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Tag Archives: people

Set Free

“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.” – Galatians 5:1 Several years ago, in the midst of a carpool drop-off, a friend said to me in passing, “Someday I want you to tell me why you always seem so content.” If I recall correctly, I laughed and said that my kids and husband might disagree with her characterization but that I would love to have coffee and chat more about it. And ... Read More »

Is God Good All the Time?

“God is good…All the time! And all the time…God is good!” Ah, the call and response of a faithful people. We like knowing how to respond. But do we believe it? Is God really good all the time? For the parent who’s just lost a child? For the man who’s just received a dire diagnosis? For the teen who is bullied, the wife who is abused? What of the family without a home? The children who live in fear? The list goes on and on. Is God really all that good? ... Read More »

Do We Actually Want Authenticity?

It’s okay to not be okay. This is a quote from a wonderful email a friend of mine sent recently. It even serves as the introductory line to a popular Christian song on the radio. However, do we believe it? It is ironic that we live in a world begging for others to be authentic. But in my experience, I don’t believe we are truly comfortable when people actually live into authenticity. It’s raw. It’s messy, and quite frankly, people are generally uncomfortable when sitting too closely to another person’s ... Read More »

We Are All Neighbors

I was reminded about how connected we all are when I was in the grocery store the other day. From a distance, I recognized a woman who I’ve met twice during the Floris Guest House, our church’s week of hosting homeless guests. I smiled as I remembered meeting her and felt grateful that we’d been able to help her for at least two winters. I smiled at the thought of seeing her in the grocery store just as I would a neighbor. In the next instant, I also felt hopeful ... Read More »

When God Reminds You Why You are Serving on a Mission Trip at a Kitchen Table

Note from the editor: In October 2016, a team of nine people traveled to Tappahannock and Montross, Virginia on a United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) Tornado Recovery Mission Trip. This post comes from one of the volunteers, J. Scott Nicholls. When disaster hits, even though it may take a long time, buildings, homes and businesses that were damaged or destroyed by nature can ultimately be rebuilt. Personal belongings can be replaced, though keepsakes cannot. It is hard to see the devastating impact these events have on the “individuals,” both ... Read More »

No Parking Any Time

I don’t believe in the New Year’s resolution thing. However, I am a big fan of finding certain words to focus on at the beginning of a new year. Usually I pray about it and ask God to show me what I need to work on. Surprisingly, this year my focus words are not from the Bible. What a shock! Actually, God gave me words based on his ideas but not in his book: “No parking any time. Keep moving.” I have found over the years that I have a ... Read More »

Islam: A Question of Faith

The Muslim observance of Ramadan chanced to fall during the 2014 FIFA Men’s World Cup (June 28-July 28, 2014). As a sport scientist I knew that fasting or even skipping meals was not a recommended nutritional practice for sports participants, so fasting from sun up to sun down? That couldn’t go well. Wouldn’t this put observant Muslim athletes at a disadvantage? What a terrific angle to pursue for my sports blog! Unfortunately, I knew very little about Islam or the Muslim observance of Ramadan, but I knew someone who did. An ... 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 »

Why Do We Go on Mission Trips?

Editor’s Note: In May 2016, a group of Floris UMC adults traveled to South Carolina to assist in rebuilding houses affected by recent floods. The following is a blog submitted by those group members. When we pulled up to our worksite, it was about 100 degrees outside. We arrived at a small, one-story house that had been victim to a flood that damaged the walls and floors and left the roof barely functional. After looking around a bit, the veteran mission trip members in our group hit the ground running. ... Read More »

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