brief could have such an impact. This person shared something I had done that I had forgotten. When I read the note, I realized that not only did my action matter to my friend, but I did as well. Few people demand to have their existence validated, but the smile that came to my face reminded me how nice it is when someone ... Read More »

Finding a True Identity in Christ

I was recently inspired by one of Rev. Tom Berlin’s sermons about gratitude. In the sermon, Tom mentioned that gratitude reflects our spiritual maturity. It’s hard to admit that I need to grow in my spiritual life. Still, I felt challenged to practice gratitude not only during Floris UMC’s sermon series but also throughout my life. I often find that lack of gratitude occurs when I hold a lost or confused identity about who I am and who other people are. Last summer, I had a few months during which ... Read More »

FOG: Fear of Giving

Coffee with the Pastors is a recurring event where the pastors lay out, in very simple terms, what it means to be a part of Floris UMC. As a staff member, I have worked this program several times. In fact, I feel confident in my ability to recite the entire presentation. The message is constant. In order to be a true servant of Christ, you must commit to doing five things: worship, grow, serve, share and give. These pillars of Christian life are not new to me at all. And ... Read More »

150 Reasons Why We Are Free Today: Gratitude Flash Mob

Have you ever noticed how contagious gratitude can be? I recently had the opportunity, thanks to the William & Mary D.C. Area Alumni Chapter, to welcome an Honor Flight coming into Reagan National Airport. On it were men and women who had served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam who were flown into Washington, D.C. so they could tour the monuments and memorials erected in their honor. All I had to do was show up with a smile; posters and flags were optional. William & Mary colors were encouraged. Turns out there ... Read More »

Gratitude Over Grumpiness

The morning was dark. I realize it’s not surprising that it was dark at 6:30 a.m., but somehow it seemed extra dark that Sunday. Maybe it was the fog that seemed to roll down over my car and encircle me so that I could just barely see through it. My headlights created short pools of light on the road in front of me. Other cars would just sort of appear in a white glow and then disappear as they passed by. I must confess, I grumbled. I wish I hadn’t. ... Read More »

Open Mic Night

Open Mic Night—what does that mean? For some, you might envision karaoke night at which a gaggle of girls climb on stage to sing Shania Twain. Others might picture a local comedy club or a coffee shop evening filled with aspiring songwriters. However, for some of you, the thought of an open mic night might be terrifying. Perhaps you associate the term with more painful memories as you recall a time when you stood up to share a new piano piece at your school talent show, only to be mocked ... Read More »

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