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Sometimes Relationships Are Messy

So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? -Romans 2:3-4   New International Version (NIV) I’ve recently been holding a couple of really special people in prayer in a new way. I won’t go into all of their business here, but suffice it to say that their relationship has some fraying around the ... Read More »

Reflections on Homelessness

From February 15 – 22 Floris UMC is hosting roughly 35 individuals as part of the FACETS Hypothermia program. The guests arrive at 5 and are fed, offered showers and various opportunities for entertainment e.g., watching television, playing games or reading. One of the guests wrote his reflections on what it is like to be homeless. When the snow falls on Northern Virginia, the bustling city stops to take a breath of fresh air – inhaling the solitude known only to a few. Dogs get more attention and families gather ... Read More »

My Favorite Super Bowl Memory

Super Bowl weekend is, for some, the greatest weekend of them all. I remember when I first started working at a church. We cancelled all activities on that Sunday evening because most people wanted to spend the Super Bowl with friends and family. It’s usually a night full of plans but it doesn’t always go the way you plan for it. I will never forget Super Bowl Sunday 2007. Just the day before, one week early, Susan alerted me to the fact that it was time for our first child, ... Read More »

The Power of the Positive

Our “Real Happy” sermon series has been focusing on Paul and the example he provided in terms of learning to be content regardless of one’s circumstances.  Paul’s letters to the Philippians were written while he was imprisoned. It is hard to imagine Paul being content while in prison, yet his contentment in Christ is clear as you read the following passage from Philippians 4: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about ... Read More »

What is Your Dawn Wall?

Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson are two names I’ll bet most of us had never heard of prior to this January. Some of you still have no idea who I am talking about. Caldwell and Jorgeson accomplished the incredible feat of free climbing El Capitan’s Dawn Wall, in Yosemite National Park, on Jan. 13, 2015. That means that they climbed a 3,000-foot sheer rock wall using only their bare hands, some sticky soled shoes and the traditional safety gear. No one has ever done it before. Many have tried but ... Read More »

When Things Fall Apart

Sometimes, everything falls apart. Family dynamics, health, jobs, relationships, you name it. There’s no shortage of good and bad advice for people when things fall apart. When life goes bad, there are entire industries there to help you through it. Just buy this book, read this inspirational quote, get a few “It’s all part of God’s plan” thrown at you. Or you can try to ignore it. Maybe put it in your inner garbage bag of missed opportunities, broken relationships and awful circumstances. Maybe that bag stays intact or maybe ... Read More »

Overwhelmed by Restoration

I have ‘had a moment’ a few times in my life.  This ‘moment’ is hard to explain to other people, but it’s that feeling that you have when all seems to be right with the world.  I remember when my wife, Susan, was walking down the aisle in our wedding.  She was simply radiant.  I stood there looking at her thinking what a gift it was to be able to spend the rest of my life with her.  That was one of those moments.  I remember when I held our ... Read More »

My Kids Will Make Some Bad Decisions. I’m Okay With That.

I discovered something great the other night. While checking out the benefits of my 30-day free trial of Hulu Plus, I found the entire series of Felicity. For those of you unfamiliar with this late ‘90s classic, it follows the story of a girl who impulsively makes the decision NOT to attend Stanford, as her parents would like, and instead travels to New York City to attend New York University because a boy she has a crush on attends there. The thing about watching a show that first aired when ... Read More »


During dinner, my daughter notes that in ten years she will be 31 years old, and we will be around retirement age. My youngest then asks, “What do you think about when you are in your 50s? Do you think differently?” First answer that comes to mind is “I don’t know,” and “I suppose I do think differently.” Truth of the matter is that I’m in that mid-stage of life. I feel like a cliché in some ways. We are almost empty nesters in that one has successfully launched on ... Read More »

What Is It Like Having An Au Pair?

When she first arrived I was nervous. I wasn’t quite sure what life with an Au Pair would be like. Hiring an 18-year-old to travel across the Atlantic Ocean to live with you and take care of your children for a year isn’t exactly something one does on a whim. Add to that the fact that you’ve never actually met this person and your relationship consists of only a few Skype video calls and email and you have a perfect recipe for fear and trepidation. But we were committed. My ... Read More »

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