It is no doubt that we are living in crazy times.
It has been a week since the "Capitol Riot of 2021," and my heart is still broken. My heart is broken for our country. My heart is broken for our world. But most importantly, my heart is broken for our souls.
When it comes to my pastoral calling, I don't do a lot of "politicking" in the sense of letting too many people know my political preferences. Sure, I'll have a conversation if questioned, or maybe I'll let you in to my preferences a little bit with a comment here or there, but I believe that publicizing my political preferences would do more harm than good, and the First Wesleyan "Commandment" is "Do No Harm." (Yes...it's ok to laugh at the fact that I said Wesleyan Commandment)
So, I find it absolutely unnecessary to talk anymore at this point about American Politics and solely on the Politics of God.
Being United Methodist (much like any of our mainline denominations out there, and yes...Non-denominational is a denomination), there are moments when I just half to give myself one of those face-palms. There is an old joke I heard a long time ago that says, "wherever two or more Methodists are gathered, there is a potluck and an argument." At least we're consistent.
But the reality is, wherever two or more people are gathered, there is politics. There is not one of us that can agree on 100% of everything. Even if we agree on the theological standards of the church, we will disagree on the color of the carpet. It's in our nature to disagree because, ultimately, due to the consequences of sin, there is a chasm between each and every one of us. No matter what we do to try to reconcile differences between us, there is no way we can cover that chasm without divine help.
This is where Jesus comes in.
My staff here at LWM have already heard me talk about this a little bit, but I have been watching "The Chosen," which is a Biblically based series on the life of Jesus through the eyes of the disciples. I specifically say "Biblically Based" because it is not like "The Gospel According to John" or any of the other Gospel films of the past. It doesn't follow along 100% with the Gospels. There is a little bit of creative license, but what I love about the series is the truth that you find within each episode remains unblemished.
What is standing out to me the most is the relational aspect of Jesus. It's almost like, as I am watching, I am seeing Jesus for the first time as a real human being. Sure, I have read Scriptures, I have read the stories, but there is an element of The Chosen that just makes Jesus and his relationship with his Disciples real.
But what's more, is I think the portrayal of Peter is by far one of the best I have ever encountered. He is rough and tumble, he is independent and he wants to do everything in his power to protect Jesus. There are multiple times when Jesus looks at Peter and you can just see the word's "STOP IT" in his eyes without him even saying a word.
I love Peter's passion for protecting Jesus, and I know Jesus loves it too. But here's the deal, Jesus doesn't need Peter's protection. Jesus doesn't need Peter to stand up for him.
You know why?
Because Jesus is God.
I think we often forget this truth about Jesus. Sure, we may say it with our lips, but do we really know what it means that Jesus is God? I think in our human minds it is difficult, if not impossible to understand the power of that statement.
So when we create Jesus in our own image, we take the God out of him. We make him just like us. A person who thinks just like we do, or stands up for the things we stand up for, or that he waives the flags that we waive. But what Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, tells us is: Peter (Bryan), I love you, but you're wrong. Follow me, and me only.
Yes, this week I have been anxious about the future of our country, I have been thinking a lot about it, as I am sure you have. But, we still have a job to do. We still have work to be done. We still have disciples to make, and we still have a Jesus...God With us...to follow.
Let us pray.
God, we repent. Even when our love fails, your love remains steadfast. When we live into our brokenness, you remind us that we do not have to remain broken; you remind us that we are your children and that your desire is to be Emmanuel...With us! Help us to focus on your presence, help us to follow you, and you alone. Help us to throw down our idols at the foot of your cross and NEVER pick them up again.
In the strong name of Jesus we pray.
Over the last couple of days, I've been thinking about how I wanted to start off the blog in this new year, and I have landed on the place I think we all need to start: Priorities.
Our priorities are out of whack. No, I'm not just talking about Llano, nor am I just talking about the firing and hiring of Coaches, spending millions of dollars to cut contracts (Looking at You, University of Texas), but our life priorities are out of whack.
We spend so much time on things that are fleeting. I am reminded of the Writer of Ecclesiastes when he says:
"Meaningless. Meaningless! says the teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is Meaningless." ~Ecclesiastes 1:2
Wow, what a way to start off the new year, Pastor Bryan.
I know. I know.
But what the Teacher is saying here is that this world is fleeting; this world is not always going to be here.
I have started reading through the Bible as a personal practice. I'm utilizing a reading plan that does some jumping around in Scripture, but allows me to take the Bible a little bit at a time and pray on it, meditate on it, study it, and grow in it. It is my hope that by the end of this year, I will have learned new things that I never knew before.
This morning, I was reading through Genesis 8-11, which is the second half of the story of Noah. After the flood, when Noah and his sons had come out of the Ark, we read about a pretty amazing exchange where God makes a covenant with Noah to never destroy the earth.
Now, I have heard this story hundreds of times, and even read it many more, but it has never dawned on me the importance of the Language until this morning. God is talking to Noah about not "cursing the ground" because of humanities sinfulness because he knows that "the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth (Gen. 8:21)."
But what stands out to me is the beginning of Genesis 8:22.
"As long as earth endures, seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease"
As long as earth endures? So you mean that the earth can only endure so much? The earth has a time limit?
Why, yes it does.
Even in the Book of Revelation, we read about God creating a new heaven and a new earth, for the old has passed away.
So, let me ask you this question: What really matters? What is your priority?
If it is one thing we (should) have learned over this last year is our priorities. What is most important to us?
Our number one priority should be God. Our number one priority as parents should be the relationships our kids have with Jesus. Our number one priorities of members of the community should be being the hands and feet of Christ so that others may come to know him through our Love. Our number one priority as Christians should be to Love God, and Love Others.
So, ask yourself: Where do you find your treasure? Where is your heart? What are your priorities?
Joy is something that we often mistake for happiness. Joy and happiness are actually two different things. While we can be joyful while we are happy, we can also be joyful when we are not.
I know I talk about this a lot, but hey, it's 2020, so It is what is is. But 2020 is a hard year to be happy, and it is even a harder year to be joyful. This year, we have dealt with separation, we have dealt with disease, we have dealt heavily with the brokenness of our governmental institutions and our elections, and it just seems like the hits keep coming. But in all that craziness, life is still happening...both the good parts and the bad parts.
While it is hard to fathom that we could find happiness and joy this year, there is a consistent theme that keeps popping back up for me.
Often, when we come to situation where we dislike something, (some may even go so far as to say "hate"), or maybe even someone, if we are Christian, we know that God calls us to, "not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Often times though, when we come to God in prayer, we think that the best way to pray is for God to fix our situation, or perhaps for God to change the other person. But I have begun to believe in, and see the results of, asking God to change my own heart instead.
The Psalmist writes:
"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
There have been times in my life, and even in ministry where I have allowed someone else, or a set of circumstances to "steal my joy." Where I know that I am exactly where God has put me, and I allow another person to have control over my emotions. Instead of asking God to create in me a clean heart, I allow my anger to fester, and I block myself from experiencing the joy that God has for me.
I once heard, and have used this quote in a few sermons, that holding anger against someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It just doesn't work that way.
In this season, one thing that I feel like I want to experience the most is joy. Even though this is still 2020 for another 15 days, I don't want to allow Satan to steal my joy. So, I hope you will pray with me that God create in us clean hearts that we may experience true joy this Advent Season!
Let us pray,
O God, you are always ready to hear our prayers, and for that we are thankful. Father, today, we pray especially for our hearts; not in some selfish way, but in a way that we can experience true joy this Holiday Season. We know there are many external things that cause us grief, but Lord, we hope you will create in us a clean heart that even in the midst of all the brokenness of the world, we may experience TRUE joy.
Thank you for this season of preparation as we wait in anticipation of the birth of the Messiah and as we also wait for his return!
In the STRONG name of Jesus we pray,
There is a pretty popular Christian song on playing on the radio called "The Blessing" by Kari Jobe & Cody Carnes. The song is very simple in its lyrics and yet there is something that speaks to almost anyone and everyone who hears it.
The song is based on The Priestly Blessing that comes to us from Numbers 6: 22-26.
The Lord said to Moses, Tell Aaron and his sons this is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them,
I will never forget the first time I heard these words and what they have come to mean to me over the last few years of the ministry that God has called me to.
Many of you know that my dad is also an Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church. One of the churches he served in during my adolescence was at Asbury Church in Corpus Christi; it was at the beginning of my 7th Grade year when we moved there.
At the time, the now Rev. Trudy Paul was our youth pastor, and it just so happened that my first meeting of the youth program was in the summer at a pool party at her house.
After our time of hanging out in the pool and meeting new friends, we took some time to share. We sat down in a circle, lit a candle, and passed it around. When it was your turn to hold the candle, you would have a chance to share where you saw God this week, or to lift up a prayer request. After that time was over, we would place the candle in the center of the room, and these words would be spoken:
"We place the candle in the center of the room, symbolizing that Christ is the center of our lives. We remember that what was said here, stays here, and what is learned here is taken out into the world. Cross your right hand over your left and grab the hand of the person next to you, symbolizing that when we say Amen, we answer the call to go out into the world."
It was at this moment when we would say the Priestly Blessing, as if we were praying it over each other.
May the Lord Bless you and Keep you
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you
and Be gracious unto you
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you
and give you peace. Amen.
Then, of course, we would all try to turn around in the circle as fast as we could so we could be the first one to blow the candle out. (That wasn't part of the time, merely a consequence of a lighted candle around a bunch of teenagers).
The second week in Advent comes with some controversy. Depending on where you go, the second and 4th weeks get mixed up. It can either be Peace or Love. Traditionally, I have always celebrated Peace on the 2nd week, but the reality is, it doesn't really matter. After all, I think we all could use a little peace right now.
Something we don't often think about during this season. Sure, we hear the words, but do we really think about it; meditate on it? Do we take time to really experience the peace of God? The "Peace that passes all understanding?" (Down in my heart?)
I've often wondered why Jesus came when he did. Why did he come to First Century Judea? Why didn't he come to 21st Century America? Well, I guess there are a few reasons I can think of, but one of them would be, Maybe there would be NO ONE who would believe what they saw? Who knows, but God?
Anyway, I believe that Jesus came when he did because it was the perfect time. It was the right time for the Prince of Peace to enter into the chaos and change everything.
I hope during this chaotic season, with the Virus, with the news of Vaccines, with the news of continuous lock-downs for parts of the country, even with the hustle and bustle of the Christmas Holidays and High School Football playoffs (Go Jackets!), that you take a moment to receive the Peace that Christ brings into every situation.
Peace, Be Still.
Let us pray,
Lord, I am so thankful that we are in the season of advent. I thank you, Father, for the recognition that even in 2020, in the midst of all the chaos, you have come to bring us peace. Help us to focus on you, help us to focus on the peace you want to bring to us.
In Jesus Name.
One of my all-time favorite movie franchises is Star Wars.
Yes...I'm a nerd.
No...I'm not sorry.
In the series there is a side story known as Rogue One. If you know anything about the original Star Wars Movies that came out in the 70's and 80's, this story takes place right before Episode 4 entitled "Star Wars: A New Hope."
Rogue One is probably my favorite movie of all the Star Wars movies. It is a small departure from the rest of the story, but ends right where A New Hope picks up.
At any rate, without boring you with too many details, the Star Wars Saga is all about fighting against Tyranny, and the one thing that consistently comes up over and over again is this idea of Hope. You've probably even heard the line, "Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi, You're our only Hope."
As we enter into the Season of Advent, we are reminded of our greatest and only Hope: Jesus.
In the Scripture, as I talked about this past Sunday, we can see how darkness entered into the world, and how light is used to combat that darkness.
Read these words from John 1: 1-5
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the live was the light of all the people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it."
While I could spend hours talking about these first few verses of John, what I want to focus on this week is the implied thought that without Jesus, there is no hope.
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the first thing he did was create the light. Just like when Jesus entered into the world as a child, the light shined in the darkness, and every single day, every time someone comes to know Jesus as their savior, every time another disciples is made, that light shines even more brighter.
What Jesus did was start a chain reaction that brought us to where we are today, but he has called us to share that Hope with others.
Many people don't know that George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars Saga was raised in a devout Methodist family. While I cannot speak to his faith, there is one thing that I believe he took from his Methodist upbringing.
In the movies, one of the ways Characters say goodby is by saying, "May the Force Be With You." As an aside, you can always tell the Methodists in the room because they will say, "And also with you!"
But in all seriousness, while I believe the force exists only in the Star Wars Universe, I do believe hope exists in ours. So, with that I say: For this Advent Season, "May the HOPE be with you."
Let us pray,
God of us all, we come to you acknowledging our brokenness. We also come recognizing we have often allowed ourselves to give in to the darkness around us. Help us to focus entirely on the light that you have brought into the world, and help us to remember that the light has come into the world, and the darkness did not overcome it.
In the name of Jesus we pray,
I have a colleague and friend who I often have deep theological discussions with. These discussions come at random times, but it always seems as though they come at the time when I need them the most.
Not to long ago, we had a discussion about salvation and what it means for us.
While I am going to butcher the quote, it went something along the lines of: "All too often, Christians think we are all about making bad people good, but really what Jesus came to do was to make dead people come alive."
Now, I don't know about you, but when he said that, it hit me; I have been looking at all of this all wrong.
If you joined us in service this past week either in person or online, you would have heard a sermon that challenged us to put everything into perspective. I won't go into all that this time, if you want to watch it, it's on Youtube. Often times I find that the message that I preach on Sunday mornings is really a message for me and I can only hope that there is at least one person out in the congregation who needs to hear the same thing that I do.
This week, I have been inundated with calls, emails, and even meetings to talk about what God put on my heart to say. While I am thankful for the affirmation, I think what this week has taught me is that when the Spirit speaks, people still listen. Which means a couple things.
(1. The Spirit IS real.
(2. The Spirit STILL speaks.
Which makes me think: If the Spirit is real and if the Spirit still speaks then that means that the Bible is true. Not that I have struggled with this personally, but I know many who do. And if we read the bible (and we believe everything we read), when we read Ephesians 2, we can see exactly what my friend and colleague said.
You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of the flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.
This whole thing is not about just becoming a better us, it's not just about living our "best life." This whole thing that we do, being connected to a church, being a part of the community of faith, is not just to fill a check-box on our passport to heaven, it is about celebrating the fact that I was dead in my sin, and Christ made me alive!
How's that for perspective?
Let us pray,
O God, you are good, and your steadfast love endures forever. We repent of our sin in believing that you came just to make us better and we turn to your truth that you have and will raise us from death to life. Help us to hold on to that hope of our salvation and the hope of our resurrection; that it is both a present and future hope.
Give us the ability to be a new creation, to have new life in you.
In Jesus Name We Pray,
You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot.
It is no secret that I really like bacon. In fact, since Miranda and I have been married, I have loved to get up on Saturday mornings, make some coffee and make breakfast. Naturally, bacon makes a frequent appearance on Saturday mornings.
A few years ago, we had a Pug named Emma, who would often get up with me on Saturday mornings and wait until the bacon was ready and she would get the "first fruits" of my labors. Bacon day was truly the best day for Emma and I.
Sadly, we lost Emma earlier this year, and bacon day just wasn't the same. But, the sizzle must go on.
I think what I love about bacon the most...well...beside everything...is the saltiness. While most people have a sweet tooth, I have a salt tooth. No, it's not the best for you, but neither is sweets. Everything in moderation. Mostly.
But there is something special about salt. It brings out the flavors of the food, it preserves food, and without it, food would just be bland. Have you ever tried cookies without salt? Esta No Bueno.
My brothers and sisters, Jesus calls us The Salt of the Earth. He tells his disciples, and those who were listening to his Sermon on the Mountain that we are the ones who bring flavor to the earth; that we are the ones who are called to bring out the best in the world. Ultimately, he tells the Church, DO NOT LOSE YOUR SALTINESS!
But unfortunately, I believe the Church in America has become less salty and more bland like the rest of the world...and instead of bringing out the best in those around us, we fit right in.
Over and over again, God tells the people of Israel that He has set them apart, he made them HOLY. Not better than, but different. He did this to show the world his grace and mercy. And What's better than that, he sent us Jesus, the perfect example and sacrifice.
He didn't do all of that just for us to be like everyone else. He did that to show the world what it truly means to be the Salt of the Earth kind of people.
So...how about we get to work? How about we stop being like the rest of the world and actually believe that we have the power of God's Holy Spirit living within us; the same power the raised Jesus from the dead lives, and it lives in us!
I think it's time to get Salty.
What do you think?
Let us Pray,
God of us all,
Help us to reclaim the power that you want to give us. Help us to become, once again, the salt of the earth, bringing out the best in everyone we come into contact with. Help us to be that light shining upon a hill so that others may know that you are a Good, Good Father, and that you came to save us!
In Jesus name we pray.
Depending on where you find yourself on the political spectrum you either had a great night, or a not so great night last night. And while I have my opinions, and my political leanings, I refer you to last week's blog where it doesn't really matter where I stand, because Jesus is the king to the throne of my heart no matter who is in the White House.
Today, however, I want to focus on something that brings me hope, joy, and peace. James 1: 17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
I am reminded today that God has so many good gifts to give us. Not only that, but he is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and there is nothing that can separate us from the love of our Father in Heaven.
So...where do we go from here? On a national level, I have no idea. But as a church? Well, that's much more clear. We need to be the Church. We need to take care of each other. We need to watch out for each other. We need to continue our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
This church, this place, these people we call our church family, we should all be each other's priority.
I am reminded of the Acts Church:
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and have everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And THE LORD added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Church, this is who we need to be. We need to be together. We need to have Jesus (who is EVERYTHING) in common. We need to meet together, break bread together. We need to be devoted to the teachings of Jesus, to fellowship, and to prayer. This is what it means to be the church.
It is my hope that we haven't lost our way; that we have become something we weren't meant to be. It is my hope that we can repent from our desires to be all about me and we can turn to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.
It's time for us to be the Church.
Let us pray,
God, forgive us for our sins. Forgive us for not humbling ourselves, for not praying, for not seeking you first, and for not doing what you have called us to do. Help us to see that EVERYTHING GOOD comes from you, and to recognize that you are the same God yesterday, today, and forever.
Forgive us we pray!
In the name of Jesus!
"Everything is meaningless."
Well...there's that. That's a great way to start off a pastoral blog, isn't it?
The book of Ecclesiastes is not something we talk about much. Honestly, the only time I've spent much time in it is to prepare for a funeral, specifically Chapter 3. You've heard it before. Either in a service or in The Byrds song from the 1950's. "To everything, turn, turn, turn..."
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven." ~Ecclesiastes 3:1
But the way The Teacher starts his meandering, meditative journal is this:
"MEANINGLESS! MEANINGLESS!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless." ~Ecclesiastes 1:2
Makes you want to read on, doesn't it?
Have you ever felt this way? That everything is pointless? Meaningless? That no matter what you do, you can't get ahead? That no matter how much you argue until you're blue in the face, you won't change the mind of your friend on who they should be voting for? That when someone posts something on Facebook that commenting on the thread will only bring you more frustration and heartache?
Yeah...that's me today.
It doesn't matter who I voted for (after all, I was always told to "vote early and vote often"), but there are people who I trust, people who I look up to and I just don't understand how they see things so differently from me. If I'm being honest with myself, it actually makes me think, "what if I'm wrong?"
Does that happen to anyone else? I mean...I'm willing to be wrong, but what do I believe what I do? Why do you believe what you do?
And then it dawns on me...maybe we're all wrong.
I want to share something with you from my Wesley Study Bible.
"Sometimes we live for the wrong reasons and pursue the wrong things. We try to get all we can and can fade when God is kept on the outskirts of our lives. Without God, things have no meaning and cannot fill the void in our lives. When we give up our pursuits of happiness and seek the kingdom, we discover the full meaning of life. Giving up what we want and giving in to what God wants leads us to a fulfilling, meaningful, and purposeful life."
Everything is meaningless...WITHOUT GOD.
There have been so many times when I have come to a point where the anxiety is just so strong. When I think about our country and the unrest; the uneasiness. It seems like the closer we get to November 3, the worse it gets. Then I think, all that junk...what's the point of being anxious about it?
Do I have control over it? Do I have the ability to change it?
But I do have the ability to focus on God and seek him in all that I do. I do have the ability to preach the gospel and train people how to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
See how meaningless it all is?
This idea of "everything" being meaningless isn't really a bad or depressing thing. It is a reminder that: "[We] do not belong to this world, just as [He] does not belong to this world."
Today, let us focus solely on God. Let us make this life meaningful by putting God on the throne of our hearts.
Let us Pray,
O God, you Good and your steadfast love endures forever. Help us to be people who focus entirely on you; for without you, everything is meaningless. Give us the strength to get through these next couple weeks that are filled with anxiety and stress. Be with our president and vice president; be with our senators and representatives at all levels of government. We also pray for Presidential Candidate, Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris. We ask, Father, for your will to be done, that all of our public servants be protected Spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Help us to remember that you are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
In the name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to the Glory of God the Father we pray.
There was a commercial back in my childhood that every once in a while comes back up for a brand of peanut butter called Jif. The catch phrase went like this:
"Choosy moms choose Jif."
Perhaps you remember it too.
Well, my mom never chose Jif. We always had the Peter Pan brand.
Honestly, I don't think I really cared what brand we got because I just love peanut butter. One of my favorite snacks growing up was to cut an apple into slices, put a dollup of peanut butter on a plate and dip the apples in it. In fact, now that I have written about it, I may have that snack this afternoon.
Anyway...my stomach took over...sorry.
Choices. Every single day we are faced with choices. From the very beginning of creation, we have been given a very specific choice. When Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden, the choice they had was the most consequential choice ever made...and no, it wasn't to eat the fruit or not.
The choice they were given was to be in relationship with God, or not. Would they be faithful to God, or would they go their own way.
Another choice that was made in the Scriptures was for Abraham. In fact, Abraham had a lot of choices. He could do as God told him to go from the Land of Ur (his home, the place he had known all 70 years of his life at this point) and "go to the place that God will show him," or he could just chalk up hearing the voice of God to a bad peace of Bar-B-Que'd lamb he had just eaten.
Yet another choice for Abraham was to some how get out of the house without his wife Sarah noticing, take his son with two of their slaves and a donkey to mount Moriah to sacrifice Isaac, or to roll over and go back to bed.
In our scripture for this week, Joshua called together all the people of Israel at the Tree at Shechem and put the question to them, "On this day, who will you call God?"
The reality is, while there are many things in this life we can choose: Where we eat lunch, where we go to school, and yes...even who we elect for president, those are just minor choices. And yes...I mean that.
The only choice that matters is "whom will you serve?"
Who will you put on the throne of your life? Who will you call Lord?
My friends, I honestly don't know how many people have been reading this blog over the last few weeks, but I do know I enjoy writing them. It is my hope that once a week I can give you a little "pick-me-up" through the middle of the week. Today, if you read nothing else from me, or hear none of my sermons, or go to none of my bible studies, I hope you hear that the best decision I have ever made was to say yes to Jesus.
One of the things I say every Sunday, and I believe it's important to say is: "If there is anyone in here who, for the first time, wants to know what it means to follow Jesus, please do not leave this room without talking to me first, because there is no more important conversation I could have with someone."
I say that because it's true. There really is nothing more important than for you to say yes to Jesus.
So, on this day, you need to answer the question, Who will you choose?
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Growing up in the United Methodist Church, I have always had a passion for ministry. Now, I have been called to serve the people of Llano at an awesome place called Lutie Watkins Memorial!