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Reclaim Your Sabbath Day

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God.” – Exodus 20:8-10 I’m dating myself here, but does anyone but me remember when most stores were closed on Sundays? When I think about those days as a kid I remember feeling sometimes that Sunday afternoons were boring. No mall to go to, no errands to do with my mom…just books to read, maybe some TV to watch and hours ... Read More »

Sharing the Good News

The results were rather shocking. I mean ever since I was a child I knew my cholesterol was high (familial hyperlipidemia is the official diagnosis), but this was off the charts. My cholesterol was 314. My LDL was 209, and my HDL was 95. (Note: physicians like to see your cholesterol below 240—LDL below 160 and HDL below 60). Something had to be done. When the doctor and I spoke about strategies, she was pretty clear. She said my levels were likely the result of my age and that medication ... Read More »

After the Retreat

I had reached that critical moment when it was absolutely imperative that I get away. You know the feeling. It’s that moment when various elements of your personal and professional lives collide in a perfect storm of chaos, and at the end of each day you collapse on the bed only to wake in a panic and jump right back in it again. It is typically in these seasons that we neglect the very things that would make us feel more energized and healthy. Our own mental, physical and spiritual ... Read More »

A Hard Battle

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Since joining the field of ministry, I have learned to hold this saying in my heart, but it truly pains me when I see the depth of some of these secret battles—especially when it leads to tragedy. A few years ago, our community was rocked by news that was and is one of the most tragic events in my life. A family very near and dear to our hearts had all passed away, simultaneously. My stepson’s life-long best friend, ... Read More »

I Wish I Could Have Understood

You never seem to be able to find the “right words” to express sorrow over the loss of someone you love. It is nearly impossible when you know that the person you lost took his or her own life. The question, “Why?” is a nagging reminder sometimes of how little we really know the condition of the soul of family members and friends, let alone neighbors. John Wesley used the question, “How goes it with your soul?” as a starting question in his small groups, believing that the covenantal discussions ... Read More »

If We’re Honest

It happens everyday. It’s what we do. We see someone and we ask, “How are you?” They answer, “I’m fine,” and then they ask us, “How are you?” We answer back, “I’m fine.” But are we fine? Are they fine? My guess is that many times the answer is, “no,” but we don’t feel safe in saying so. It would make us appear weak and vulnerable to admit that we are not doing “fine.” Being vulnerable takes courage. In doing so we admit that we don’t have it all together, ... Read More »

Self-Worth, Self-Gratification and Boundaries

Sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex. This is one of the first things our fabulous pastor, Ashley Allen, told us to say to the person sitting next to us. To put it in one word, this was the topic of discussion throughout the 2016 High School Spring Retreat. To put it in three pillars, as another leader, Dan Willerth, called them, we discussed self-worth, self-gratification and boundaries. All of these three pillars were under the roof of God. God plays a huge role in all three of these, ... Read More »

Let’s Talk About Sex

At the ripe old age of twenty-two, I found myself pulled out of my shiny new classroom for a day of Family Life Education (FLE) training with dozens of other new hires in Fairfax County. I have to admit that when I chose a career in elementary education it never occurred to me that along with stem-and-leaf plots, I’d also be tasked with guiding tomorrow’s youth through the treacherous week known as FLE. This training included reciting body parts out loud until we stopped giggling, fielding obscene and downright confusing ... Read More »

Run Your Race

One beautiful May day several years ago, as I headed down to our basement to work out, I found myself wishing that my exercise routine could be done outside instead. The flowers were blooming, the trees were budding and the temperature was a perfect 75 degrees. The obvious choice would be to go for a run, but I knew that running was not for me. My sister is a runner. My brother is a runner. Kelly is not a runner. I am the non-running sibling. I had tried before to ... Read More »

Mike’s Testimony

The following post was written by a member of Floris UMC’s Celebrate Recovery group and is a testimony of his recovery. For more information on this program, visit I was born and raised in Northern Virginia. I grew up in a middle class family with my mom, dad and two younger brothers. My dad was an angry, violent alcoholic, and my mom was a classic codependent. As a child, I endured years of physical and emotional abuse by my father. His form of discipline was severe beatings with a ... Read More »

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